I can't afford to come up with any complicated Japanese dishes for now, and my heart for cooking and baking is not deteriorating. Please don't worry.
I come up with this Japanese fish-shaped cake called Taiyaki (鯛焼き), one of the Japanese favorite street snack, traditionally filled with red bean paste made with sweetened azuki beans. Of course there are other types of fillings sold commercially in modern days, that includes custard, chocolate, cheese, sweet potatoes, or even sausage fillings. However, I'd prefer the common filling for it's originality.
Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. I love using Morinaga pancake mix during normal days. But for AFF Japan, I tried doing it from scratch this time, following this recipe.
(Source : Eugenie Kitchen, with modification)
- 120g Cake Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 large Egg
- 55g Granulated Sugar
- 180ml Fresh Milk, but I'd seriously think 100ml is enough
- Pinch of salt
- 1 can of Sweetened whole red bean paste, or anko (餡子), that's about 200g
- Vegetable oil for cooking
Note : With 180ml Milk, the batter is really too watery. I'd highly recommend to reduce into 100ml. In my opinion, this 180ml ratio is not right. And silly me... I follow it blindly :(
- Sift cake flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder, set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, crack eggs, granulated sugar and milk. Whisk until combined.
- Preheat the taiyaki pan under low low heat. Really really low heat.
- Pour flour mixture into wet mixture and fold until homogeneously mixed. I rest the batter for 30mins before using it. I think this helps the batter to give better result in texture.
- Brush the taiyaki pan with vegetable oil.
- Fill the mold half full with batter. Spoon 1 tablespoon of sweet red bean paste, and then pour the batter in the mold until it is full. Close the pan and turn it over.
- Cook for 1 minute, turn the pan over, cook for another minute.
- Turn the pan over again, cook for another 2 minutes, and then another 2 minutes on the other side. That's total of 3 minutes for each side. But be careful, your fire control might be different from mine. Do check the fish, so as not to burnt it. As long as the fish is cooked on both sides until golden brown, it is fine.
It's pretty easy. Just batter, and a can of sweetened red bean. You could cook your own red bean paste of course, but for me, I won't want to do that, since I'm only making a few pieces of fish :)
Fill the mold half full with batter. Spoon 1 tablespoon of sweet red bean paste, and then pour the batter in the mold until it is full.
I got the Taiyaki pan from Meidi-Ya a year ago. But they don't have stock all the time. It's seasonal. You could call them to check if they have stock or not before you make a trip there. My friend told me, sometimes Giant do bring in stock too. But again, it's seasonal stuff :)
Look at my Taiyaki. I'm pretty generous with the filling.
Because the batter is too runny, the result of the fish skin looked really thin, which I'd prefer it to be thicker (just like the time when I use Morinaga pancake mix), so as the fish shape could look better in overall.
As you could see, the fish stomach is will deflate due to the runny batter that couldn't hold it's shape well.
It takes abit of practice to get the tactic and the fire control right. Your first Taiyaki might not achieve even color. However, once you manage the fire control (really low fire), it would be fine.
I do feels irritated when I made my first batch last time, because it is either the filling kept sticking out of the fish or I'm too greedy with the batter. But slowly, I master it. This batch of Taiyaki is not the perfect batch. Compared to the usual one's that I made (using Morinaga), I don't feel impressed with the result. Although the recipe doesn't 'wow-ed' me, still, I think it is good to blog about it, so as to share with fellow readers the difference in batter ratio as part of the learning and sharing of experience :)
Now that I've tried, experienced the Taiyaki making from scratch using the said online recipe above. My conclusion is that, it is a good experience. But I'd still personally prefer Morinaga pancake mix. It gives the closest texture to the shop-bought Taiyaki that I had in Japan back then. Even Wikipedia mentioned that Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. Hence, a lazy person like me, would prefer pancake premix for better result and hassle-free job :)
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013 : Japan, hosted by Alan from travelling-foodies