Ningyo yaki – Ningyo-yaki vs Taiyaki vs Imagawa Yaki, Recipe

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What’s Ningyo yaki?

Ningyo yaki is a form of Japanese confectionery made by baking sponge cake dough with fillings comparable to red bean paste. Locals mainly sold these Japanese sweets in Nihonbashi, Chuo Ward, within the centre of Tokyo. There are also unusual varieties of ningyo-yaki comparable to matcha bean paste, cherry blossom bean paste, and custard as a substitute of red bean paste. Ningyoyaki Anko is usually koshian, but there are some that contain Ogura bean paste, and a few without Anko called castella-yaki. The Anko utilized in ningyoyaki generally is a strained bean paste and potato bean paste. The strained bean paste is moist and smooth, and the potato bean paste is wealthy in flavour. 

Etymology

Ningyo-yaki is small cakes baked in small moulds and full of sweet Anko bean paste. The term “Ningyo (人形)” is the Japanese word for doll and “Yaki (焼)” is for bake or grill, so the name of this sweet reads “baked dolls”. 

Ningyo yaki History

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

The Nihonbashi Ningyocho area in Tokyo has been home to many puppeteers, because it was a spot where ningyo joruri and kabuki theatres flourished. It appears that evidently the realm where the dolls made by the doll makers are lined up is what locals called Ningyocho.

Ningyo-yaki originated in Ningyo-Cho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, and Tokyo, and the name “Ningyoyaki” got here from the indisputable fact that locals sold it in Ningyo-Cho. Originally, they were mainly in the form of Bunraku puppets, stencils of Shichifukujin, and the Seven Deities of Good Luck, but with the changing times and the spread of outlets making them, there appear to be more variations in shape.

Through the war, the provision of red bean paste was scarce, so that they made it without the bean paste and baked it in the form of a tank or cannon. In recent times, plainly there are also cases where locals used baking molds of well-known characters comparable to Hello Kitty.

One other theory says that Ningyoyaki originated from Itakuraya, founded in 1907. When the primary generation of Itakuraya was running a dry goods store, wheat flour and eggs were spreading as foodstuffs for the common people. Based on Tsurigane Manju, it was developed as a sweet that imitates the form of a doll, derived from the town name of Ningyocho.

Ningyo yaki Recipe

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

Ningyo yaki Ingredients

Ingredients of Ningyo yaki for 1 person
Egg 23g
Soft flour 40g
Sugar 25g
Honey 14g
Soy milk or milk 14g
Baking powder 4g

The way to make Ningyo yaki

STEP

Preparation

 Sift the cake flour and baking powder together.

STEP

Whisking the eggs with sugar

Add all of the sugar to the eggs and whisk well. At the moment, when scooping with a whisk, somewhat residue will remain.

Combining honey

Microwave the honey for about 15 seconds and when it becomes smooth, add it to the sugar and eggs mixture and blend well.

Adding any form of milk to the flour

Add more soy milk or milk and blend. It’s okay if it gets watery. Then, add the sifted flour and blend with a whisk.

Bake it

You’ll be able to bake it instantly, but when possible, let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.

Serving

Put the batter into the warmed takoyaki pan until about 9 minutes and bake. It’s delicious to place bean paste, cream, cheese, jam, etc. inside.

What does the Ningyo-yaki taste like?

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

Ningyo-yaki is made with almost no additives. So you possibly can feel the sweet scent of red bean paste and the wheat flavour of the baked castella dough. Depending on the shop, there’s a giant difference within the kneading condition of the red bean paste, make the dough, and the distribution of every. At the unique Itakuraya, the thickness of the Anko and dough is well-balanced. You’ll be able to benefit from the sweet egg flavour of the fluffy dough. 

Different variations of Ningyoyaki

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

Some sorts of ningyoyaki should not have a bean paste, and so they are sold under various names. Resembling ‘no bean paste’, ‘castella-yaki’, and ‘wartime-yaki’. On the long-established store Shigemori Eishindo, the one with red bean paste is the “tsuboyaki”,  and the one with white bean paste is the “nobori ayu”. Although they call it ningyoyaki, the form isn’t limited to full-body portraits of individuals.

Shelf lifetime of Ningyo yaki

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

At shops within the Senso-Ji Temple precincts, you possibly can benefit from the freshly baked texture of Ningyo-yaki baked on the spot, but in case you don’t eat it on the identical day, the flavour shall be lost. Then again, the ningyoyaki sold at train stations and souvenir shops is mass-produced in factories, so the freshly-baked flavour tends to fade. They’re popular as souvenirs and gifts.

Ningyo yaki vs Taiyaki vs Imagawa Yaki

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

Ningyo-yaki and taiyaki are also comprised of the identical ingredients as Imagawa-yaki but are shaped otherwise. Taiyaki, which suggests “baked sea bream,” is formed like a fish and is taken into account to bring good luck in Japan. While Ningyoyaki is favorite Tokyo souvenir. They are often in the standard shape of the Asakusa Kaminarimon gate, the shichifukujin (seven gods of fine luck) or a miniature edible version of an enormous chochin (lantern). Then again, locals make Imagawa yaki with a batter like a pancake or waffle batter and typically with sweet azuki (red bean paste) filling. It has a round but bulky shape.

Where to purchase Ningyo yaki

Itakuraya (名物人形焼 板倉屋)

Founded in 1907, it’s a long-established store that has been around for nearly 100 years since Meiji 40. Nevertheless, Itakuraya’s Ningyo-yaki has been hand-made for over 100 years. While preserving the tradition, the ningyoyaki is beautifully hand-baked. The image above show their 5 pieces of “Ningyoyaki for 500 yen (tax included),” which is popular since Itakuraya’s founding.

Address: 2-4-2 Ningyocho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: 03-3667-4818
Hours open: Monday – Sunday (9:00 – closes when sold out) Open on Sundays
Website: http://www.itakuraya.com/

Shigemori Eishindo (重盛永信堂 総本店)

Many “Ningyo-yaki” are lined up on the display. Just by it, there’s something special about it. On the shop, not only “ningyo-yaki” but in addition “jam sandwiches” are also popular. The shop this confectionery full of a generous amount of strained bean paste.

Address: 1 Chome-11-6 Haramachi, Meguro City, Tokyo
Phone number: 033-712-2483
Hours open: [Mon-Fri] 9:00-20:00 [Sat] 9:00-18:00; Closed on Sundays
Website: http://www.shigemori-eishindo.co.jp/

Kameya (亀屋)

“Kameya” is situated on the east corner, right in the midst of the best way from Kaminarimon to Sensoji Temple. If you must eat it on the spot, they’ll recommend you to purchase it freshly baked while it’s still hot. It’s characterised by lots of red bean paste, similar to thin-skinned manju. There are 6 shapes in all and it’s the most well-liked amongst Asakusa’s ningyo-yaki. 

Address: 1-37-1 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Phone number: 033-842-2796
Hours open: [Mon-Sun] 10:00-18:00
Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/

Takeaway

Ningyo yaki (人形焼)

Among the many vast range of baked confectionery, some are made with special moulds, comparable to those utilized in making waffles. In Japan, such moulded confections are particularly delicious and ornamental. As of late, those with a sweet tooth can find these cakes in a tempting range of shapes and flavours, and recent, sometimes unexpected combos appear usually. And ningyo-yaki will certainly satisfy those cravings for Japanese sweets.

A number of the Japanese sweets in relation to ningyo-yaki are Imagawa Yaki, Taiyaki, Ohagi, and Daifuku.

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