Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni


Kakuni (角煮) is a Japanese braised pork dish which literally means “square simmered”.

Kakuni is a meibutsu (名物/famous regional product) of Nagasaki.
Actually this is not a strictly traditional Japanese dish as its most likely Chinese, similar to Dongpo’s pork, though not as heavy in sauce.

Kakuni as served in some restaurants cut and cold

During the Ming Dynasty and Song Dynasty, the main Sino-Japanese trading route existed between Hangzhou and Kyūshū. Many Chinese lived in major Kyūshū port cities, such as Nagasaki and Japanese in Hangzhou. Therefore pork, was popularized in major Kyūshū cities.
These days kakuni is popular all over Japan with very many varieties depending on the region, climate and prevailing tastes.


Okinawa, probably the region in Japan consuming the largest quantity of pork in Japan has its own recipe called “Rafti”!

Kakuni is made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake. By cooking it for a long time over a low temperature the collagen breaks-down into gelatin keeping the meat moist while becoming extremely tender allowing it to be consumed with chopsticks easily. The dish is often served with scallions, daikon and karashi.

Will publish a recipe soon!



For the record, as it is the origin of Kakuni, Dongpo’s pork is a famous Hangzhou dish which is made by pan-frying and then red cooking pork belly. The pork is cut to around 2 inches square in dimensions, consisting of half fat and half lean meat. The mouth feel is oily but not greasy, with the fragrance of wine.

Legend has it that while Su Dongpo was banished to Huangzhou, in a life of poverty, he made an improvement of the traditional process. He first braised the pork, added Chinese fermented wine and made red-braised pork, then slowly stewed it on a low heat. This dish was first launched in Huangzhou, then spread to Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, flourished, and then became one of Hangzhou’s most famous dishes.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cuisine: Chazuke


Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ) or o-chazuke (お茶漬け, from o + cha/tea + tsuke/submerge, marinate) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, olong tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly on its own or accompanied by all kinds of toppings.
It is very popular in izakaya at the end of the meal, or in homes in the evening making use of the rice steamed in the morning.
As Shizuoka is the largest grower of tea and wasabi in Japan, it is a very common way of eating and seasoning leftover rice here!

It is also known as cha-cha gohan.

Common toppings include tsukemono, umeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikake, sesame seeds, tarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi.

This dish first became popular in the Heian period, when water was most commonly poured over rice, but beginning in the Edo period, tea was often used instead.

In Kyoto, ochazuke is known as bubuzuke. When a Kyoto native asks if a guest wants to eat bubuzuke, it really means that the person has overstayed and is being politely asked to leave.

Since the 1970s packaged “instant ochazuke”, consisting of freeze-dried toppings and seasonings, have become popular.

Chazuke, for all its humble origins can become a fairly sophisticate dish of its own as shown by a few examples below:


In Shizuoka we pour hot green tea over a bowl of rice and broiled eel!


Over Tai/Seabream sashimi!


With salmon, especially in Hokkaido!


Even more sophisiticated with aburi maguro/seared tuna, and chopped fresh vegetables!


With tonkatsu for the big appetites!


With a grilled “musubi” for more rice!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cheese: Tokachi Millenium Forest


The Japanese have been steadily increasing their own cheese production for the last 10 years or so with some reamarkable results.
Moreover, these cheese have slowly but steadily become available over the whole country at specialised shops and department stores.


My last discovery concerns a whole range of goat cheeses created by Fran Fran Farm under the name of Tokachi Millenium Forest Company. The company was founded on September 21st 1996 with the idea of producing local products and promoting the environment.
The cheeses, if somewhat mild in taste, are definitely worth exploring!

Here is what I found about them:


This cheese is inspired by, if not the shape, French Saint-Maure, a fresh goat-cheese type covered with wood ash.
Firm, but easy, it is very mild. To be savoured on its own.


This particular cheese has the shape, colour and texture, and the taste of a French Valencay. Solid but soft on the tongue. Great on its own or with a salad.


This cheese is semi-hard type, very reminscent of the same produced in Italy.
Stronger taste, but very pleasant. Great on its own or cooked.


This cheese is reminiscent of a French Santranges before aging dries it up and leaves mold on its surface.
Firm in texture,but soft on the tongue in spite of a pronouced taste.
Would be greated toasted on a salad!


This cheese is the only one made from raw milk in that series.
Very much like a fresh Brousse from Corsica, France. Has already developped a strong taste of its own. If aged properly, coild become a very interesting cheese. To be eaten on its own with a Port!

All these are surprisingly “mature” in taste for Japanese cheese, which shows that cheese in Japan definitely has a future!

