2 Types of Kinako Mochi Snacks that are Popular in Japan
Roasted soybean flour, “Kinako (きな粉)” is a traditional Japanese food commonly prepared for Japanese sweets and candies and is available unseasoned at almost any supermarket in Japan.
Therefore, when we use Kinako flour in cooking, it is sometimes sweetened with sugar. Because of that, there are many variations of sweet treats using Kinako in Japan, which include Tirol Choco Kinako Mochi I introduced before.
Tirol Choco Kinako Mochi
Kinako Mochi rice cake
Although actual Kinako Mochi is a sticky plain glutinous rice cake coated in sweetened Kinako flour like the above, Tirol Choco Kinako Mochi is a small chocolate candy with a Kinako Mochi-like gummy candy filling inside.
Kinako Mochi Snacks
In addition to it, in Japan, there are several “Kinako Mochi” snacks, which, like Tirol Chocolate Kinako Mochi, don’t use real “Mochi (餅)” rice cake.
Among others, the Kinako Mochi produced and sold by “Iwatsuka Seika (岩塚製菓)” Confectionery and the one marketed by “Echigo Seika (越後製菓)” Confectionery are especially popular.
Both Iwatsuka Seika and Echigo Seika have their headquarters in the city of Nagaoka, Niigata, by the way.
The prefecture where I live, Niigata is famous as a rice production area in Japan so it boasts various specialties made with rice, such as rice crackers and Sake.
Let’s get back on track. Actually, Iwatsuka Seika’s Kinako Mochi snack and Echigo Seika’s Kinako Mochi snack are quite different from each other, so here let me show you the difference.
Iwatsuka Seika Kinako Mochi Rice Cracker
Iwatsuka Seika’s “Kinako Mochi (きなこ餅)” has 24 pieces of Kinako Mochi rice crackers in the package. Each snack is individually packed and entirely coated with sweet Kinako flour.
This Kinako Mochi snack is especially characterized by its light crispy texture and you get a gentle, mellow sweetness from the Kinako powder coating.
Actually, the cracker itself is made from non-glutinous rice “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)”, the staple of the Japanese diet, so this treat can be said to be a kind of Senbei.
Echigo Seika Kinako Mochi Snack
Meanwhile, the Kinako Mochi snack from Echigo Seika called “Funwari Meijin (ふんわり名人: loosely meaning the master at forming fluffy things)” is popular for its super fluffy texture.
Because of that, once you put the rice snack in the mouth, it quickly melts away.
In contrast to the former Kinako Mochi snack, the main ingredient in this Kinako Mochi is glutinous rice “Mochi-Gome (餅米)”, so this one can be considered a kind of Okaki.