Karinto Manju: A Deep-Fried Brown Sugar Bun with Anko
In recent years, thanks to the development of the internet, a variety of traditional Japanese confections are available online both inside and outside of Japan.
But have you ever heard that there is a relatively new yet popular Japanese sweet like a cross between “Karinto (かりんとう)” and “Manju (饅頭)”?
For the unfamiliar, Karinto is a deep-fried dough stick made mainly with wheat flour, sugar, and yeast, coated with brown or white sugar syrup, and dried.
Kokuto Manju (黒糖饅頭)
And what I introduce here, the Japanese sweet like a fusion of Karinto and Manju is literally called “Karinto Manju (かりんとう饅頭)”.
Karinto Manju (かりんとう饅頭)
Today I went shopping at a supermarket near my house and bought a package of Karinto Manju, for I haven’t eaten the treat recently and had a craving for it.
This is a Karinto Manju, which is made by deep-frying “Kokuto Manju (黒糖饅頭)”. The dough of Kokuto Manju consists of wheat flour, brown sugar, and baking powder, and in its name, “Kokuto (黒糖)” refers to (raw) brown sugar.
Therefore, the dark brown colors of Kokuto Manju and Karinto Manju primarily come from one of the main ingredients, brown sugar.
When Kokuto Manju is deep-fried, the exterior of the dough gets a crispy texture like Karinto, but the interior of the deep-fried Manju is mostly soft and chewy.
In addition to having a pleasantly crispy, chewy bite, Karinto Manju is especially characterized by the aromatic taste of burnt brown sugar and the refined sweetness of Anko bean paste filling.
As for the birthplace, Karinto Manju is said to have been first created by a confectionery shop located in the city of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, “Akutsuya (あくつ屋)”, and went on sale in 2001.
Since then, the deep-fried Manju cake has been featured by the media many times, and now it has become popular around the country and is produced by many food companies.
Shop Information: Akutsuya (あくつ屋)
Address: 96-1 Funehiki-Aza-Hatasoi, Funehiki-Machi, Tamura City, Fukushima Pref. (MAP)
Open: 8:00 to 19:00
Closed: First and Third Sunday