What Is the Difference Between Ahboong and Taiyaki?

Ah-boong and taiyaki are both popular desserts that originated from different East Asian countries. While they may seem similar due to their fish-shaped appearances, there are notable differences in their ingredients and flavors. Ah-boong is a unique creation consisting of a fish-shaped pastry with multiple layers. It’s typically filled with various fillings such as chocolate, custard, or fruit, and then topped with a generous portion of soft serve ice cream. On the other hand, taiyaki can be best described as a delightful blend of a waffle and a cake. The fish-shaped snack is traditionally filled with azuki sweet red bean paste, which is made from simmered adzuki beans. The taste and texture of the filling provide a subtle sweetness and creamy consistency, contrasting the crispy exterior of the taiyaki. So, whether you prefer the multilayered indulgence of ah-boong or the classic combination of crispy taiyaki paired with red bean paste, these delicious treats are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

When Was Taiyaki Invented?

When discussing the origins of taiyaki, it’s important to note that this delightful treat first made it’s debut in Japan in the year 190During this time, taiyaki emerged as a unique variation of imagawayaki, a beloved snack that had already captured the hearts and palates of the Japanese people. Imagawayaki was traditionally created by skillfully encasing delectable bean paste within a delicate flour skin.

Taiyakis inception can be credited to the creative minds of food entrepreneurs who sought to reimagine and reinvent the classic imagawayaki. By ingeniously reshaping the original snack, they birthed taiyaki – a charming fish-shaped delight that quickly captivated the taste buds of people across Japan. The name “taiyaki” itself stems from the term “tai,” meaning sea bream, which the snacks shape impeccably resembles.

The charm and popularity of taiyaki lie not only in it’s unique shape but also in the delicious fillings that can be found within it’s golden-brown exterior. While the traditional red bean paste filling remains a timeless favorite, the versatility of taiyaki allows for an array of delightful options such as custard, chocolate, and even savory fillings like cheese or sweet potato.

Over the years, taiyaki has become a beloved street food staple, delighting locals and tourists alike with it’s irresistible combination of crisp outer shell and warm, oozing filling. It can be found in various snack stalls, festivals, and specialized taiyaki shops throughout Japan. It’s widespread popularity has even led to taiyaki-inspired creations in other parts of the world, ensuring that this delectable treat continues to bring joy to food lovers everywhere.

Where to Find the Best Taiyaki in Japan

  • Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo
  • Taiyaki Wakaba
  • Taiyaki Samurai
  • Taiyaki Taro
  • Naniwaya Sohonten
  • Kameya Honpo
  • Taiyaki Tomoe
  • Tai Parfait
  • Taiyaki Tamokuteki
  • Taiyaki RAINBOW

When Did Taiyaki Originate?

However, during the Edo Period, the shape of the cake changed to resemble a fish, which became known as taiyaki. The reason behind this transformation is believed to be influenced by the popularity of fishing during that time. The fish-shaped taiyaki gave a nod to this cultural pastime and became a beloved treat.

As for it’s origin, there are several theories. One theory suggests that taiyaki was inspired by a Korean dish called “bungeo-ppang,” which also featured a fish-shaped pastry with a sweet filling. It’s believed that bungeo-ppang was brought to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea, and taiyaki was born out of this cultural exchange.

Another theory points to Naniwaya Sohonten, a famous confectionery in Tokyo, as the birthplace of taiyaki. Naniwayas founder, Seiichi Kudo, reportedly created taiyaki in 1909 and introduced it to the public. The shops location near Asakusa Temple, a popular tourist attraction, helped spread the popularity of taiyaki.

Regardless of it’s exact origins, taiyaki quickly gained popularity not only as a delicious treat but also as a symbol of good luck. The fish shape is associated with abundance and prosperity in Japanese culture, making taiyaki a common sight at festivals and celebrations.

Today, taiyaki remains a beloved street food in Japan and has even gained international recognition. It’s commonly filled not only with traditional azuki bean paste but also with other fillings like chocolate, custard, matcha, and even savory flavors like cheese and pizza.

The Role of Naniwaya Sohonten in Popularizing Taiyaki in Tokyo.

  • Naniwaya Sohonten was instrumental in popularizing taiyaki in Tokyo.
  • Taiyaki is a traditional Japanese fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste.
  • Naniwaya Sohonten, established in 1909, is considered one of the oldest taiyaki shops in Tokyo.
  • The shop’s founder, Seijiro Mizuno, created taiyaki by adding sweet red bean paste to a pancake-like batter.
  • Naniwaya Sohonten’s taiyaki quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.
  • The convenient and delicious treat soon became a staple snack in Tokyo.
  • Over the years, Naniwaya Sohonten has expanded it’s taiyaki fillings to include chocolate, custard, and even savory options like cheese and curry.
  • Today, there are numerous taiyaki shops in Tokyo, but Naniwaya Sohonten remains a beloved and respected establishment.
  • The shop continues to use traditional recipes and cooking methods, ensuring the authentic flavor of their taiyaki.
  • Thanks to Naniwaya Sohonten’s pioneering efforts, taiyaki has become a popular street food and souvenir in Tokyo.


In conclusion, the main difference between ah-boong and taiyaki lies in both their composition and filling. While both treats embrace the fish-shaped design, they offer distinct flavor profiles and textures, appealing to different taste preferences.

Scroll to Top