LEARN Learn the basics of Wagashi
An extensive choice of ingredients, such as rice, flour, red beans, green beans, chestnut, plum, persimmon, etc., as well as varied manufacturing methods, such as kneading, steaming, baking, etc., along with sensible consideration for special occasions or seasonal tastes, yields an abundant variety of Wagashi.
For example, Manju itself has more than 100 kinds. Each differing from the other, depending on whether the dough of its outer skin is made from rice flour or wheat flour, whether the dough is mixed with black sugar, soy bean paste or kinds of potatoes, and whether the An-paste wrapped inside the dough is made of red beans, white beans, sesame, or green tea, etc.
There really are countless kinds of Manju.
Here, we would like to introduce, on DVD, some of the typical Wagashi that many Wagashi shops make and sell.
Made from a mixture of white beans, tsukune potato (Chinese potato), and “gyuuhi”(rice flour, sugar, starch syrup, and water are mixed and heated) filled with pureed sweet bean paste. It comes in various designs such as the colors and shapes of the four seasons.
A mixture of eggs, sugar, honey, water and flour, baked on a copper plate and filled with sweet red bean paste.
The dough is made by steaming a mixture of rice flour and water, pounding it in a mold, and then cutting into round pieces.
There are two kinds of dumpling. “An dango” dumpling covered with the pureed bean paste, and “mitarashi dango” coated with a sweet soy sauce syrup. Dango are usually served by skewering four pieces on a stick.
Daifuku is a type of rice cake consisting of the dough which is the steamed non glutinous (ordinary) rice pound in a mortar until no grain is left, being filled with sweet bean paste containing the skin. Mame-daifuku is a rice cake in which red beans are mixed into the dough.
The mixture of flour, sugar, condensed milk, and eggs is baked on a copper plate, filled with “gyuuhi” (rice flour, sugar, starch syrup, and water are mixed and heated), shaped like a fish and baked.
The mixture of very fine, flavorful Wasanbon sugar, which is unique to Japan, with a little water is put into a wooden mold, compressed and, once hard, extracted from the mold.
The dough is made by mixing Kudzu powder dissolved in lukewarm water with sugar, water and starch syrup, and heating it. Pureed sweet red bean paste is covered by this dough and steamed until becoming transparent. Then it is wrapped by a cherry leaf.
The dough is made by mixing sweet red bean paste with flour to make it sticky, and adding potato starch and water.
It is poured into a mold and steamed. Then covered with cut chestnuts soaked in honey, steamed again, and cut into squares.
Monaka is a sweet bean jam wrapped with thin rice cake wafers. The wafers are made by pounding rice, making it thin, and baking it in a mold.
Castella cake is a confectionary made by baking a mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, starch syrup, and honey in the oven.