Sunday, June 13, 2010

Imagawayaki time! (光華紅豆餅)

Obanyaki

Hello hovering golden puck of joy (let us pretend my fat hand is not present in the picture)! That floating disk of golden sunshine is what is generally known as imagawayaki (or obanyaki depending on where you're from in Japan). What is essentially pancake batter is poured into an over-sized waffle pan of short cup shaped holes. The batter is then brushed along the edges until the it gets spread evenly throughout the cup. As the batter cooks, the baker deftly squeezes the desired filling into the centers of half the shells, then takes the other half and caps them over top of the filling. What results is the Asian equivalent to a jelly doughnut, known in Taiwan as the 紅豆餅 (red bean cakes).

Makin' Obanyaki

As described above, filling is plopped into the middles of these batter filled cups. For 10 NT per (that's like 30 cents folks), you have the choice of 紅豆 (red bean), 奶油 (cream), 花生 (peanut), 高麗菜 (cabbage), 菜圃 (Asian turnips) as a filling... I know, the thought of a a savory obanyaki is weird, but it works, I swear. The reason why I love this cart in particular, is because the owner goes ape shit when he fills said cups. I don't know if the picture does it justice, but the height the filling reaches is like 2x the actual thickness of the obanyaki. Think about how much compression that goes under when he caps it... THINK ABOUT IT!!!

Filling!

I'm have a personal preference for the cream filled ones, as they tend to be the most buttery, but the red bean is probably the classic, and the peanut has its charms as well. The cabbage and turnip ones are good if you're hungry, and don't feel like going sweet (which I think is moronic), but they're worth trying, since my tastes probably don't gel with most peoples'. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't like them at all *whistles*.

Anyway, if you're in the area of 光華 (Guang Hua), do yourself a favor and snake over to the old electronics market area, and find the cart that has the really long line (it always does). Also, if this post seems like something I've written about before, it's because I did. I feel like it deserves rehashing though, and plus... this particular cart merits specific mention.

9 comments:

LIN said...

nice depth of field pictures!

Nicholas said...

PURE LUCK!

thoughtfulplate said...

Red beans all the way for me! :)

Victoria said...

Dude - I want one of those sooooooooo badly! I think I'd try peanut first... somehow that sounds really yummy to me

Nicholas said...

@thoughtfulplate indeed! I love red bean filling too, but never say never until you've had the cream. It would silence even the strictest of traditionalists.

@victoria peanut is good, but it's a bit thicker than the cream or red bean, so it really is a completely different ballgame when it comes to textures.

Danny said...

Do we have this in NY? that looks amazing! damn just look at all that custard...

joanh said...

great pics! i've never had the savory ones... sounds weird. hahah. but sort of like the reverse of the dessert XLB at din tai fung.

munchimonster said...

Red bean one!! Or actually turnip sounds good either because I know some breakfast places serve mighty delicious turnip su bing.

Nicholas said...

@Danny I think there is? Or at least I know at Mitsuwa in NJ they have the fish shaped obanyaki. They're stupid expensive though, like $2.50 for a demented shaped pastry with less filling and more surface area. I will finish school and open an obanyaki shop in NYC. Profit.

@Joanh They're not that bad!!! I've never had the dessert XLB from there. Aren't they like 90 NT per?

@Munchimonster it's not like you'd actually have to restrict yourself to 1... they're 30 cents. That means you can buy like 20 dollars worth and have enough obanyaki for the next month :D.

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