For Celia Lee, pastry chef at MICHELIN Plate Mifune in Midtown East, Manhattan, Japanese sweet dorayaki is deeply nostalgic. "I love [dorayaki] because my whole family would get together to watch TV with a cup of tea and a dorayaki ever since I was little. Every bite brings me back home and is a trip down memory lane."
Dorayaki, a honey pancake sandwich with sweet red bean filling, is one of the most popular wagashi (traditional Japanese confections). The pancakes are made of kasutera (castella), a Japanese sponge cake. Lee says, "These little delights have a delicious subtle flavor palette without an overbearing sweetness, which makes it hard to eat only one." Here's how Lee makes dorayaki at Mifune.
Makes 6 dorayaki. A baking scale is useful for this recipe; if you don't have one, convert the gram measurements to cups.
- 4 large eggs
- 135g Sugar
- 55g Honey
- 163g AP Flour
- 5g Baking Powder
- 5g Canola Oil
- 1tbsp water
- 500g red bean paste (you can find a small can of this in any Japanese supermarket and in many Chinese and Korean supermarkets)
- Scale out all your ingredients. Baking powder and AP flour can be sifted together.
- Mix your eggs, sugar, and honey until it gets light and fluffy. You can use a mixer or a whisk.
- Add in your dries and oil. Keep in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, the batter should be slightly smoother. Stir in 1tbsp of water.
- Heat a non-stick fry pan over low heat. The key to an evenly golden brown dorayaki surface is to coat the bottom of the pan with oil and then remove the oil completely. Use a ladle, cup, or piping bag to pour the batter into pancakes (about 3" or 8cm across). When you see the surface of the start to bubble, flip.
- One side takes about 2 minutes to color and then the other side needs about 20-30 seconds.
- Transfer the dorayaki to a plate and cover with a damp paper towel to prevent from drying out.
- Spread red bean paste onto one pancake and sandwich it with another. Red bean is traditional, but Lee says you can make use filling you want—custard cream, jam, whipped cream, or even Nutella. MICHELIN Guide's own photo editor's favorite is matcha custard.
Hero image: Chef Celia Lee holding dorayaki. Photo courtesy Mifune