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Recipe: Tim Anderson’s Dorayaki Sweet Azuki Bean Pancake Sandwiches

We’ve all seen these pancakes whirring round and round the sushi conveyor belt at our favourite restaurants but thoughts didn’t go further than grabbing and stuffing them in our faces then and there. The idea of making them at home never really once crossed our minds. Mainly because how can you do them justice?

Well this recipe is how.

Tim says: “Most Japanese homes and even restaurant kitchens don’t have ovens – but that doesn’t mean they can’t have cake (and eat it, too). Home cooks in Japan have come up with clever ways of making cake in microwaves or rice cookers, but even without those methods they can still turn to this classic recipe for a sort-of-cake fix. And they’re much easier and faster to cook than an actual cake.”

You don’t need to just take his word for it, try it yourselves…

JapanEasy by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £20) Photography © Laura Edwards.

Dorayaki Sweet Azuki Bean Pancake Sandwiches Recipe:

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Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photography and she'll always be listening.



300 g (10½ oz) sweet red bean paste, or 200 g (7 oz/generous1 cup) cooked azuki beans (tinned is fine)
80–100 g (3–3½ oz/ –½ cup) golden caster (superfine) sugar, to taste 2 eggs
100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) golden caster (superfine) sugar
2½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon oil, plus extra for frying
½ teaspoon baking powder
150 g (5 oz/generous 1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
3½ tablespoons full-fat (whole) milk
½ teaspoon soy sauce (optional)

Image by Laura Edwards.


If you’re making your own red bean paste, drain the beans well and combine with the sugar and a splash of water in a saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the water evaporates completely and the beans become very soft. Mash this mixture with a fork for chunky red bean paste, or blend in a food processor for smooth red bean paste (then pass through a sieve for super-smooth red bean paste). Leave to cool before using.


Beat together the eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes light and smooth. Add the honey and oil and mix well. Combine the baking powder and flour in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly to incorporate and break up lumps. Add the milk and the soy sauce, if using, and stir to combine.


Set a non-stick frying pan (skillet) or griddle over a medium-low heat (err on the side of low, because the honey and sugar in the batter have a tendency to burn) and add a little oil. Wipe the oil around the pan with kitchen paper – you just want a thin film of oil, not a pool. Use a small spoon or ladle to pour the batter into the pan to make small pancakes (ration the batter using a measuring jug if you are worried about running out), then cover the pan with a lid. Cook on one side until bubbles appear on the surface, then turn the pancakes over.


Repeat until you have used all your batter to make 12 pancakes, then remove from the pan and leave to cool. Once the pancakes are cool, spread a little red bean paste onto half of the pancakes, and top with another pancake. Enjoy with tea.


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