Karinto Manju: Deep-Fried Kokuto Brown Sugar Cake
Nowadays, a variety of Wagashi (和菓子) traditional Japanese confections can be bought online 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 from wheat flour, sugar, and yeast, coated with a brown or white sugar syrup, and dried.
Kokuto Manju (黒糖饅頭)
And what I introduce here, the Wagashi sweet, like a fusion of Karinto and Manju, is 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 had not had the treat recently and was craving it.
And this is what I got.
Karinto Manju is made by deep-frying Kokuto Manju (黒糖饅頭),
whose dough 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, Kokuto sugar.
When Kokuto Manju is deep-fried, the exterior gets a Karinto-like crispy texture. But the interior mostly remains soft and chewy.
In addition, Karinto Manju features its aromatic taste from burnt brown sugar and the refined sweetness of Anko filling.
As for the birthplace, Karinto Manju is said to have been first created by a confectionery shop located in Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture, Akutsuya (あくつ屋), and went on sale in 2001.
The deep-fried cake has been featured by the media many times since then. And now, it has become popular around the country, 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 Sundays