We have many cooking toys in Japan.
Cookie maker, doughnut maker, maccaroon maker, sushi roll maker, you name it, there isn’t anything you cannot make with cooking toys. And they work just fine.
Cooking toys started appearing in mid 70’s. I remember the cookie maker my cousin got for her birthday. Not only cookie cutters and a rolling pin, it actually came with a tiny electric oven. I thought it was amazing that you can make edible cookies with your toy.
Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped sweet pancake. The most common filling is sweetened red bean paste that is made from adzuki beans. Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato. It is one of our favorite street food.
Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold for each side. The filling is then put on one side and the mold is closed. It is then cooked on both sides until golden brown.
With this toy Taiyaki maker, the batter is steamed rather than baked since it goes into a microwave.
The mold looks like this.
Pour the batter, place the lids and cook in a microwave for 2-3 mins.
And put both sides together to close the fish.
I made some with plain pancake batter, cocoa batter and green tea batter. For fillings, I used chocolate paste, sweet red bean paste and sweet potato paste.
I usually toast them to make them crispy on outside.
My boys are too old to enjoy the making process now, but they still love eating process.
Now I am a grown-up and allowed to cook or bake however I like, but I still like these cooking toys. They remind me how cooking can be fun.