Kuri Dorayaki (via GiO)

The iconic Japanese pancake, chestnut version…

A dorayaki, it’s a set of 2 pancakes filled with anko (azuki bean jam). For the seasonal touch, kuri (chesnut) is added to the anko.

The tigered are called tora-yaki (tora is tiger). They are popular in Osaka as the local base-ball team is the Hanshin Tigers.

More and detailed recipe…

Kuri Dorayaki

A dorayaki, it’s a set of 2 pancakes filled with anko (azuki bean jam). For the seasonal touch, kuri (chesnut) is added to the anko.

Remark : this is not the type of breakfast pancake that are served hot and eaten as soon as they are made. Usually, dorayaki are bought in specialized shops or prepared in advance. They are served cold, at tea time. They can be kept a few days (with or without refrigeration, depending on filling), and also brought to friends in a nice gift box.

Of course, no law says you cannot eat them fresh and hot. I think it’s not done because there exist many cousin hot cakes sold in Japanese street stalls :

imagawayaki
taiyaki

There are new styles of dorayaki, fluffier, with other fillings. Today is classic, with baking soda and a dash of soy sauce in the batter.

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Quest of the perfect shape.

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Bits of kuri (Chinese sweet chestnuts) added to tsubu-an. A little honey and brandy for flavor.

The tigered are called tora-yaki (tora is tiger). They are popular in Osaka as the local base-ball team is the Hanshin Tigers.

Even cats can be tigered.

HOW TO ?

THE BATTER (Old Fashion style)

This recipe is a retro version, slightly reduced in sugar.

-Liquid :
50 g of egg (1 egg, M size),
25 g of sugar (yellow cane sugar),
1 ts of honey,
a few drops of soy sauce (or a pinch of salt),
2 ts of water.
-Powders :
50g of flour
1/2 ts of baking soda.

-Beat the sugar and egg with a whisk, till a white foam appears, add the other liquids while beating.
-Mix well the powders with a second whisk. Sift on top of eggs while whisking.
-Beat well. You should get a creamy smooth batter. Add a little water if it’s too thick.

WAIT 1 HOUR

-Check the texture. It is too thick usually, add a little water 1 tbs at a time to obtain a creamy and nearly fluid batter. Stir slowly with a spoon.

SLOW COOKING ON A HOT-PLATE :

To have a perfect surface and brown color on one side, the Japanese bakers make them on an electric (teflon style) hot plate, at 140 degrees C. It’s low heat. I used a sauce-pan, it’s slower as I had to do 1 by 1 (for nice shape), while they can do 6 on a familial okonomiyaki plate, and maybe 30 on the plates they use in shops.
The pan/plate has to be warm, then pass a piece of kitchen paper with oil. Don’t let any drop of oil. The drops cause the irregularities of color.
Pour 1 spoon of batter in the middle, not more, it will spread in a circular shape by itself. If it’s too small, use a bigger spoon for the next ones.
Cook at low (middle) heat. You can put a lid to go quicker. That took me 3 minutes per side.

FILLING AND SHAPING :

The last trick is they take 2 hot pancakes from the the plate, fill them immediately, then squeeze them a few seconds in their hands to make the curvy shape like a dora (gong). The cakes will keep the shape when they cool down.
I was not able to do that perfectly because when my second pancake is cooked, my first one is already cold. LOL

Easy making of koshian anko (fine textured azuki bean paste)

Azuki (adzuki) beans.

Definition :
Anko is a sweet paste, made from these small Asian beans. Anko is one of the most common ingredients for making Japanese sweets, so this is a basic.

Ingredients :
Azuki beans. Sugar, syrup or any sweetener you like.
Other types of beans can be prepared the same way. White beans (similar to “Navy beans”) are often used to make the white “an”.

I was not too happy with the color of my photos… it varies indeed, it’s nicer in reality than on my shots. What matters is the texture, so I covered with fancy filters.

MAKING ANKO (tsubuan and koshian)

Rinse. Cover with 4 volumes of water. Soak one night (in the fridge in Summer).

Drain (optional, you can keep the soaking water, final color may differ). Transfer into a pasta pot with plenty of water, bring to boil. Pass to medium heat. Take away the white foam. Cover and cook (medium heat) until beans are soft. Depending on quantity that takes me 40 min to 1 hour. Drain.
Rem : You can cook them in a steam-cooker if you have a functional one, it’s faster. You can use a crock-pot, but boiling the beans about 10 minutes is necessary to eliminate toxic substance, so if your crock-pot cannot boil, start in a pot and transfer after taking away the foam.

Paste in a mortar (or with a fork).

This is tsubuan (chunky bean paste). In Kansai, this is the favorite texture.

Make it finer this way :

This is koshian (fine bean paste), it’s the prefered “anko” in Kanto area. Well, both types are available everywhere in Japan.

Sweetening (easy way) :

Add syrup to either tsubuan or koshian. I use already prepared kuro mitsu, black sugar syrup. You can make a syrup with sugar and water. Make it at your taste. You can freeze the paste.

Rem : In some recipes, you add lots of sugar (same weight as beans) and simmer it with the beans before pasting. You obtain a “azuki jam”. You can buy it already made. It can be stored without freezing. The inconvenient is it’s much sweeter.

Koshian (fine paste), prepared as mizu-yokan. This time, the color is more chocolaty, that depends on the beans. I have had redder ones, but these brown ones are particularly taste.

Mizu-yokan and nashi

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.