Amanatto: A Type of Wagashi, Sweet Boiled Bean Confection
“Natto (納豆)” is one of the most famous Japanese delicacies. It is a fermented soybean with a slimy consistency and unpleasant peculiar odor.
Because of that, many people don’t like or can’t eat the Japanese soy product, even if they were born and raised in Japan.
You may not like the fermented soybeans either, so for those here I will introduce another Natto.
Have you ever heard of “Amanatto (甘納豆)”? If you hear the food name for the first time, you might wonder if it is a delicacy relating to Natto fermented soybeans.
Don’t worry, Amanatto is a food completely different from Natto. Actually, it is a type of Wagashi, a traditional Japanese bean confection with over 150 years of long history.
Amanatto is made by simmering beans in sugar syrup, and coated with sugar, then dried.
Various varieties of beans are used to make Amanatto. Typical ones include Azuki red beans, broad beans, kidney beans, peanuts, and soybeans.
Other than these beans, chestnuts, lotus seeds, and round slices of sweet potato can also be the main ingredient of Amanatto.
This is why the Japanese Wagashi sweet has a variety of colors from glossy black to beautiful green and red.
Where to Buy
Amanatto is a sweet treat that has been widely enjoyed in Japan over a century, so it is available in most supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.
Basically, we like to eat Amanatto as it is with hot green tea, but the sweet beans can also be used in other foods like raisin.
Lastly, here are 2 representative examples of how to use the Japanese bean snack.
Amanatto and Bread (Cake)
Image : cookpad.com
Many Amanatto beans have nearly the same size as raisin. Hence, some Japanese like making bread or cake using Amanatto, instead of raisin. In fact, the Japanese Wagashi confection goes quite well with bread and cake.
Amanatto and Plain Yogurt
Image : cookpad.com
Amanatto is pretty sweet and the main ingredient beans are healthy foods, so some people like to eat plain yogurt with the sweet treat, without using sugar.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 甘納豆 )