3 Taiyaki Recipes to Try!

02 September 2021 by Oliver

Taiyaki is one of Japan’s most popular street foods, and has been for over 100 years. Street vendors and sweet shops are a haven for these sweet, fish shaped treats. And people from all over the world have had the pleasure of trying them.

You can even take them home from time to time in the monthly Japanese snack and candy box TokyoTreat and its sister box Sakuraco. But for some people, making them is part of the fun. Mixing the ingredients, creating variations to fit your taste and sharing them with your friends are all an enjoyable experience that can be done in the comfort of your home.

So we’re here to share 3 of our favorite Taiyaki recipes for you to enjoy from scratch! 

But First - What is Taiyaki?

Taiyaki are a Japanese fish shaped cake that are commonly enjoyed as street food in Japan. First gaining popularity in the early 1900’s as an evolution from its predecessor Imagawayaki, it is made of pancake or waffle batter with a filling, commonly anko (sweet red bean paste) or custard.

They are then baked in iron skillets in the shape of fish (the tai/sea bream was thought to be both lucky and a rare delicacy). This results in a soft and fluffy warm treat with a sweet filling. You can find it in sweet shops, sweet carts and often at summer festival stalls.

Tried and True: Basic Taiyaki
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You can’t beat a classic! This taiyaki recipe is the one to try if you’re looking for a more authentic taiyaki snacking experience.

Ingredients:

Cake Flour: 200g

Baking Soda: 7g (Small Teaspoon)

Sugar: 15g-20g

Large Egg: 1

Milk or Water: 200ml

Honey: Optional For Flavor

Anko/Sweet Red Bean Paste (or Filling of Your Choice)

*Requires taiyaki pan

Method:

Step 1: Place your flour, baking soda and sugar in a freezer bag, mixing bowl or tupperware box and mix well.

Step 2: Separately crack your egg and milk/water slowly. Mix until all is added and mixture is smooth (be careful not to cause the mixture to foam).

Step 3: Gradually mix in your egg mix to the flour until the mixture runs smooth, avoiding lumps. 

Step 4: Gently heat both sides of your taiyaki pan and coat the inside with vegetable oil.

Step 5: Pour the batter into the taiyaki pan generously. Add in a healthy amount of filling into the center of the fish shape and cover that with batter too.

Step 6: Flip both sides of the pan to heat on both sides evenly. Cook until golden brown (you can check the inside from time to time while it cooks. It works similarly to a pancake.

Step 7: Once cooked, free the taiyaki from the pan with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Chisel off excess batter until the taiyaki shape is clear. 

Step 8: Allow to cool and enjoy.

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Saku Saku: Crispy Taiyaki
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Want a slightly different taiyaki snacking experience? This crispy taiyaki recipe will provide just that with a little extra crunch to each bite!

Ingredients:

Cake Flour: 80g

Corn Starch: 20g

Baking Soda: 0.5g 

Baking Powder: 3.5g

Sugar: 15g

Salt: A Pinch

Mirin: 1 Teaspoon

Oil: 3g

Large Egg: 1

Milk: 100ml

Honey: Optional For Flavor

Anko/Sweet Red Bean Paste (or Filling of Your Choice)

*Requires taiyaki pan

Method:

Step 1: Place your flour, corn starch, baking soda and baking powder in a freezer bag, mixing bowl or tupperware box and mix well.

Step 2: Separately crack your egg and milk, oil, sugar, mirin and a pinch of salt slowly. Mix until all is added and mixture is smooth (be careful not to cause the mixture to foam).

Step 3-8: See Steps 3-8 in previous recipe above.

No Pan, No Problem: Hot Sandwich Maker Taiyaki
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Getting your hands on a taiyaki pan isn’t always easy, especially outside of Japan. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it too. Try this handy method using a hot sandwich maker (you might miss the fish shape but the flavor is all the same).

Ingredients:

Cake Flour: 100g

Sugar: 10g

Baking Powder: 3.5g

Large Egg Yolk: 1

Salt: A Pinch

Mirin: 1/2 Teaspoon

Butter: 5g

Water: 50ml

Milk: 50ml

Cinnamon Powder: Optional For Flavor

Anko/Sweet Red Bean Paste (or Filling of Your Choice)

*Requires Hot Sandwich Maker

Method:

Step 1: Place your flour, baking powder and sugar in a freezer bag, mixing bowl or tupperware box and mix well.

Step 2: Separately crack your egg yolk and mix milk, water, salt and mirin slowly. Mix until all is added and mixture is smooth (be careful not to cause the mixture to foam).

Step 3: Gradually mix in your egg mix to the flour until the mixture runs smooth, avoiding lumps. 

Step 4: Melt the butter in a pan and use it to grease the inside of the hot sandwich maker. 

Step 5: Pour the batter into the sandwich maker generously. Add in a healthy amount of filling into the center and cover that with batter too.

Step 6: Cook for roughly 3 minutes (once it becomes golden brown).

Step 7: Once cooked, free the taiyaki from the pan with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Chisel off excess batter. 

Step 8: Allow to cool and enjoy.

Not One For The Hassle?

Cooking and baking can be fun but sometimes snacking out is the best option! Why not check out the monthly Japanese candy and snack box TokyoTreat. There are also Taiyaki featured in there from time to time. See what’s coming next month!


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