Saturday, May 22, 2010

White Taiyaki (白い鯛焼き)

Taiyaki, fish-shaped pancake made of flour and traditionally filled with sweet bean paste, gained in popularity with the 1976 children's song "Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun" (Swim! Taiyaki). Nowadays they are popular at festivals, on the street and even at train stations with filling variations ranging from custard cream to cheese & sausage. Conventional taiyaki is made by pouring waffle batter into a fish-shaped mold for each side and browning the outer part as it cooks. This newer version remains white even though it is grilled the same way. The secret of the color lies in a new batter ingredient: tapioca flour, the same used to make pearl tapioca, the small whitish-transparent starch balls typically served with coconut milk as dessert. White taiyaki is chewy and differs from conventional taiyaki it taste and texture - and in many ways resembles warm mochi.

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