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Bento Recipes: Dorayaki


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'Dorayaki' means 'fried gongs.' Weird, huh?Dorayaki are basically little pancakes with red bean paste in middle. Doesn't sound that good, but it's actually a very tasty dessert, as the red bean paste is sweet. You can get the paste - anko, or adzuki - at Asian supermarkets in the canned food section. The pancake batter I use is an ancient and esoteric recipe called Aunt Jemima. (Sure, you can Google something more authentic up, but I like it sweet and simple.)

Mix some batter. Make it a tad on the thin side. Most pancake recipes tell you to use some oil in the pan, but that makes my pancakes turn out heavy and greasy. I like to cook them dry on a non-stick pan so they come out more cakelike and less caloric. Anyway, make small pancakes using a tablespoon of batter apiece. Turn when they get bubbly, then press them down to make them thinner. When they're browned on the bottom scoop 'em out onto a plate. Repeat as long as your batter holds out. Then open your can of red beans. If the beans aren't paste-y, just dump 'em into a plate and mash 'em a bit with the back of a fork. Then scoop some onto a pancake and cover with another pancake to make a pancake-and-bean-paste sammitch. When I pack them into a bento box I slice them and half and arrange them bookshelf-style.