Are Korean Bungeobbang and Japanese Taiyaki the Same?

Is the Korean stuffed pastry bungeoppang just a knockoff of the traditional Japanese taiyaki?

One may argue that, but there are differences between the bungoebbang and taiyaki.

Fish pastry filled with ice cream

鯛焼き vs 붕어빵


Taiyaki is shaped like a sea bream fish, while bungeo-ppang is shaped like a crucian carp.


Taiyaki traditionally uses sweet red bean paste (anko) as the filling, while bungeo-ppang also commonly uses custard, chocolate, cheese, and even savory fillings like ham and kimchi.


Taiyaki has a soft, cake-like consistency, while bungeo-ppang features a crispier exterior, especially around the edges.

Availability and Popularity

Taiyaki is enjoyed year-round in Japan, while bungeo-ppang is predominantly a seasonal winter street food in Korea.

Bungeo-ppang regained popularity in the 1990s in Korea due to a retro trend, while taiyaki has been popular continually in Japan.

The Conclusion?

While bungeo-ppang originated from taiyaki during the Japanese colonial period in Korea, it has evolved to have its own distinct carp shape, filling variations, texture, and cultural significance as a nostalgic Korean winter snack.

And if you’re familiar with Korean snacks sold in Asian supermarkets, you’ve probably seen in the freezer section a treat that looks like a light-colored bungeobbang, but filled with ice cream. Yes, it’s the ever-popular Samanco!

HK Market