Dorayaki The Japanese Red Bean Pancake

April 29, 2021

A traditional Japanese confectionery, dessert and snack made of two sponge cakes which are sandwiched together and filled with a sweet red bean paste.

Dorayaki pancakes are a popular Japanese red bean pancake which is formed of two fluffy sponge layers with a sweet red bean filling. The name dorayaki translates to “dora” meaning gong, which refers to the shape of the pancake, and “yaki” meaning baked. Dorayaki can be found throughout Japan and is one of the most famous desserts in the country.

In popular culture the pancakes are the favorite food of the well known Japanese manga character Doraemon who also refers to the pastries as Yummy Buns, Yummy Buns is the perfect description for these small irresistible pastries. The end result is a light, soft, honey-scented pancake with a sweet smooth centre.

Homemade Dorayaki PancakesPhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %88
Difficulty Medium
Servings 6 people
Preparation 400 mins
Cooking 60 mins
Total 460 mins

Tips

  • The dried adzuki red beans must be soaked for at least 6 hours to soften and ensure even cooking.
  • Bring the red beans to a boil then strain and refresh the water, this step removes any dirt and impurities from the saucepan while further tenderising the beans.
  • To speed up this recipe, use readymade red bean paste which can be found canned at your local Asian supermarket. If red bean paste is unavailable, then follow this exact guide and fill instead with alternative flavors such as matcha, chocolate or custard.

Ingredients

Directions

Red Bean Paste

  1. Into a bowl add the dried adzuki red beans then cover with cold water and soak for 6-8 hours.
  2. After soaking strain the red beans and discard the liquid.
  3. Pour the red beans into a saucepan and cover with water.
  4. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, strain the beans and discard the liquid.
  6. Return the beans to the saucepan and refill with fresh water.
  7. Set the saucepan back on the heat and bring to a simmer, cook the beans for 30 minutes until soft.
  8. Remove the red beans from the heat and crush with the back on a spoon into a rough paste.
  9. Then stir in the sugar until well combined.
  10. Place the saucepan back on the stove over a low heat, cook the beans for 10 minutes until a thick paste.
  11. Remove the red bean paste from the stove and let it cool.

Dorayaki Pancakes

  1. Into a mixing bowl add the eggs, sugar and honey, whisk together to combine.
  2. Place a sieve over the mixing bowl and add the baking powder, cornflour and all-purpose flour.
  3. Whisk the ingredients together to form a thick batter.
  4. Then allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Place a non-stick pan on medium heat.
  6. Use a small ladle to pour the dorayaki pancake batter into the pan approximately 3-inches in width.
  7. Cook the pancake for 2 minutes then flip and cook for a further 1 minute.
  8. Once cooked, transfer the dorayaki pancake to a plate and continue to cook the remaining batter.
  9. After cooking it is time to form the Japanese red bean pancakes, onto one pancake spread one tablespoon of the sweet red bean paste across the surface.
  10. Cover with a second pancake and pinch the edges to seal, repeat the process to form all of the dorayaki pancakes.
  11. Serve the dorayaki pancakes straight away or store in an airtight container and enjoy within three days.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Homemade Dorayaki Pancakes
Serves 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories186
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 55 mg18.3%
Sodium 21 mg0.9%
Potassium 83 mg1.8%
Protein 5.8 g11.6%
Total Fat 2 g2.6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Who invented Dorayaki?

The origin of the Japanese pancake, Dorayaki, goes back to feudal Japan. The story goes that a Samurai warrior misplaced his gong “dora” while seeking sanctuary at a farmer’s home. As the farmer did not know the gong’s purpose he instead used it as a surface to cook his pancakes “yaki”.

The original Dorayaki pancake was not in the distinctive sandwich style, this was invented by a sweet shop named Usagi-ya in Ueno, Tokyo which is still selling Dorayaki to this day. Although the dessert is regularly referred to as a pancake due to its appearance the cakes are in fact sponge cakes. Dorayaki cakes are based on a Portuguese introduction named “castell”, a light, soft sponge which has since become a speciality of Nagasaki.

Different Types of Dorayaki

The sweet adzuki red bean paste is the traditional filling for the Japanese pancake Dorayaki, as the sweet pastry has become more popular variations have become widespread. Different fillings for the dorayaki pancake include matcha, chocolate, condensed milk, custard cream, sweet potato cream, ice cream, chestnuts and many fruit jams.

What size is Dorayaki?

The Japanese pancake, Dorayaki, is a handheld snack approximately 3 - 4 inches in width. In Nara, within the Kansai region of Japan, Dorayaki are often served as a much larger version of 12 inches in diameter. The appearance of the pancake is similar to an American pancake except that to complete the dessert two pancakes come together with a filling of sweet red bean paste.

Is Dorayaki vegan?

The classic Dorayaki pancakes are not vegan as they contain eggs and milk. As with many recipes there are now vegan alternatives so it is possible to recreate a plant based version of Dorayaki. For a vegan version the eggs and milk can be replaced with soy milk and baking powder to replicate the light airy texture.

Filling and storage

adzuki red beansPhoto By Canva

The homemade red bean paste within this recipe can be stored in the refrigerator and kept for up to 7 days.

Fresh dorayaki pancakes can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature in an airtight container. The pancakes should be consumed within 1-3 days and served at room temperature.

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