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.

Mizu Manju 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)

Mizu Manju

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)Kuzu Manju

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)Mizu Manju Anko Filling

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.


Matcha Mizu Manju with Shiro An

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!


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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