What is dorayaki?
Dorayaki (pronounced “doh-rah-yak-kee”) is a sweet Japanese dish, made from two round, airy pancakes. They are similar to American breakfast pancakes, with a sugary spread sandwiched between them, usually made from sweet, nutty red aduki beans. Everyone loves dorayaki and they are eaten as a snack and as a dessert.
The sweet delicacy is sold in supermarkets, in special dorayaki stores and in candy stores. Frequently seen variations on the classic red bean filling are vanilla and matcha cream and chestnut (kuri).
Red bean paste is a popular ingredient for many sweet snacks, including fish-shaped waffles (taiyaki), steamed buns (anman) and sweet buns (anpan).
In the Kansea region of Japan, the snack is known as mikasa.
Did you know?
Dorayaki featured in a Japanese cartoon series that was broadcast throughout Southeast Asia in the 1970s: Doraemon. Doraemon is a robot cat that travels back from the future to help a boy with all his futuristic gadgets. The cat loves dorayaki and is always distracted by the sweet snack. The image of the blue cat with a plate full of dorayaki is therefore engraved on the memories of many Asians, especially Japanese people.
How to make dorayaki
To make the pancakes, mix a batter of wheat flour, eggs, sugar, honey and baking powder. Add milk or water. Use the batter to pour pancakes of about eight centimetres in diameter in a non-stick pan. The chef aims for an evenly brown exterior; this only works if the oil layer in the pan is as thin as possible, and preferably also wiped with a piece of kitchen towel. The pancakes are baked on both sides over a low heat and kept warm under a tea towel.
Anko, the sweet red bean filling, is made by boiling aduki beans and sweetening them with sugar. There are different variants of this filling, including tsubuan, made from whole beans; tsubushian with partly mashed beans; and koshian, a smooth paste from which the skins of the beans have also been removed.
A layer of filling is always sandwiched between two pancakes. Put more filling in the centre so that the pancakes close around the filling.
In Japan, the outside of the pancakes is sometimes decorated with “pancake art”; a stamp of a drawing.
How to eat dorayaki
You eat dorayaki out of your hands. On the street, they are served on a piece of paper; in restaurants on a plate.
Do you love this dessert made with beans? In Vietnam, they eat che thap cam as a sweet snack; a soup-like dish with whole aduki beans, or che ba mau; a three-layer dessert containing aduki and mung beans.
Sweet dorayaki taste delicious with a cup of lukewarm, slightly bitter Japanese green tea.