Thursday, April 1, 2010


Seeing as this is a bento-free week, kind of, I thought I would post about my taiyaki adventure.
Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped pancake, often filled with sweetened red bean paste. They are a popular sweet shop or food court food in Japan, and you can make them at home using a few readily available ingredients. While there are special batter mixes you can make, I've found that you can also simply use ready-made waffle mix. I used Bob's Red Mill. As for the bean paste, you can also make your own, but I used a canned version of tsubushi-an. You may be able to find it in your local Asian grocery.
You'll also need a special taiyaki pan.
I got mine from Marukai market. It's made of cast aluminum, and it looks like this. Cute, huh?

All you need to do is make the waffle mix according to the package directions, and put in the fish mold (one side only). Spoon it over the bottom of the pan, about a half inch deep. Then I put a glob of anko in the center. You can smooth it evenly over the batter if you like, as well, all the way down to the tail if you can. Then put more batter on top to cover it.
Cook over a medium flame until the bottom is nicely browned, just like you would a regular pancake. Then, close the pan and flip! This part is fun! Flip "vigorously", so that the taiyaki is sure to dislodge from the pan and flip to the other side. Cook a few more minutes until the other side is browned. You may check it carefully if you need to, by opening the pan a little. The final product should look like this!
You may have to experiment with amount of batter to use, depending on how thick or thin yours is. If you use too much, it'll ooze out the side. Then it may stick and be more difficult to remove. It'll rise a bit, so plan accordingly. Remove and place on a rack to cool.
When you see how easy it is, you may not buy one ever again ;) You might also try other fillings, such as custard or chocolate ~ this is on my list for sure!


  1. Those are awesome and perfect taiyaki!!! I have to try that Bob's pancake mix too!

  2. I agree with Susan! Beatifully executed. You know... I see these pans everytime I'm at the market and I stop, think about it, then I pass. Maybe next time I'll buy one and try it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. I love them! I want one! We had a gadget like that as a kid that we would use buttered bread and fill it with pie filling and toast it in a campfire. Yum just like cherry pie! These are gorgeous and look so tasty!

  4. I so want one. Those came out beautifully as we can see practice makes perfect. Great job.

  5. Oh, I want one too! I really love Taiyaki!!! I have to buy some to the taiyaki shop!

  6. Thanks Susan, yeah, you should try Bob's! It's good! Thanks!
    Thanks Debra, you don't need to wait anymore -- go get one! Thanks!
    Wow Lyndsey that sounds decadent! You're right; this would be great camping gear :)
    Thanks a lot Marisa; I'll definitely be "practicing" a lot :)
    Wish I could go to the taiyaki shop too, Maki!

  7. I don't like red bean paste, but filled with something else this must be delish (chocolate for instance :o) )

    Cool pan too, I don't remember ever seeing it in the asian shop.

  8. Oi! My browser ate my comment :(

    I would love to make these (yours look delish!) but I'm bound to #fail...

    No taiyaki pan, no waffle mix (both are not for sale here) and my first-and-last attempt at making red bean paste was NOT a success either... But you've reminded me that I still have a draft that I need to finish about that ;)

    And I *do* need to finish that can of red bean paste I opened for my matcha-red bean muffins (#fail)

  9. i need to keep my eyes out for a pan like this -- these came out SO cute and also look delicious!

  10. very cool! I've never tried taiyaki - I'm definitely going to see if Uwajimaya carries them, and the pan. I'm thinking fruit filling would be great in these or maybe an almond paste.

  11. So glad to see the adorable fish pan. You make it look so easy - which I know it is not...but none the less - I want a little fish pancake pan as well. I'm off to so some on-line hunting. So cute!

  12. OK - I just found one available at Amazon:

    I have some books I need to order anyway - sound like a reason to buy a Taiyaki pan as well.

  13. You made the coolest taiyaki! They look perfect and red bean paste yum ... ;)

  14. Loved this post!! What a fun tutorial,and perfect golden fish! These sweet faced taiyaki are so in keeping with your cute, very pretty culinary style, sherimiya!

  15. What a cool device! And a lovely tutorial! You can have Fish Waffles everyday now! Yippee! :o)

  16. Thanks so much for your comments, friends!

    Ingrid, chocolate is fantastic filling. I've only ever seen this pan in one shop. Probably they are also available online, though. (oh, yeah, Karina found one at Amazon below, yay!)

    gnoegnoe, don't forget dorayaki are just as delicious, and you don't need any special pan! Just 2 pancakes with bean between!! Yum :)

    Thanks megan; I'm sure you'll be able to sniff one out, you'll love it!

    Thanks Cat, I'm interested to see how yours comes out :)

    Awesome, Karina! I do not lie. They are EASY. You'll see!

    Thanks so much Lia!

    Thank you bentobird, how sweet!

    Bento Box, you're right, I should eat them every day!! Thanks!

  17. hmm i think im more of a dorayaki person but these look delish! :D

  18. Oh, I love those pancake moulds, sooo cute!

    Happy Spring :)


  19. Thanks Cheryl ♥; I love dorayaki too... they're all delish!

    Yup, very cute! Thanks Margot!

  20. I love taiyaki! I didn't know that you could buy the pans at Marukai. I'm going to go look for one so I can make these at home.

  21. kirbie,
    Marukai has lots of pans for stuff. Check it out!

    Thanks so much Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch!!

  22. I tried this with ham and cheese. It was very good!