The Art of Taiyaki

Recently H and I have had a craving for taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped cake which is usually filled with sweet red bean paste or custard. We know there’s a cafe in Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights that makes this confection, but it’s still a drive away and neither of us have been too keen on using up more gas than we need.

Enter my friend Emmeline of Live Mo, who generously volunteered her sister’s amazing skills in the kitchen. The girls hosted us for a taiyaki-making party and I brought along the camera to record the process.

First you start with the ingredients:

Milk
Flour
Egg
Corn starch

For the custard, the egg had to be whipped into a meringue before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Whip it good.

Luckily the red bean paste was pretty easy to make.

Just open and serve!

Eric, trusty batter stirrer, hard at work.

Assistant patissier.

Stephanie our head chef and instructor watches over the custard.

Are they done with that batter yet?

Emmeline warms up the taiyaki mold over the stove.

Ready for the batter pour.

It’s starting to smell good in the kitchen.

How many people does it take to make red-bean-filled fish-shaped cakes?

After about three to four minutes per side, it’s time to open the mold and check on the cakes.

Looking pretty good!

Even at a leisurely pace, making this dessert was quick and easy, especially if you’re not going to make the fillings from scratch. We used a recipe from the taiyaki mold’s packaging but Wikipedia mentions that you can use pancake batter as well. I’m assuming crepe batter would be OK too; it just all depends on the consistency that you want in the finished product. We had to liquefy our batter because it started out really thick, so play with the flour-to-water ratios till you find something that pours easily. We recommend filling the mold a little over halfway and leaving room for your preferred filling.

Finally, we got our sweet reward! I hope you enjoyed this little photo post and that it inspires you to make your own cute and tasty desserts!

Dessert success!
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