Fran Fran Farm
Hokkaido, Kamikawa Gun, Shimizu Cho, Hatainan, 10 sen
Tel.: (81)(0)156-63-3400

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cuisine: Yakitori-Tsukune

Modern tsukune at Japanese Izakaya

Yakitori is not only all parts of a chicken (or other bird, actually) on sticks or skewers.
One very popular yakitori is “Tsukune”!
Tsukune (つくね) could described as a japanese chicken meatball either on stick or completely separate.

Whereas usual yakitori requires fine products and sauce (and a cooking skills) only, tsukune calls for a real recipe.

Traditional tsukune serves with egg yolk and chopped leeks.

Traditional tsukune are presented as a single larger sausage-shaped “ball” grilled around a skewer and will be served with some sauce and an egg yolk (either chicken or quail). A good amount of chopped leeks is always welcome.


Home-made tsukune will be simpler and served as chicken meat balls with home-made or bought tare/sauce.


Modern tsukune seem come in many varieties all on the same plate. Actually the toppings are different but the meat balls are the same.


They certainly look appetizing!
Thay are fine, but as a purist I still prefer the traitional ones!

Next, I will publish a recipe!
You will find out there more ingredients included than in simple chicken balls!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cuisine: Yakitori-The Basics


Yakitori (焼き鳥 やきとり), or fried chicken, is a Japanese type of skewered chicken that is found everywhere in Japan and i many countries abroad.
They are served all year round and have the advantage not only to be tasty but very healthy as meat comes by.

It is made from several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, skewered on a bamboo skewer and barbecued, usually over charcoal.

Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it served with salt (and sometimes lemon juice) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked and is served with the tare sauce as a dip.

Ways of serving naturally vary with regions.


As served in Mururoran, Hokkaido.


As served in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku Island.

One can order for sets or individually.
In the later case, you would do weel to remember basic names:

hatsu (ハツ) or kokoro (こころ), chicken heart

rebā (レバー), liver

sunagimo (砂肝), or zuri (ずり) chicken gizzard

tsukune (つくね), chicken meatballs
Great served with an egg yolk and tare!

(tori)kawa ((とり)かわ) chicken skin, grilled until crispy

tebasaki (手羽先), chicken wing
The same can be ordered whole.

bonjiri (ぼんじり), chicken tail

shiro (シロ), chicken small intestines

ikada (筏) (lit. raft), Japanese scallion, with two skewers to prevent rotation. Also called negima (ネギ間)

Aoto (青と). Here the leek/scallion is rolled insde the chicken

Kashira (かしら) made from the tender par of the breast.

Seseri (せせり) similar to kashira

nankotsu, chicken cartilage
toriniku, Free Range “Chicken of the Earth” (all white meat on skewer)

Common kushiyaki (non-poultry) dishes:

atsuage tofu (厚揚げとうふ, deep-fried tofu)
enoki maki (エノキ巻き, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of pork)
pīman (ピーマン, green pepper)
asuparabēkon (アスパラベーコン, asparagus wrapped in bacon)

butabara (豚ばら, pork belly)

gyutan (牛タン), ox tongue, sliced thinly

Naturally if you take purely regional specialties in account, there are many more!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


French Cake by Bernard Heberle: Tarte aux Figues/Fig Tart


My good French friend, Bernard Heberle, a native from Alsace in France and plying his trade as a patissier in Hamamatsu City, has just sent me his last creation:

Tart aux Figues/Fig Tart!

In his own words:
“Voici une tarte de saison , la combinaison de figue et de framboise sur un fond de pâte sucrée a l’amande régulée par une douce crème pâtissière , un vrai mélange de saveur et de parfum avec une sensation croustillante et mielleuse a la fois.”

“Here is a seasonal tart. The fig and raspberry combination on an almond pâte sucrée is enhanced by a soft crème pâtissière/custard. A true mixture of savours and perfume with a crusty and honey sensation.”

Address: Hamamatsu Shi, Sumiyoshi, 2-14-27 (in front of Seirei Hospital)
Tel.: 053-4738400
Fax: 053-4738401
Opening hours: 10:00~20:00. Closed on Tuesdays.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Tonkatsu Recipes 2: Katsudon


Katsudon is the favorite dish of famous Japanese baseball players such as the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui. In hard-boiled Japanese films, it is a dish served to villains under police interrogation!

If you have grasped the recipe for tonkatsu and oyakodon, it is pretty easy to make.

