Taiyaki – Fish shaped Japanese cakes

by Barry Lewis

Cook time
5 mins


435g ‘00’ plain flour

2tbsp cornflour

3tsp Baking powder

3tsp Bicarb of soda

100g Sugar

3 eggs

600ml Milk

To fill:

Nutella, custard or red bean paste

You’ll also need

A little vegetable oil for greasing the pan

One of you very kindly send me a Taiyaki pan! What is Taiyaki? Well, it’s probably best to Google it as there’s lots of information on it and varieties how it’s served including filled with red bean paste, sweet fillings like custard and even adapted to an ice cream cone. Although there are variations including smaller Goldfish style ones, this street food is based on a red sea bream which is considered a symbol of luck or good fortune in Japan. Pretty cool! You can get electric versions of this, but I enjoyed the challenge of trying a pan version!

I’ve found the pan or similar one here (Amazon affiliate link)

Or an electric one here

How to make Taiyaki fish cakes!

First up we’ll make our homemade cake flour – if you are in the US just use cake flour and omit the cornflour/cornstarch. Mix together the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, then pass it through a sieve into another bowl and stir through the sugar. Add in the milk and eggs and whisk together with a hand whisk until it is super smooth, pour into a large jug and chill in the fridge for an hour.

To make a taiyaki, get a taiyaki pan and lightly grease it with oil. I found it best to add a small amount of batter and part cook it for 30 seconds to set the base, remove from the heat, add the filling and top with more batter to seal in the filling and cook over the hob turning frequently for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t rush it as the insides will not cook in time and be raw. Turn out onto kitchen towel and repeat with the batter oiling the pan as you go, simple!

Mix it up with different flavour extracts and food colouring if you want to make them look more fun too like I did in the video with mint flavoured green fish! Enjoy, a super fun project that tastes amazing!