Dorayaki どら焼き is a traditional wagashi (Japanese sweets) that is prominent in the land of the rising sun. It is one of the numerous Japanese delicacies that is finger-licking good. What's great about it is it's delicious, yet not overly sugary. The combination of the honey pancake and red bean paste is a mouth-watering treat no one can refuse.
Dorayaki is a combination of soft honey pancakes with delicious azuki bean paste as a filling. However, the Dorayaki pancakes are a little different from the usual ones. The batter of Dorayaki is made from honey and sometimes mirin, giving it that castella cake sponginess.
This snack is also known as Mikasa (in the Kyoto dialect), and it is particularly popular amongst the old and young in Japan. Another cool thing is that the texture of a dorayaki with fresh cream filling feels like ice cream. I bet you're wondering about the proper temperature to eat dorayaki. You're in luck because this snack can be enjoyed hot in all seasons and can be taken when it's cold too!
This confectionery is the ideal dessert when craving something sugary but not too sweet. Although it has an even balance between sweet and savory, the red bean paste has its delicate earthly flavor that contributes to the sweetness embedded in the snack.
When eaten, it is similar to pancakes with jam or whipped cream but much better because it is moist, springy, and soft, which makes every bite worth the effort put into its making.
Dorayaki has its origins in Japan, and it dates back to the early 1900s and many people believe that its shape was inspired by a gong (which means “dora” in Japanese). The long existence of the snack simply shows how sumptuous this traditional sweet is.
"Dora" in Japan means gong while "yaki" means cooked on dry heat, which literally means gong cooked on dry heat. Based on the similarities between the snack and the gong shape, it has been said to be the reason the snack was named Dorayaki.
Contrary to popular belief, it was not named after the anime character Doraemon, the names sound similar, but Doraemon really loves to eat Dorayaki.
To be precise, the hint of good fortune lies in the shape of the dorayaki skin rather than in the dorayaki skin itself.
The shape of the dorayaki, in which two pieces of dorayaki skin sandwich a single bean paste from both sides, can be imagined as encompassing the couple's love for each other, their family ties, and their relationship with their children, the couple's parents, etc.
Therefore, when the would-be groom greets the bride's house for the first time (and vice versa, of course!) It is believed that if the groom-to-be brings a dorayaki as a souvenir, the greeting will end amicably and lead to a happy home life.
In Japan, azuki beans have long been believed to ward off bad luck because of their shape and red color.
The fact that azuki was incorporated into both Shinto and Buddhist celebrations also led to the custom of eating azuki dishes on unusual and special occasions. Cooking sekihan (red rice) by mixing azuki with rice, zenzai (sweet red bean soup) during the New Year, and ohagi (rice cakes) during the Ohigan period are also associated with this custom.
Therefore, dorayaki filled with azuki is considered to be a confectionery of good luck.
Making Dorayaki is not very hard, but before that, let’s talk about the ingredients needed to make Dorayaki.
Most of these ingredients can be purchased in a local store.
You can switch up the ingredients for your filling while making dorayaki at home. If you have a sweet tooth and know your favorite flavors, use them to make your dorayaki just perfect.
Before you start preparing Dorayaki, remember to wash your hands.
Your sweet and mouth watering Dorayaki are ready to be devoured.
Dorayaki is traditional wagashi that can be eaten with your hands. It is delicious and can either be eaten as a picnic snack or taken to work or school as lunch. You can enjoy Dorayaki with a Matcha latte or Japanese green tea for a relaxing breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Remember to let the pancake batter rest in the fridge and also add water to the batter to make it smooth.
Use an ice cream scoop to ensure that each pancake is the same size.
Dorayaki can still stay fresh for up to two days if kept in an airtight container. However, if you have the intention of making them in bulk so you can store them longer and enjoy it as dessert every day, fear not, because Japanese sweets can be stored frozen. Wrap each Dorayaki with cling wrap and put them in a ziplock bag. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Q: Is Dorayaki healthy? Is it good for you?
A: Dorayaki is a treat you can indulge in once in a while just for dessert.
Q: Is Dorayaki Gluten-Free?
A: No, since this recipe uses flour. However, it is possible to use gluten-free flour as a substitute.
Q: Is Dorayaki Vegan?
A: No, Dorayaki batter contains eggs, therefore it is not vegan. However, you can make a vegan version by substituting eggs for oil.
Now that you know all about dorayaki, you can check out our ZenPop monthly snack pack to get that taste of Japan.
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem, and edited by us.