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Category: Course

Tropical Passionfruit Salad

Tropical Passionfruit Salad

I am traveling in Japan right now, visiting family. And you might not know this, but Japan has the best fruit in the world.  Fruit here is meticulously grown in small crops, and carefully selected for perfect sweetness and appearance. Some fruit, like  our prized read more

Sticky Char Siu Ribs

Sticky Char Siu Ribs

Imagine tender, juicy ribs coated in a glossy, sweet-savory glaze that clings to your fingers and begs to be licked clean. Sticky Char Siu Ribs are a tantalizing fusion of traditional Chinese barbecue flavors and succulent pork ribs. This dish takes inspiration from the beloved read more

Dorayaki

Dorayaki

In many Asian cultures, the highest compliment you can pay a dessert is to say that “it’s not too sweet”. Enter Dorayaki, a beloved Japanese confection that’s perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without overwhelming it. These delicious little pancake sandwiches are filled with a subtly sweet red bean paste called Anko that takes just minutes to make but can easily be found in Asian markets. This snack is a staple in Japanese households, it is make ahead and can be in the fridge whenever you’re craving a little something sweet. They are just the right size to pack in a lunch box, and are frequently enjoyed by Japanese school children. Dorayaki is perfect for dessert or even a grab and go breakfast, so let’s get into it.

ingredients for dorayaki

If you can make pancakes, you can make Dorayaki!  The batter is similar to that of traditional pancakes, with a few tweaks to achieve the perfect texture and sweeter flavor. So, if you’re comfortable with flipping pancakes on a griddle, you’re well on your way to mastering this yummy treat. And with pantry staples like flour, baking soda, honey, eggs and milk this is a confection you can whip up at any time.

I have always used a scale to weigh flour and if you’ve never used one, I highly encourage it. It will be life changing. The depressing saying- the scale never lies, well here it will vastly improve your baking life. Scales offer a more precise measurement which will ensure good consistent results if, like me, you are more of an occasional baker.

weighing flour for dorayaki

mixing the wet ingredients

whisking batter

Now it’s time to cook the pancakes. I wipe just the barest slick of oil across my pan. We don’t want the pancakes to fry, but we want them to release easily.

prepping nonstick skillet

I use a 2 tablespoons measure to portion out the batter so that the pancakes are uniform in size. These pancakes turn a deep golden brown due to the honey and sugar. If the pancakes start to get very dark before they have cooked through, turn the heat down a bit.

cooking dorayaki pancake in skillet

 

bubbles on dorayaki pancake

transferring cooked pancakes to a plate

Once the pancakes are all cooked and have had a chance to cool enough that they can be handled, it’s time to stuff the dorayaki.  The traditional filling is a sweet red bean paste. Some like theirs smooth but I like mine a little chunky. It’s so quick and easy to make homemade but it’s also widely available either online or at an Asian grocer; look for the aisle with the canned fruit.

adding the red bean paste

sealing dorayaki together with plastic wrap

Repeat with the remaining pancakes and filling. The plastic wrap will keep the Dorayaki moist until ready to serve.

wrapped finished dorayaki on serving platter

And there you have it; the perfect, portable, not too sweet snack. Kept wrapped and in the fridge, the dorayaki will last several days. I can’t wait for you try it and tell me what you think and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe card dorayaki

Dorayaki

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 7 cakes 1x
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 large eggs 
  • ⅔ cup sugar 
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (6 ounces) 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 cups Anko (sweet red bean paste)

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  2. In another larger bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, honey, and milk. Whisk well until smooth.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into the egg mixture, and whisk until the batter becomes smooth. The batter should look like pancake batter. Add another Tablespoon or two of milk if your batter is too thick.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a small amount of oil and then wipe the oil completely with a dry paper towel. 
  5. Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the pan, like a pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes, covering with a lid for the last 30 seconds, until the surface of the pancake has a lot of bubbles and the edges become dry. Flip over and cook for 1 minute more uncovered. 
  6. Transfer to a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.
  7. Continue making the pancakes until all of your batter is used. (You can re-use the oily paper towel to wipe the pan between pancakes if the pancakes start to stick). Turn the heat down a notch if you see your pancakes getting too dark. You will yield about 14 pieces.
  8. Take one cake and place 2 heaping Tablespoons of Anko in the middle. Spread it out a bit, leaving a bigger lump in the middle. Cover with another cake. You should have a hump in the middle.
  9. Top with another pancake, creating a sandwich and press the edges together. Wrap the dorayaki with plastic wrap and press with your hands, pinching to seal the edges of the pancakes together.
  10. Keep the pancakes wrapped until ready to serve to keep them moist. Serve immediately. You can keep extras in the fridge. Let them warm up a little before serving for the best flavor.

Notes

  • Substitute an equal amount of gluten-free flour to make GF dorayaki
  • Substitute maple syrup and plant milk alternative for vegans
  • Leftover dorayaki can be refrigerated for several days. Microwave on low heat for a minute or two if desired to take the chill off. You can also freeze dorayaki. Microwave on low power for several minutes become consuming.
  • Canned red bean paste can be purchased at Asian markets. Look for it where canned fruits are displayed. 
  • Substitutions for the red bean paste that will produce similar results include white bean paste or kuri kinton- sweetened chestnuts in a white bean paste.