Here is a variation very popular in Japanese homesteads:

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

Pork cuts: 4
Black pepper: to taste
Flour: 2~3 tablespoons
Egg: 1
Breadcrumbs/Panko: 1~2 cups
Frying oil

-Soup Stock:
Sugar: 1 tablespoon
Jaoanese sake: 50 ml
Sweet sake/Mirin: 50 ml
Soy sauce: 50 ml
Dashi (or soup stock): 100 ml

Onion: 1 large
Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
Steamed rice: enough for 4 servings
Eggs: 4~5
Trefoil or other leaf vegetables (including thin leeks,…): chopped, to taste
Dry seaweed/Nori: Finely cut, to taste



Make shallow cuts every 3~4 cm along the rim of the pork cuts (to prevent thme from bending or contracting). Sprinkle with black pepper, Roll in flour, then egg and last in breadcrumbs like in normal tonkatsu recipe.


Deep-fry at 170~180 degrees Celsius.
Fry until breadcrumbs have become solid. Only then you may manipulate the tonkarsu and turn it over inside the oil.
Once cooked, cut it in serving size slices when still hot.


Cut the onion in half first, then into about 5 mm thick slices. Fry in sesame oil until they become translucent.
During that time, pour sake and mirin in a small pan and bring to boil. Add sugar, soy sauce and dashi. Bring to boil.


Pour soup on onion and bring to boil.
Drop in allthe cut tonkatsu and cook for a couple of minutes.


Lower fire a little so that the soup does not boil. Pour the eggs well-beaten and add trefoil. Cover and cook on a medium fire for about a minute.
Eggs should be cooked on top but still half-cooked under. Make sure the eggs fill the spaces betwen the pork cuts.


Fill each bowl with steamed rice and cover each with tonkatsu and omelette. Pour the left over soup over the top. Add dry seaweed on top and serve!




Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


French Sweets: Salted Butter & Ginger Bread Caramels


Who does not like caramels?
Of course, there are many varieties depenfing on taste, texture and countries of origin.
My preferences lean towards the soft ones with a special taste.
These two caramels make use of ingredients from two different regions: Salted butter/Beurre sale from Bretagne/Brittany or Normandie/Normandie and Ginger bread/Pain d’epices from Bourgogne/Burgundy!

INGREDIENTS: ~35 caramels

-Salted butter caramels:
Fresh cream: 500g
Sugar: 375 g
Glucose syrup: 375 g
Salted butter: 200 g

-Ginger bread Caramels:
Fresh cream: 500
Good quality ginger bread: 100 g
Sugar: 375 g
Glucose syrup: 350 g
Fresh vanilla pod: 1
Salted butter: 100 g

Thick bottom pan (middle size)
30 cm square mold for caramels


-First prepare the salted butter caramels:

Line a mold with baking paper
In a thick bottom pan mix the glucose syrup and the sugar.Heat on a medium low fire to obtain a brown caramel.
Take off fire.
Add salted butter. Mix well. Add fresh cream. Mix well.
Put the pan back on the fire.
Whisking/stirring all the time, heat the mixture up to 180 degrees Celsius.
Cook for two more minutes and pour mixture inside mold.
Cut caramels with a saw-style knife before they have completely cooled down.
Wrap them separately/individually inside small thin jam cellophane paper.

-Secondly, prepare the ginger bread caramels:

Mix the fresh cram and the (crumbled) ginger bread in a bowl.
Cut the vanilla pod legthwise and take out the seeds.
In a thick bottom pan mix the sugar, glucose syrup, vanilla seeds and the ginger bread cream.
Stirring all the time heat the mixture uo to 180 degrees Celsius.
Add butter and mix.
Cook for two more minutes and pour mixture inside mold.
Cut caramels with a saw-style knife before they have completely cooled down.
Wrap them separately/individually inside small thin jam cellophane paper.

To obtain soft caramels do not overcook them.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Tonkatsu Recipes 1: Basic Recipe


Tonkatsu, if properly organized, is not difficult to cook or prepare.
Here is the first of a series of recipes you easily accomodate to your taste and preferences:

Tonkatsu Basic Recipe:

INGREDIENTS: For one person

-Pork cutlet: one large, 1~2 cm thick. Choose good quality with as little fat as possible, although some around the rim is welcome.
-Flour: 2 tablespoons
-Black pepper: to taste:
-Salt: to taste
-Nutmeg: a pinch (you may use other spices of course, including chili pepper!)
-Egg: 1 large
-Fresh breadcrumbs (if unavailable, use dry breadcrumbs or panko): half a cup
-Deep-fry oil (as fresh as possible!)
-Cabbage (as much as you want, finley shredded)
-Sesame powder/ground sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Tonkatsu sauce: 2 large tablespoons (easily found in markets. You can of course make your own with worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard and so on!)



