Hello! Did you know that Anpanman’s head is a bun filled with sweet red bean paste? Well as stupid as it sounds, I didn’t! Although it already says it in the name: An- (Anko) Pan- (bread) man. This sweet red bean paste is called Anko 餡子 and is used in many Japanese sweets. In the beginning I didn’t like its slightly floury texture too much but in time I learned to appreciate it. As it is still rainy and furthermore sunday, I decided to give it a try with Japanese sweets. My favourite Japanese dessert is Annindoufu 杏仁豆腐. In Japan we always ordered it after a Sushi meal but I’ve never found the right ingredients to imitate it and make it taste like the Annindoufu we ate in Japan. It always became too hard and yelly-like and its taste just wasn’t the same. Anyway, Dorayaki どら焼き is Doraemon’s ドラえもん favourite food and today I tried for the first time to make them! Dorayaki are pancake-like patties filled with Anko. The legend says that the first Dorayaki were made when a samurai named Benkei forgot his gong (dora) upon leaving a farmer’s home where he was hiding and the farmer then used the gong to fry his pancake, therefore the name Dorayaki.
If you want to read about the recipe and see more pictures, click below on “read more”
The Azuki アズキ beans are reddish and their size is about 5mm. They grow in East Asia and therefore findable in almost every Asia market (it doesn’t has to be Japanese).
Today I used two different fillings but both contain Anko. To prepare the sweet bean paste you ned 3 ingredients: Azuki beans, sugar and water.
1. Wash the beans, place them in a pot and add water, all the beans should be generously covered. Bring the water to a full boil and let beans simmer in the water for about 5 min. Strain off the water, put the beans back in the pot and add enough water again. Repeat this process two or even three times. The color will soon become more borwnish. Add water one last time and cook the beans on medium heat for about 30 min. until they get really soft. When the beans start showing up on the surface they are probably good. Let the water evaporate or strain it off.
2. Add the soft, strained beans back in the pot, add the amount of sugar you like and a pinch of salt. (I used cane sugar but you can even use honey!). Stir everything well together and depending on how homogeneous you want your paste smash the beans until the desired consistency is acchieved. The more you smash them the more homogeneous your texture will be in the end. I for example like to have some more or less entire beans in it but especially for Dorayaki a homogeneous and smooth texture is more convenient!
For the batter you need eggs, honey, sugar, flour, baking powder, Matcha if you like and water
1. Break two eggs into a bowl and stir gently. Add sugar and honey and blend well.
2. Dissolve baking powder in a little bit of water and pour it over the egg mixture and mix it up.
3. Put the flour through a sieve and mix everything until there are no more lumps of flour. The consistency of the batter shouldn’t be too luquid but neither to thick or it will spread out too much in the pen and become too large and thin (too liguid) or not spread at all (too thick). In that case add some more water or flour. If you want some Matcha flavoured Dorayaki pour some of the batter into an other bowl and add the desired amount of Matcha you like. Let the batter rest for about 30 min.
4. Put a spoonful of batter in a preheated and slightly oiled pan (there should be no visible oil drops so use a kitchen paper to spread and absorbe the excess oil). The batter will naturally form a perfect round shape. Turn the pancake when there are bubbles appearing on its surface. (like in the left picture above)
The other side needs (depending on the heat you use) only about 30 seconds. It doesn’t need to get as golden brown as the other site!
5. Put the finisehd pancakes on a plate and cover them with a plastic wrap or even better with a damp kitchen towel.
6. Take a pancake and spread a spooful of Anko in the middle of the light side. Take an other pancake and put them together. To give it the typical Dorayaki shape press around the edges and make the Anko stay in the middle. (As you can see I forgot about this last step, so mine look more like hamburgers..)
I finally arranged them on a nice plate and decorated the surface with Matcha but you can also use powdered sugar.
I hope you will try this recipe one day! It is really easy and you can also use other fillings for the Dorayaki, it doesn’t need to be Anko! If you search for “Anko” on youtube you will find a video with “cooking with dog”. They make different Japanese dishes and everything is clearly described! I used that recipe for my Dorayaki!