Imagawayaki 今川焼き (Obanyaki 大判焼き)


Crispy on the outside and filled with sweet red bean paste on the inside, imagawayaki is a popular street snack in Japan.

Snacks come and go, but some are so sweetly good, they are enjoyed generation after generation like imagawayaki (今川焼き). A Japanese snack or dessert with sweet red bean paste filling encased on the inside, imagawayaki is one of the popular wagashi (和菓子) that’s been around for over 300 years.

What’s Imagawayaki (or Obanyaki)?
Imagawayaki (今川焼き) is like a stuffed pancake. The batter is poured into a special cast-iron round grilled pan and grilled until crispy on the outside, and filled with sweet red bean paste.

You might know this dessert by obanyaki (大判焼き). Depending on the region of Japan, these treats go by different names. The name imagawayaki is used in Kanto region (Tokyo area), while obanyaki is used in the Kansai region (Osaka and Kyoto area).

Imagawayaki was named after the Imagawa Bridge, which is close to where the dessert was first sold in late 1700s during the Edo period, way before taiyaki was invented back in 1900s. Obanyaki resembles Oban (an old Japanese coin used at the time). And that’s how the dessert got its name.

You might think imagawayaki is similar to dorayaki ( and taiyaki ( because they are all filled with sweet red bean paste, but the texture of each treat is slightly different.

What Can You Fill Imagawayaki (Obanyaki) With?
Traditionally, these round disc-shaped treats are filled with sweet red bean paste. Yes, the Japanese have a long history of affection for red beans. Similar to the Americans’ love for peanut butter, we even have two types of red bean pastes ( tsubuan (chunky) and koshian (smooth). However, in recent years, we are seeing more variety of fillings being offered. From sweet flavors such as vanilla-flavored custard (recipe) (, matcha (green tea), and chocolate, to savory fillings like curry and cheese, I just love how creative and fun we can get with these sweet snacks!

Where To Find Imagawayaki (Obanyaki)
You can find the snack at Japanese festivals, food stands/shops at Nakamise-Dori (shopping streets toward a popular temple), and the underground floor of big department stores (aka Depa Chika).

Where To Buy a Imagawayaki Pan
Unlike dorayaki, you will need an imagawayaki (obanyaki) pan. I like this cast-iron pan to create a crisp outer shell. You can find one on Amazon (). I bought it for $39.99. …

Warm and fluffy with delicious red bean goodness, it’s hard not to enjoy this traditional snack with great fondness. Not only do I get all nostalgic when eating them, I just love how my children’s faces light up when they take a bite out of the sweet pancake. If you are planning to make the imagawayaki recipe, find a relaxing weekend and enjoy the delightful snack with a cup of green tea!

Imagawayaki (Obanyaki)
Crispy on the outside and filled with sweet red bean paste on the inside, imagawayaki is a popular street snack in Japan.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 50 mins

Servings: 8 pieces

2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
2 tsp baking powder
14 oz red bean paste (anko) (2 Tbsp (50 g) for each piece)
1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for greasing pan)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit

To read the recipe, visit the Just One Cookbook post here.

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