When people ask me what my favourite Japanese food is, taiyaki is my stock answer and has been for as long as I remember.
It’s a fish-shaped pancake that has filling inside (typically red bean, as you might guess) and there’re lots of taiyaki shops all over Japan! Back in Singapore there were only ever a handful, so maybe that’s why I put them on such a high pedestal haha.
But they’re really that deliciousThey’re crispy outside and soft inside and the best ones are stuffed with filling from head to tail and served hot off the grill. I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of taiyaki since I came to Japan. Also because there’re so many different kinds!
Like the croissant taiyaki, which is a bit of a recent trend. Kind of like the Japanese version of the cronut. It’s still soft but has a flaky texture outside, and decked out with sugar crystals. Basically it’s a fancy version of the old school taiyaki.
Which is nice tooTaiyaki is fun because even they mostly taste the same and all look like fish, every shop can still make it a little differently.
Some of them just give it to you in a whole chunk like this without shaving off the batter around it. I guess you get more out of that way, plus the plain pancake part alone already tastes goodAlso somehow I get a lot of satisfaction from biting off everything to get to the fish.
It’s not all just golden brown taiyaki, sometimes there’re white ones tooThey have a different, more chewy texture, so you can eat them chilled like a dessert. It’s kind of like mochi in the shape of a fish this time. I’ve seen pink strawberry ones somewhere around too!
It’s best when the taiyaki is freshly made and steaming warm, but sometimes convenience stores have them too if you need a quick fixBut I’d still recommend the hot ones from a taiyaki shop so go treat yourself.