Taiyaki_Dorayaki | Articles on Japanese Restaurants | Japan Restaurant Guide by Gourmet Navigator
Taiyaki, imagawayaki, and dorayaki are Japanese sweets made with flour and sweet red bean paste. They are all made by baking the dough on a teppan grilling plate or in molds made with iron and putting sweet red bean paste inside. There are differences in their shapes and tastes, though. Taiyaki is made in the shape of a red sea bream. It is made by pouring the dough into a mold with two sides that are put together after sweet red bean paste is place inside the dough.
Wasyoku(Japanese Cuisine) encyclopedia : Taiyaki_Dorayaki
There are two types of molds; one that are individually grilled and baking pan type that can bake several taiyaki at once. Each shop uses their preferred molds. It is said that in Tokyo, more shops choose to use the individual molds. Some connoisseurs call taiyaki baked in an individual mold “natural” while calling the multiple pans baked ones “cultured." Fanatic taiyaki fans love the texture created by the more controlled temperature as well as the color of “natural” taiyaki. They are golden brown on the outside and fluffy inside. In addition to sweet red bean paste, custard cream and chocolate cream are also used. There are also shops that sell fast-food type taiyaki with cabbages and tuna inside. Variations of taiyaki continue to increase.
Imagawayaki is also called oobanyaki, taiko-manju, or oyaki and is baked in a round concave mold. Its ingredients and bean paste to put inside are almost identical with those of taiyaki. Since special molds are required to make either taiyaki or imagawayaki, they are seldom made at home, and people would buy them at specialty shops or often buy them from portable street vendors.
Freshly made, hot ones are the best to eat. On the other hand, dorayaki is made by dropping the dough and making a circle on a flat heated plate like making pan cakes and sandwiching sweet red bean paste with two pieces of pan cakes. Its dough is sweeter and moister than taiyaki or imagawayaki and resembles castella. Instead of eating freshly made hot ones, they are enjoyed at room temperature. People purchase them as snacks or give them as gifts when visiting others. It is also known as the favorite sweet that Doraemon, the main character of the nationally popular cartoon “Doraemon.” In general, sweet red bean paste is put inside, but chopped candied chest nuts may be mixed, or a small mochi may be put inside the bean paste. There are even western style dorayaki with whipped cream and red bean paste mixture inside. Anyone can purchase dorayaki at a local super market, confectionary store, or a convenience shop. In western Japan, it is also called “mikasayaki.”