Keywords: dorayaki, Japanese sweets, asian desserts, red bean paste, anko

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

In my recent travels through Seoul, I rekindled my love with all the little side dishes, known as banchan, that accompany a meal. These sides often end up stealing the show from the main dish. Kimchi, spicy beansprouts, steamed eggplant, cucumber salad…the variety is dizzying. read more

Rosé Rabokki

Rosé Rabokki

If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine like I am, you’re probably familiar with tteokbokki, the hugely popular street food featuring chewy rice cakes in a spicy, savory sauce. But have you ever tried rosé tteokbokki? This delightful twist combines the classic flavors of tteokbokki read more

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi is a traditional dessert enjoyed in Japan, especially during the summer months. Usually served chilled, it has a fun jelly-like texture. Chewy and “bouncy” textures are really popular in many Asian countries, celebrated for their unique and satisfying mouthfeel. From Taiwan’s boba drinks to Korea’s tteok (rice cakes) and all the different ways mochi is used in Japan, these textures add a playful and enjoyable element to a wide variety of traditional sweets and snacks. True Warabi Mochi is made using bracken (a type of fern) starch, which can be hard to find in the states, so I use the more widely available warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch).

I keep the traditional toppings of Kuromitso, a black sugar syrup, and kinako, a Japanese roasted soybean flour. Like most Asian desserts this isn’t cloyingly sweet. Instead it has the perfect drizzle of  sweetness from the syrup with a toasty goodness from the nutty roasted soybeans. It’s about to be your new favorite summer dessert. This is such an easy and pleasing confection, so let’s get into it.

the ingredients

Make the Kurimitso

I start by making the syrup so it has time to cool. It can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for whenever the mood for a little something sweet strikes. Japanese black sugar, known as kurozato, is a traditional unrefined cane sugar with a rich, molasses-like flavor and dark color. Unlike regular white sugar, black sugar retains more of the natural minerals and nutrients found in sugarcane, such as potassium, iron, and calcium. It often comes in solid blocks or granulated form, with a crumbly texture that can be easily grated or dissolved. It can be found at most large Asian stores or online and is worth seeking out for its unique taste. Dark brown sugar or muscovado can be used instead, but they are sweeter so I would omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

the sugars and water in a saucepan

simmering until liquid is syrupy

Cool the syrup to room temperature and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Making the Warabi Mochi

kinako for warabi mochi

whisking warabi mochi flour and water together

stirring the warabi mochi mixture on the stove

Making Warabi Mochi is identical to making a “pudding” in the pot and then pouring it out to let it set. And like any pudding, it comes together very quickly once the liquid starts to gel. Make sure you are constantly mixing/stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon as the warabi mochi cooks, so you can ensure a smooth consistency. Once the mixture starts to thicken and gel up, the color will change from snow white to translucent.

Then it’s ready to pour out onto the kinako lined baking pan.

pouring and shaping the mochi

Put it in the fridge to chill to at least room temperature, it will be easier to cut.

cutting mochi into cubes

Now it’s time to serve! Drizzle the kuromitsu sauce on top and serve with some extra kinako on the side.

pouring the syrup on top

I’m excited for you try this popular Japanese sweet, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And to see your pics, don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen.

Love Asian inspired treats? Check out our Almond Jello, Halo Halo, or this Mango Sago.

 

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picture of the warabi mochi dessert

Warabi Mochi

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ cup (82 gram package) warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch)*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup water

Kuromitsu (Black sugar syrup):

  • 4 ounces black sugar*
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

Topping:

  • ½ cup kinako* for the pan plus a little more for topping

Instructions

Make the syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the black sugar, sugar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Lower the heat to medium low (so it’s at a gentle simmer) and simmer it for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced slightly and has a light syrupy consistency, like maple syrup.
  3. Cool the syrup to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The syrup will last for several weeks or even months if stored in the freezer.

Make the Warabi Mochi:

  1. Sprinkle a ¼ cup of kinako on a small baking tray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the warabi mochi flour, water, and sugar and mix well. 
  3. Put the pan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer while stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. Once you start to see the mixture gelling up in the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and keep stirring with a wooden/silicone spoon, mixing/beating the mixture constantly, for about 5-8 minutes. The color will transform from white to a translucent color and the mixture will be thick like a pudding.
  5. Pour/scrape the mixture out onto the prepared pan, trying to keep it in a thick rectangular slab, about 1 ½ inches thick.
  6. Sprinkle another ¼ cup of kinako across the top of the warabi mochi.
  7. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes until it is slightly cool. (I  just leave mine on the kitchen counter until it’s room temperature because I’m weird and like it a little warm.)
  8. Cut the warabi mochi into small cubes and divide it into small serving dishes, making sure to get the kinako in the pan. Serve with the syrup and extra kinako on the side.
  9. You can make the wasabi mochi ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge for several hours.

Notes

*If you cannot find Japanese black sugar, feel free to substitute muscovado or dark brown sugar. However, these sugars are less bitter than Japanese black sugar so you can omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

*When I’m feeling lazy, I just mix confectioner’s sugar into the kinako and don’t bother with making syrup. Sift the confectioner’s sugar over the kinako and stir to combine. I use ¼ cup sugar (or more to taste) for every cup of kinako.

*Kinako is available in Japanese grocery stores. Koreans also use soybean flour; however, the flavor is milder and not as roasted. 

*Warabi mochi is best consumed the same day. If you refrigerate leftovers overnight, they will become hard. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on 50% power for a couple minutes to bring back the chewy bouncy texture. Add a little more kinako before serving and you’re good to go.

Keywords: sweets, dessert, mochi, japanese, treats, warabi