Cheese Imagawayaki Recipe (Cheese Obanyaki Recipe)

This cheese imagawayaki recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury (and gives one heck of a cheese pull).

Imagawayaki, also known as obanyaki, are Japanese street food snacks consisting of a thick pancake disc stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings. The most traditional filling is sweet red bean paste, but they can be stuffed with all sorts these days. In fact, I made banana matcha imagawayaki stuffed with custard a couple of years ago.

I created this cheese imagawayaki recipe because I knew I'd be visiting Osaka this month, and that one of Osaka's TikTok-viral foods this year is the 10 Yen pancake – a large pancake in the shape of a 10 Yen coin stuffed with cheese. Because my 'to-eat' list for Japan was SO LONG, I knew I'd probably have to give this one a miss. It's a pretty simple concept, after all – sweet pancake batter cooked with mozzarella cheese in the middle. I could make it at home.

In fact, I did make it at home. Here's how I did it (albeit without the 10 Yen mould, but although thicker, my cheese obanyaki/imagawayaki are pretty much the same). These are essentially cheese stuffed pancakes. A little sweet, a little savoury, perfectly balanced.

You can also watch me make these on my YouTube channel:

Ready? Let's go.

(Makes about seven imagawayaki).

Ingredients for Imagawayaki Batter:

115g self-raising flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil
130ml milk


About 150g mozzarella cheese


1. If you're anticipating a bit of a wait before your imagawayaki get eaten after making them, preheat the oven to 80°C and line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. This will keep them nice and warm and the cheese inside molten until they're ready to be eaten. If you're going to eat them fresh out of the pan, you can skip this step.

2. To make the batter, place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and gradually stir in the wet ingredients until smooth.

3. Lighty brush a little oil in your imagawayaki maker or stovetop mould, and preheat it (on a medium heat if you're using a stovetop mould).

4. Half-fill each mould with batter, cook for about a minute or two (until the edges are cooked but the centres are still gooey), and then tear generous chunks of your mozzarella and push into the centre of half of the discs of batter.

5. Using a toothpick, carefully flip the other half of the discs (uncooked batter side down) on top of the cheese-stuffed discs. Cook for a further minute, flip all of them and cook on the other side for one more minute before removing from the mould. (If you're waiting to eat them, pop them on the baking tray and in the oven at this point).

6. Repeat until you've used up all your batter, and eat them hot.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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