Mizu Manju: A Traditional Japanese Summer Dessert
As it is getting warmer and warmer, some supermarkets here in Niigata have started to sell summer desserts at the best place to display.
Among such summer treats, what quickly caught my eye during the previous shopping was this Mizu Manju (水まんじゅう) assortment.
That day was pretty hot, and I was in the mood for something sweet and refreshing.
After seeing the jewelry-like fascinating confections through the clear plastic cover, I decided to buy it instantly.
Mizu Manju (水まんじゅう)
These beautiful sweets are called Mizu Manju (水まんじゅう), which originated in Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture, around 1897.
In its name, Mizu (水) means water in Japanese, and like that, the cakes look very fresh.
vs. Kuzu Manju
Kuzu Manju (葛饅頭)
As you can see, Mizu Manju is quite similar to Kuzu Manju, typically filled with sweet red bean paste or Anko (餡子).
However, they are slightly different in the ingredients of the jelly dough.
Mizu Manju (水饅頭)
According to the article 水まんじゅう on Japanese Wikipedia, while the outer covering of Kuzu Manju consists of kudzu arrowroot starch, sugar, and water,
the jelly dough of Mizu Manju also uses bracken root flour in addition to kudzu starch.
They are both somewhat chewy, but the latter is generally softer than the former, as bracken root starch is resistant to water.
Nowadays, Mizu Manju comes in various flavors and fillings, and this assortment includes Matcha Mizu Manju.
The treat contains matcha green tea powder and Shiro An (白あん), and the combination is perfect!