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Make taiyaki with this recipe from Little Passports

Taiyaki: Make Traditional Japanese Street Snacks

Taiyaki is a fish-shaped snack filled with sweet red bean paste. This dessert originated in Japan and is extremely popular at Japanese street fairs and festivals. Taiyaki literally translates to “fried fish.” Tai means “sea bream,” and yaki means “fried, baked, or grilled.” The sea bream has historically been considered the king of all fish in Japan.

Before taiyaki came imagawayaki, a round cake filled with red bean paste. Though it is unclear who first began the trend, people began to make imagawayaki in the shape of a sea bream, and taiyaki was born! To this day, the sea bream is still an important symbol in Japanese culture. It’s customary to hang pictures of tai in the home and exchange tai-shaped pastries with family and friends for good luck. 

Taiyaki is traditionally filled with sweet red bean paste, but there are many variations today. Some other popular fillings include custard, Nutella, cheese, chocolate, and ice cream! Sound yummy? Well, let’s get to baking!

Make taiyaki with this recipe from Little Passports


Serving size: 5

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 10 Tbsp. red bean paste or other filling of choice 
  • Taiyaki maker (can substitute with waffle maker or pancake griddle)


Step one: Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add sugar and whisk to combine.

Step two: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, water, and milk.

Step three: Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

Step four: Turn the taiyaki maker (or other baking surface of choice) to medium-low heat. Grease the taiyaki maker with vegetable oil. 

Step five: Fill the taiyaki mold about 60 percent full.

Step six: Put two tablespoons of red bean paste (or other filling of choice) in the center of each mold and pour batter on top to cover it.

Make taiyaki with this recipe from Little Passports
Make taiyaki with this recipe from Little Passports

Step seven: Close the lid and cook for two minutes. Then flip and cook for two minutes on the other side, or until the taiyaki is golden brown. Remove and let them cool on a wire rack.

Optional: You can also make ice cream taiyaki! Cook the taiyaki without filling, and once it’s cooked and cooled, cut a slit in the top of the head. Scoop your favorite ice cream into the slit and you’re done!

Make taiyaki with this recipe from Little Passports

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