-Make a shallow incision across the rim every 3~4 cm. It is an important step as it will prevent the meat from contracting or bending!


-In a bowl mix flour, pepper, salt and spices. One can add curry mix powder there, too!


-Cover both side of the pork cut with the flour mixture. Take care not to form lumps of flour.
Trick: Try to use only one hand to come in contact with the food, while the other hand stays dry and can manipulate utensils!


-In a different bowl beat the egg. Preferably do this ahead of everything.
Dip the floured pork cut into the beaten egg.


-Pour the breadcrumbs on a plate and spread it evenly. Thisis also better done before you start anything!
Lay the pork cut on the breadcrumbs and gently press. Cover the top side with breadcrumbs, too and pat gently to help the breadcrumbs adhere. Don’t be afraid of coating with a lot of breadcrumbs!


-Heta the oil to 170 degrees Celsius. Drop a little breadcrumb in the oil to check if it’s hot enough. It should start frying with bubbles right away. Drop the pork cut gently into the oil to avoid any accident.


-Turn the pork cut over for even frying as it will rise to the surface. Do it as gently as possible either with long wooden chopsticks of frying tongs.


-On a serving plate lay a bed of shredded cabbage decorated with a little parsley and a few lemon slices. Provide some strong mustard if wanted.
Take pork cut out of the oil and lay on a grill for a few seconds to take off excess oil. Transfer onto a working table and cut into strips.
Place it above or beside shredded cabbage in the right order so as to remind you of the original shape.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cakes-Wagashi 15: Daifuku


Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

The traditional daifuku, like all Wagashi are vegan in concept.

But Daifuku comes in many varieties.
The most common is white, pale green or pale pink colored mochi filled with anko.
These come in two sizes, one approximately the diameter of a half-dollar coin, the other palm-sized.
Some versions contain whole pieces of fruit, mixtures of fruit and anko or crushed melon paste.
Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Some are covered with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa.


Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (大腹餅) (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions


Yomogi daifuku (蓬大福)
A version made with kusa mochi (草餅), which is mochi flavored with mugwort.

Ichigo daifuku (イチゴ大福)
A variation containing strawberry and sweet filling, most commonly anko, inside a small round mochi. Creams are sometimes used for sweet filling. Because it contains strawberry, it is usually eaten during the spring time. It was invented in the 1980s. Many patisseries claim to have invented the confection, so its exact origin is vague.

Mame daifuku (豆大福)
Another variation made of mochi mixed with red peas or soy beans.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


French Restaurant: Tetsuya SUGIMOTO (the approach)


Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients extensively used. Seasonal ingredients only.

Tetsuya Sugimoto, former owner of Sugimoto Restaurant, has finally come back to us after venturing into unchartered waters to open his new restaurant, Tetsuya SUGIMOTO, in shizuoka City for the great pleasure of his many fans.
I personally consider him, and many friends agree, to be the best French in town and probably in the Prefecture.
As he has only just started again, the menu is still very much under study and is bound to vastly expand. I will only feature the dishes that I and a friend of mine tasted, as well as those that my other friend Marcus took during two quick meals.
A bigger one is coming next week, so stay tuned.

My Pictures:








Marcus’ pics:





420-0038 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Umeya, 2-13, 1F
Tel./Fax: 054-251-3051
open for lunch and dinner
Closed on Wednesdays

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Italian Restaurant: Contorno


Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients extensively used.

Contorno is the new Italian restaurant in fashion in Shizuoka. It was open in Spring this year by a former chef working for Hana Hana, another remarkable French/Italian restaurant in Shizuoka City.
The proximity of Contorno to the seashore and harbour of Mochimune means access to gereat and fresh seafood.
It makes an extensive usage of local vegetables, fish and meat whenever possible, and that only is a good enough reason to visit it!
Moreover it is open on Sundays and has its own car park.
Anyway the other day, a very hot Sunday, I decided to make a trial visit.


It certainly looked charming from the outside.
The welcome is warm if a bit shy.
As it was lunch, there was a choice of set menus and side dishes.


The Itlian smoked ham and other tidbits served as an appetizer with the first drink were surprisingly of very high quality!


My other half had this superlative cold pasta seafood salad while I was having roast guinea fowl (sorry, lost the pic!). Now all ingredients are of perfect freshness. As for the taste, the dishes were remarkable for their simplicity and great balance in perfect accordance with the season!


Italian restaurants, however good, are not always renown for their desserts. It was certainly a pleasnat surprise to discover Contorno’s creations:
Above, the Catalan Creme Brulee might not be Italian, but I know a lot of people would not complain and visit the restaurant for that single dessert!


