Legends often inspire food inventions, and the dorayaki is said to have been created when a famous samurai named Benkei forgot his gong at a farm where he had been hiding. The farmer then used the gong to make these small filled pancakes. “Dora” means gong which refers to the round shape of this pastry. If you are a fan of anime, you might recognize that dorayaki often is featured in the cartoons.
The batter is unlike that of American pancakes. It is a bit denser, with a pound cake-like consistency, while the Western pancake is soft and fluffy. The high sugar content gives the dorayaki a deep even brown color. But be careful not to burn them!
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
5 Tbsp. water*
prepared anko (sweet red bean paste)
Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. In another dish, whisk eggs with water and corn syrup. Blend this wet mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth. *If more is needed to achieve a smooth consistency, add more water one tablespoon at a time. Some eggs are larger and thus the batter will require less water.
Heat an iron griddle over a medium-high flame. Grease the griddle with some vegetable oil. Use only a light coating just enough to keep the dorayaki from sticking. When the griddle is hot, pour 1/8 cup to make a small pancake with a 4” diameter. When bubbles appear, flip over to cook the reverse side. Cover them with a kitchen towel as you finish making the rest of the batch.
When the dorayaki is cooked, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Spread some sweet red bean paste on one of the dorayaki pancake and top with another pancake. If you like, brush the tops with a mixture of honey-milk (2 Tbsp. honey blended with 3 Tbsp. evaporated milk) to keep the dorayaki moist. Cover with plastic wrap to store.
Although not traditional, dorayaki can be baked in the oven. Fill them after the pancakes are golden brown.
See BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Tsubushian and Koshian Recipes for the anko fillings.