Kuzu Manju: The Kudzu Confection with a Cool Appearance for Summer
As I wrote about “Wagashi (和菓子)” yesterday, it basically refers to traditional Japanese confections in general, which includes many different types of sweets.
Among such Japanese confections, “Manju (饅頭)” is a major type of Wagashi with several hundred years of history. It is a traditional Japanese bun filled with sweet red bean paste.
Although, in modern times, there are many variations of Manju, the dough is typically made from wheat flour. However, there exists a jelly-like Manju, which is known as a kind of “Kuzumochi (葛餅)”.
Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭)
Kuzumochi is a type of Wagashi that is made from kudzu arrowroot starch, sugar, and water. The Japanese confection has a translucent, milky-white color, and its cool appearance is perfect for summer.
What I wanted to say above, the Kuzumochi whose name includes “Manju” is “Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭, くずまんじゅう)”. I actually purchased a Kuzu Manju at a supermarket near my house for this blog article.
Kuzu Manju (くずまんじゅう)
Kuzu Manju is the Kuzumochi with sweet red bean paste “Anko (餡子)” in the center, in other words, the Anko paste is covered in Kuzumochi. Kuzu Manju is also known as “Mizu Manju (水饅頭)” or “Suisen Manju (水仙まんじゅう)”.
This Japanese summer dessert has an unique texture. It is jiggly but slightly chewy like konjac jelly. As for the taste, the milky white jelly part has a gentle sweetness, while the inside Anko paste is a little sweeter than the outer part.
As for the ingredient of the Kuzu Manju that I bought this time, it consists of reduced sugar syrup, sugar, Azuki red beans, powdered wafer, corn starch, agar, konjac powder, kudzu starch, and salt.
Kuzu Manju, together with Kuzukiri (葛きり), is one of the most recommended Wagashi sweets for the summer season. The Japanese confection is available at supermarkets in Japan during the summer, so if you are interested and get a chance, why not give it a try?