Now, the Sicilian Dry fruit and nuts Sicilian ice cream was very Italian, and I can tell I was happy leaving my half eating (most of) the creme brulee!

I must the lace for dinner! Full stop!

421-0122 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Mochimune, 5-1-10, Sunrise Mochimune (5 minutes walk from Mochimune Station)
Tel.: 054-2565877
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:00~21:30
Closed on Wednesdays

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2009/20)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2009 #20

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The heat and langour that typify the “dog days” of August are waning; autumn is in the air. Therefore, we are in a rush to release a first-time Baird Beer end-of-summer seasonal brew: Dog Days Golden Ale.

*Dog Days Golden Ale (ABV 5.3%):

Zesty and effervescent, Dog Days Golden Ale is lightly hopped (20 BUs) with three American varieties: Galena, Perle and Vanguard. The light kiss of hop bitterness is just sufficient to balance the soft honey-biscuit flavor of the simple malt bill (Maris Otter, Carahell, Caramel Wheat). A sprite floral hop flavor and aroma (dry-hopping with Vanguard) remind the imbiber that the end of summer is near. Let’s enjoy what’s left of it!

Dog Days Golden Ale will be available on draught at our Taproom pubs beginning Wednesday, August 26 as well as at other Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants in Japan. 633 ml bottles can be purchased direct from the brewery as well as through the fine family of Sakaya which retail Baird Beer in Japan.

As craft brewers, we enjoy autumn every bit as much as we do summer. In anticipation, and celebration, of the onset of fall, we are releasing (rather, re-releasing) a unique style of dark lager that we have been conditioning since its original release in April 2008: Baird Pacific Porter.

*Baird Pacific Porter (ABV 6.6%):

This is the Baird Beer version of a Baltic Porter (a strong dark beer fermented with lager yeast that has enjoyed historical popularity in Baltic region countries). The color is deep copper-brown. The aroma is soft, round and fruity with a hint of chocolate. The body is chewy but not thick. Subtly sweet flavors of caramel and milk chocolate are highlighted magnificently by an underbelly of nut and pit fruit character. The overall impression is one of smoothness and balance.

Limited quantities of Pacific Porter (including 360 ml bottles) remain and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan

The Japan Blog List

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/58)


When I came back home last night the Missus’ first question (she alway starts conversations with questions, LOL):
-Wha did you have for lunch?
-Ekiben Bento!”
-You went all the way to the station to buy one?
-Which one did you buy?
-Shizuoka Monogatari!
She didn’t ask me if I enjoyed it, but she was certainly busy in the kitchen in the mirning, grumbling all the time. Well, if she grumbles, so much the better! (she more she grumbles, the better the food, didn’t I say before?)


She was still grumbling at her own “mistakes” when the bento finally came up. Taking pity of her, I assured her that her mistakes were delicious, that she should not worry…


The steamed rice was “maze gohan” style/mixed rice, including beans and sweet seaweed/hijiri carrots and thinly sliced aburaage/fried tofu sheets.


Now, the fried chicken stuffed goya and chicken balls with black sesame seeds were really good. She also made sure I had my favourite tamagoyaki to which she added okra, red pimento, brocoli and lettuce.


The salad/dessert included cress, mini-tomatoes, cheese cubes and grapes.

I’ll have to find another reason to make her grumble!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Japanese Cake: Taiyaki/”Baked Seabream”


There are may Japanese traditional cakes making their way abroad these days.
But have ever heard of “Taiyaki”?

Frst of all, do not confuse it “Takoyaki”!

Taiyaki (たい焼き, , literally “baked seabream”) is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans.
Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, or cheese. Some shops even sell taiyaki with okonomiyaki, gyoza filling, or a sausage inside.


Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold for each side. The filling is then put on one side and the mold is closed. It is then cooked on both sides until golden brown.


Taiyaki was first baked by a sweet shop Naniwaya in Azabu, Tokyo in 1909, and now can be found all over Japan, especially at food courts of supermarkets and Japanese festivals (祭, matsuri) and other Asian countries (for example Korea, but they call it buunga baang).

They are similar to imagawayaki (今川焼き?, which are thick round cakes also filled with sweet azuki bean paste or custard.

They come in different shapes according to the occasion or/and area:


In Fukushima Prefecture where the Aquamarine Fukushima is located they sell taiyaki made from a mold reminscent of the famed coelacanth!


In some areas they make a taiyaki in the shape of a carp floater to commemorate Boys Day on May 5th!


As for Shizuoka Prefecture, people in Ieyama along the Oigawa Railway make a taiyaki with matcha tea!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi