Dorayaki is a type of Japanese confection, red bean pancake which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet Azuki red bean paste. Dorayaki are similar to Imagawayaki, but the latter are cooked with the batter completely surrounding the bean paste filling and are often served hot.
The original Dorayaki consisted of only one layer. Its current shape was invented in 1914 by Usagiya in the Ueno district of Tokyo.
In Japanese, dora means "gong", and because of the similarity of the shapes, this is probably the origin of the name of the sweet. Legend has it that the first Dorayaki were made when a samurai named Benkei forgot his gong (dora) upon leaving a farmer’s home where he was hiding and the farmer subsequently used the gong to fry the pancakes, thus the name Dorayaki
In Kansai area, such as Osaka or Nara, this sweet is often called mikasa. The word originally means triple straw hat, but also an alternative name of Mount Wakakusa, a low hill with gentle slope located in Nara. Many local people picture the shape of this hill while eating a mikasa. In Nara, a larger mikasa of about 30 cm in diameter is famous
In popular culture
The Japanese manga and anime character Doraemon loves dorayaki, and it has been a plot device several times throughout the series. Doraemon is addicted to dorayaki and falls for any trap involving them. Since 2000, the company Bunmeido has been selling a limited version of dorayaki called Doraemon Dorayaki every year around March and September.