What is Taiyaki? The most popular Japanese traditional sweets

What is Taiyaki? The most popular Japanese traditional sweets

Taiyaki, is named as the No.1 popular Japanese traditional sweets among many other types and tastes of other traditional sweets in Japan. What an honor to you, Taiyaki! (* ̄∇ ̄)/゚・:*

Related post: top 10 popular japanese sweets (wagashi) that japanese like the most!

Let’s learn more about Taiyaki together!


What is Taiyaki?

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped pancake that has Anko (red bean paste) filling inside. Its fish-shape expresses sea bream, and in Japanese called “Tai” (鯛). The outer layer pancakes are usually thin and crispy, and they nicely match with the Anko filling inside.

Related post: what is japanese red bean paste, anko? types and how to eat at home


A post shared by y.hisanari (@yasuhiro.hisanari) on


The history of Taiyaki

It all started in 1909 when a Japanese confectionery store was having trouble selling their “Imagawayaki” cakes, a traditional Japanese confection filled with sweet red bean paste, and so they started experimenting with the shape. The shape of a turtle also did not sell, but when they tried the shape a “Tai” fish (sea bream), the confections started flying off the shelves.

As to why they chose the shape of the Tai fish, it is said that because the Tai fish is considered to be a lucky charm, and that because the fish itself was a luxury food that common people could not afford. They wanted to use the Tai fish as their confection model.


Where to buy Taiyaki?

You can buy Taiyaki at food vendor stalls set up at tourist sites or at many Japanese confectionery stores in Japan. I recommend to try Taiyaki at a food stall on the street, so you can enjoy the flavor of freshly baked Taiyaki while it is still piping hot!


A post shared by shiina_land (@acorn_architect) on


How to make Taiyaki at home?

An easy way to make Taiyaki at home is using pancake mix. To make the Taiyaki shape, you need a Taiyaki maker which is sold on Amazon. (affiliate link below)



You need:  *this makes 12 small Taiyaki
– 200g of pancake mix
– 180cc of milk
– One whole egg
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– 300g of Anko (red bean paste)

First, mix all ingredients except Anko in a bowl and make a batter (thin dough). Next, put generous amount of batter into a hot Taiyaki maker. Next, put some Anko on the batter. If you love Anko, go ahead and put some extra! Once the pancakes become golden brown and crispy, Taiyaki is done! The freshly made Taiyaki is the best.


A post shared by This.Celine (@this.celine) on


Unusual fillings of Taiyaki

The most common and traditional filling is “Tsubu-an,” whole red beans boiled with sugar, but there are fillings other than sweet red bean paste such as cream or chocolate that are popular with children and people who do not care for sweet red bean paste. There are also unsweetened, meal like fillings such as ham and cheese or even “Okonomiyaki,” a Japanese pan-fried dish with batter, cabbage, and egg.



It is still being debated amongst Taiyaki fans whether it is best to start eating the Taiyaki from the head or from the tail. Generally speaking, if you start from the head, you will enjoy more red bean paste in the beginning, whereas starting from the tail results in a crispier culinary experience.

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.