Those fishy things….making Taiyaki

Taiyaki are those little fish filled with red bean paste.  You can eat it with ice cream or on its own.  Fill it with other fillings such as nutella, sesame paste, custard or even go savory and try takoyaki batter.


The red bean paste I used for this recipe can be made in a slow cooker or rice cooker.  I have made red bean it the slow cooker before. When I made green tea mochi.  The problem was that I didn’t add enough water.  This time I used a rice cooker and added on bag of azuki beans and filled the rice cooker with water.  I set the rice cooker to cook rice and let it cook.  After a couple hours the beans was nice and soft but the paste was runny.  I blended it well with an immersion blender and then I transferred the red bean mush into a frying pan.  Turn the temperature to medium low and allow the mixture to thicken. When the mixture gets thicker, about the consistency of runny mash potato then it is ready.  Add sugar to taste. Remember, you want the filling to be sweeter than usual. The pancake will balance it out.  Allow the mixture to cool.  The red bean paste will thicken as it cools.  I made my red bean paste the night before.  This makes quite a bit of red bean paste. Save extra paste by freezing it in an air tight container.

taiyaki 13

Now prepare the batter.  This recipe makes about 5 Taiyaki. You will need egg, flour, baking powder, sugar and milk.  You can try using your favorite pancake recipe if you want.  You can put various filling in the Taiyaki. I opted to go with the traditional red bean paste.  Other options are okonomi batter, nuttella, custard or even sausage or meat filling.

taiyaki 2

To make these fish shapes you need to have a Taiyaki pan.  Mine has a non stick coating which makes the batter come out easily.

taiyaki 1

In a bowl, beat the egg and sugar. Add the milk and stir well.  Add the flour and baking powder and stir just until combined. You do not want to over mix as this will make your pancakes chewy and tough.

taiyaki 3 taiyaki 4 taiyaki 5

Spoon about 1 tsp of batter in the center of the fish and spread to form a thin layer.  Trust me this is enough.  Add enough batter to fill the tail.  Place the red bean paste in the center of the fish.  Pour another tsp of batter over the red bean and close the lid.

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If you place too much the batter will pour out of the pan.  Do not worry about the overflow as it can be trimmed off the excess. Cook the Taiyaki for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

taiyaki 8  taiyaki 10

Carefully remove the Taiyaki from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Serve with ice cream or on its own.

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This recipe will make about 5 Taiyaki.

  •  1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • slightly less than 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1  cup of sweetened azuki red bean paste (or filling of your choice)
  • Taiyaki pan

In a bowl combine the flour and baking powder.  In another bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add sugar an cream together. Add the milk and mix well.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture.  Stir just until the ingredients mix.  Don’t over mix as the batter will get tough.

Preheat the Taiyaki pan.  Use oil if yours does not have a non stick coating.  Use a teaspoon and spoon in some batter. Spread evenly and make sure it is not too thick.  Really, you don’t need a lot. Using a cookie scoop, place two balls of red bean in the middle of the body of the fish.  Spoon some more batter over the red bean.  Close the Taiyaki pan and flip every couple minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. After about 4-5 minutes check to see if the fish are golden brown.  If not, leave longer.  When the pancake is ready, the batter will no longer stick on the pan. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool.  You can trim all the bits to make the fish look nicer.

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