‘Orh Nee’ And Gula Melaka Croissant Taiyaki, Anyone?
Soe Tam Jiak offers fun local variations of the mod Japanese snack.
The croissant taiyaki is a modern variation of the traditional fluffy-crisp Japanese taiyaki, and can be found in cities spanning Seoul to Kuala Lumpur. However, it originated in Tokyo and is oft touted as the Japanese answer to the cronut. One of the most famous stalls that started selling the croissant taiyaki is Ginnoan in Tokyo, which makes it with 24 thin layers of croissant pastry sandwiching either adzuki bean paste or cream. The pastry is given a sprinkling of sugar and cooked to crisp perfection in a taiyaki griddle.
A bit of history behind the traditional taiyaki this croissant-like interpretation was inspired by: taiyaki means "grilled red snapper" in Japanese. A pancake-like batter is poured into a metal fish-shaped hot iron plate and then filling (traditionally red bean paste) is added to one side of the mould. The mould is then shut and grilled on both sides until the treat within is golden-brown and crisp, the texture somewhere between a pancake and waffle. According to The Japan Times, the taiyaki is believed to have been invented in 1909 by a Tokyo shop called Naniwaya Sohonten. Back then, only the rich could afford to eat red snapper. Apparently, this enterprising store created an affordable floury dessert shaped like the prized fish so the masses could also eat 'tai'. How cute.