Hooked on Taiyaki: The Ultimate Recipe and Pro Tips for Making Perfect Japanese Fish-Shaped Pastries

by Carter Toni

Taiyaki, a traditional Japanese dessert that has captured the hearts of many. This fish-shaped pastry is filled with sweet azuki bean paste or custard and has a crispy exterior. The name “taiyaki” literally means “baked sea bream,” which refers to the fish shape of the pastry. Taiyaki has a long history in Japan, dating back to the early 20th century.

It is a popular street food that can be found in many festivals and fairs, as well as in dedicated Taiyaki shops. This delicacy is enjoyed by people of all ages and is perfect as a dessert or a snack. The sweet filling and crispy exterior of Taiyaki make it a unique and delicious treat. In this article, we will be discussing the recipe of Taiyaki, which includes extremely detailed steps that will guide you through the process of making perfect Taiyaki. We will also be including five tips for success and ideas for garnishing Taiyaki to make it even more delicious. So, let’s get started and learn how to make this mouthwatering Japanese treat.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup azuki bean paste or custard
  • Oil for brushing
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. This will ensure that the ingredients are well mixed and aerated, which will give the taiyaki a light and fluffy texture. Sifting the ingredients together also helps to remove any lumps and makes it easier to combine the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the warm water, eggs and sugar together and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. This mixture will act as the liquid base for the dough. The water should be warm, not hot, as hot water can cook the eggs and make the dough too tough.
  3. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes. The kneading process will help to develop the gluten in the dough, which will make the taiyaki light and fluffy.
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This resting period will allow the gluten to relax and will make the dough easier to work with.
  5. Preheat the taiyaki pan over medium heat. The pan should be hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when it’s dripped on it.
  6. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut out fish shapes using a fish-shaped cutter or by hand.
  7. Place a small amount of azuki bean paste or custard filling in the center of each fish shape, making sure not to overfill the dough. Gently fold the dough in half, sealing the edges to form the fish shape.
  8. Brush the taiyaki pan with oil to prevent the dough from sticking. Carefully place the fish-shaped dough onto the pan, being sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  9. Cook the taiyaki for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Keep an eye on the taiyaki as they cook to make sure they don’t burn. The taiyaki should have a nice golden brown color when they are done.
  10. Once the taiyaki are cooked, carefully remove them from the pan with a spatula and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  11. Dust the taiyaki with powdered sugar before serving. You can also serve with additional toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or fresh fruit.
  12. Enjoy your homemade taiyaki while they are still warm for the best flavor and texture. Taiyaki can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two, but they are best consumed fresh.

Five tips for making the perfect Taiyaki:

  • Use a fish-shaped mold or cutter to shape the dough to ensure that the Taiyaki have the traditional fish shape.
  • Be careful not to overfill the dough with filling as this will cause the Taiyaki to burst open while cooking.
  • Cook the Taiyaki on medium heat to ensure that they cook evenly and don’t burn.
  • Use a brush or cooking spray to oil the pan before cooking to prevent the Taiyaki from sticking.
  • Let the Taiyaki cool slightly before removing them from the pan to prevent them from breaking apart.

How to garnish Taiyaki:

  • Powdered sugar: Taiyaki can be dusted with powdered sugar to add a touch of sweetness and a nice decorative touch.
  • Whipped cream: A dollop of whipped cream can be added on top of the Taiyaki for a creamy and sweet contrast to the crispy exterior.
  • Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or kiwi can be added to the Taiyaki for a pop of color and added sweetness.
  • Chocolate sauce: A drizzle of chocolate sauce can add a rich and decadent touch to the Taiyaki.
  • Ice cream: A scoop of ice cream can be added to Taiyaki for a creamy and cool contrast to the warm pastry.

With these tips and garnishing ideas, you can make perfect Taiyaki at home and enjoy the taste of Japan.

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