Taiyaki is one of the foods most associated with Japanese street food. It's an extremely popular and classic dish. It can only be described as a fish-shaped sweet pancake, which is stuffed with either red bean paste, or nutella. Children love them, but adults really love them too!
Taiyaki is made with a traditional press-mould which turns the pancake batter into a fish shape, but it's difficult to obtain these traditional implements in the UK. An alternative is a waffle iron, or you can even fry the batter like a pancake and cut it into a fish shape when cooked.
Apparently Taiyaki used to be cooked in a regular circle shape and served at festivals, but a trend eventually started to cook Taiyaki in the shape of a sea bream; an expensive fish only eaten by the wealthy or on special occasions. Hence the sea bream pancakes look a little more expensive and special for festivals!
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar to keep the mixture light and airy.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg until it has a smooth consistency, then whisk in the milk.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and whisk well until there are no lumps. Place the mixture in the fridge for around an hour.
Prepare your Taiyaki mould or pan by basting it with the vegetable oil. This will stop the mixture sticking, but just add a very thin layer with a brush.
Pour a portion of the mixture into our mould or pan, when bubbles start to appear in the mixture, quickly add a line of your red bean paste or nutella from top to bottom, then top with extra batter. Flip immediately
Cook each side for two minutes. Serve hot for a gooey filling!