Oyoge Taiyaki-kun! Taiyaki, the Popular Japanese Snack

by ebazaar 10 September 2009 No Comment

taiyaki-varietyIt’s time for another one of the many popular Japanese Snacks! – Taiyaki or literally means ‘baked sea bream’. It is not a wonder why it presents an image of a bream, which is a type of a freshwater fish of the carp family. The Japanese, since the ancient time have been intrigued by fishes of the carp family. And this particular snack, which is no doubt delicious in its own way, is an old traditional Japanese snack that was once very popular and ubiquitous in every town. Each taiyaki is filled with “anko” (sweet bean paste) from the body to its tail.

Nowadays, you can find taiyaki in the same fish shape but with different colors and fillings too, like custard, chocolate and even cheese. This traditional snack has obviously gone with the modern flow but I personally still prefer the traditional ones. Saying goes that there are even savory taiyaki with okonomiyaki, gyoza and sausages filling inside but I just couldn’t imagine how’s that going to taste like…

Making a taiyaki isn’t that hard, if you happens to have the fish-shaped mold. But what is important is how good does the sweet azuki bean paste inside it taste like. As for the taiyaki pound cake, it is almost as the common mix to make a regular pancake or waffle batter. Though some taiyaki are made using glutinous flour which turn into fish shaped mochi.

taiyaki sweet azuki bean paste

Taiyaki sweet azuki bean paste

Taiyaki is well-known, especially in Asian countries, for example in Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and even Indonesia. Nowadays, it was pretty much being introduced to people around the world indirectly through media mass and mediums like manga (comics), anime (animation), games, dramas and movies. You can find it on sale in most overseas Japanese department stores in the food section as well.

While in Japan, it is on sale almost everyday in bakeries (usually in small outlet shops downtown all throughout Japan), food courts, supermarkets and there are even shops especially for selling taiyaki like Nippon Ichi Taiyaki Shop. The site’s in Japanese, so if you want to know certain info like where’s the shop located, you can leave a comment and I’ll try to translate some for you. Taiyaki is also a famous must try during festivals and it’s best eaten while it’s still hot! The price for a piece of taiyaki is usually around ¥120 to ¥250, depending on the ingredients, and it’ll be much cheaper if you buy in lots like 10 for ¥1200 or so, depending on the current promotion. But some big department stores like Isetan in central Tokyo may have been charging this delicious snack at an incredulously high price higher than the usual range. Check out The Taiyaki Shop too. It has english translation so it should be fine, and this shop has few outlets across seas.

The very first Taiyaki was baked by a sweet shop in Naniwaya in Azabu, Tokyo in 1909. The title of this post -Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun (meaning “Swim! Taiyaki“) is actually the name of a song sung by Masato Shimon, a Japanese singer, which had taiyaki as the theme of this particular 1975–76 Japanese hit single. It was a song meant for children but unexpected became a hit single during that time.




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