If you love pancakes and you love red bean paste, then you are sure to love this treat called Dorayaki. This traditional treat is said to have been around for centuries is actually a spin-off of a popular Portuguese treat called castella. People call the dorayaki pancake sandwich simply because of its shape and size but its texture is more cakelike and fluffier than pancakes.
The dorayaki is traditionally filled with azuki, which is the sweet red bean paste popular in Japan. This cake-like treat traditionally has this red bean filling in it but there are variations that add other fillings to it. Some variations retain the red bean filling but add a walnut or chestnut in the middle. Others have an entirely different filling altogether, such as matcha cream, sweet potato cream, and even fresh whipped cream. Some more modern takes on this treat include those that are filled with strawberry cream, chocolate cream, and even a combination of both.
While the origins of traditional version of the dorayaki cannot be accurately traced, the modern version is said to originate from Tokyo. It is said that the cake-like treat you see today was first made in the 1900s by a sweet shop called Usagiya. The original recipe from this shop had a cake that had honey, mirin, and some soy added to the batter. This gave it the sweet and subtly savory flavor people love.
If you love anime, then you will notice that one of the more popular anime characters that has been around since the 80s loves this particular pastry. Doraemon, who is a blue cat-like character, is crazy for this treat. His obsession with the dorayaki has gotten him in trouble more than once. Because of this character's popularity and association with this azuki filled cake sandwich, it's not surprising that shops and stalls use his image on posters to attract customers.