Fu Manju : Kyoto’s Anko-Stuffed Wheat Gluten Cake
“Manju (饅頭)” is a traditional Japanese steamed bun filled with “Anko (餡子)” sweet Azuki red bean paste. There are many variations of Manju cakes in various areas in Japan, and the dough can be made with various ingredients.
In many cases, the main ingredient of the dough is wheat flour and according to the variety, other ingredients, such as brown sugar and baking soda, are added.
By the way, if I give a representative example of Manju whose cake is made without using wheat flour, what comes to my mind is Kyoto’s “Fu-Manju (麩饅頭)”.
“Fu (麩)” is a traditional Japanese food made of wheat gluten which comes in various forms, such as “Yaki-Fu (焼き麩 : Baked bread-like wheat gluten)” and “Nama-Fu (生麩 : Steamed wheat gluten)”.
Fu-Manju is made of Nama-Fu, but as with typical Manju buns, the wheat gluten cake is stuffed with Anko sweet red bean paste.
The cake itself is fresh and characterized by the distinctive soft chewy texture that comes from wheat gluten, while the Anko filling is smooth with moderate sweetness.
Like this, Fu-Manju is sometimes wrapped in a bamboo leaf and eaters can also enjoy its herby scent at the same time.
According to the ingredient list, in addition to wheat gluten, the Fu-Manju I bought this time also contains mugwort and glutinous rice powder in the cake.
Where to Buy Fu-Manju
Fu-Manju is eaten locally, particularly in Kyoto, Aichi, Ishikawa, Osaka, and Wakayama Prefectures. Speaking of Kyoto’s Fu-Manju, the Nama-Fu specialty shop “Fuka (麩嘉)” (Google Map) is especially famous for their Fu-Manju.
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia 麩饅頭 )