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Jul 21, 2010

The Asia Trip: Japan - Taiyaki

Taiyaki (literally meaning "baked sea bream") is a Japanese dessert baked in the shape of a fish with various fillings inside, usually sweet red bean paste. The fish-shaped cake is made of a waffle- or pancake-like batter and cooked somewhat in waffle fashion pressed between two metal molds.

It's commonly served fresh off the mold and, like crepe stands and great BBQ joints, you can smell from quite aways. I came across this Taiyaki stand while walking the busy walkways of downtown Yokohama.
I wasn't feeling so good; from eating too much MSG-laced ramen I suspected. But the taiyaki beckoned to me and I was hooked. Each fish was 140 to 150 yen, or a little less than $2 by my guess.
I couldn't read what the fillings were but I saw red beans and yellow beans I think... I got one with red bean.
Like a waffle, the outside is nice and crisp freshly cooked, but can get soggy if it sits for a while.
I don't know why my taiyaki decided to poo a little. Appetizing shot, I know.
It was good but not great, the ratio and taste wasn't quite like I prefer. Of course I was feeling a bit queasy from the ramen overeating, so I might be misremembering.

The best taiyaki I've had was actually in San Francisco's Japan Town and I just remembered that I forgot to go there the last time I was visiting. Boo... Little Tokyo in Los Angeles also has something similar but shaped more mundanely like a small but thick pancake and not as good.


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3 comments :

  1. Haha, the poop shot is funny. I remember eating these delicious "fish" when I was in Asia.

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  2. Haha, you're probably right. It's been a while since my Asia Trip.

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  3. I'm pretty sure the purple filling one is yam and not red bean

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