The Type of Manju : Traditional Japanese Buns with Sweet Bean Paste
Do you like Japanese sweets? If so, there is a traditional Japanese confection you should know. The Japanese confection I want you to know is “Manju (饅頭)”.
Basically, Manju refers to Japanese steamed buns with a sweet paste filling. It is traditionally filled with sweet red bean paste “Anko (あんこ)“.
The origin dates back to at least the middle of the 14th century, when the original Manju was introduced from China. It is said that the steamed bun was served at the tea ceremony of Zen Buddhism.
Although the original Chinese-style steamed bun was stuffed with meat, Japanese people in those days came to make Japanese-style steamed buns with sweet red bean paste, instead of meat, because Japanese Zen priests couldn’t eat meat. The ancient steamed bun is the original form of the present Manju.
6 Major Types of Manju Cakes
In modern times, there are many variations of Manju cakes. When it comes to the type, Manju is classified into several types based on the variety of the dough. Here are 6 major types of Manju buns.
|The Type of Buns||The main ingredient||Represemtative Manju|
|Cha-Manju (茶饅頭)||The bun is basically made from wheat flour, brown sugar, and baking soda||Onsen Manju (温泉饅頭), Kokuto Manju (黒糖饅頭)|
|Juyo-Manju (薯蕷饅頭)||The bun is made from rice flour using the stickiness of grated yams||Kouhaku Manju (紅白饅頭)|
|Sake-Manju (酒饅頭)||The bun is made from wheat flour using yeast mash|
|Yaki-Manju (焼饅頭)||The bun has a texture like Castella. Baked ones||
Momiji Manju (もみじ饅頭)
|Miso-Manju (味噌饅頭)||The bun is made from wheat flour using Miso paste||Minobu Manju (身延饅頭)|
|Kuzu-Manju (葛饅頭)||Jelly-type Manju made from Kudzu arrowroot powder||Mizu Manju (水饅頭)|
4 Representative Manju Cakes
Finally, here are 4 representative common Manju cakes that we Japanese are familiar with in our daily lives.
Onsen Manju (温泉饅頭)
|Onsen Manju, 15pcs|
Generally, “Onsen Manju (温泉饅頭)” refers to the Manju steamed buns with Anko that are sold in Japanese hot spring resorts. When we Japanese go on a hot spring trip, many of us buy Onsen Manju as a souvenir.
As the Japanese word, “Onsen (温泉)” means “hot spring”, Onsen Manju is a standard Onsen souvenir to us. It is available at almost any souvenir shop in Japanese hot spring resorts.
Kouhaku Manju (紅白饅頭)
|Kouhaku Manju, 2pcs|
“Kouhaku Manju (紅白饅頭)” is the set of red and white Manju steamed buns with Anko. We usually have the Manju during celebration times, because the combination of red and white colors, Kouhaku is widely believed as a lucky thing in Japan.
Momiji Manju (もみじ饅頭)
|Momiji Manju filled with cheese cream, 8pcs|
“Momiji Manju (もみじ饅頭)” is the baked Manju cake with the shape of maples. “Momiji (もみじ)” means “Maple” in Japanese.
Kuri Manju (栗饅頭)
|Kuri Manju,1pcs||Manju with 5 Flavors – Matcha, Chestnut, Milk, Sweet Red Beans & White Kidney Beans and Soba 18 Pcs|
Kuri Manju is the Manju cake baked after egg yolk is brushed on the surface in order to bring out a chestnut-like color, and its filling often contains chestnut. “Kuri (栗)” means “Chestnut” in Japanese.
(Reference page : Wikipedia 饅頭 )