Japanese Sugar: Johakuto vs Kori-Zato (Sato) vs Sanonto

I hear that the most common sugar variety in the world is granulated sugar, but this is not the case in Japan where the most consumed one is the white refined sugar called “Johakuto (上白糖)”, which is referred to as caster sugar in English.

Johakuto (上白糖)

Johakuto Sugar

Mainly consisting of sucrose, Johakuto contains moisture and inverted sugar, about 1 percent each. In Japan, the caster sugar is used in cooking in general, while granulated sugar is commonly used for sweetening plain yogurt, coffee, and black tea as well as for confections.

Kori-Zato (氷砂糖)

Korizato Dagashi Candy

As “Kori (氷)” means ice and “Zato (砂糖)”, also pronounced Sato, is the Japanese word for sugar, Kori-Zato is rock candy that looks like small pieces of crystal ice. In Japan, the crystal sugar, Kori-Zato is used in Shochu liquor making and is also available in snack and emergency food forms.

Sanonto (三温糖)

Sanonto Sugar

Produced by boiling down centrifuged molasses over and over again, the brown sugar, Sanonto is unique to Japan. Since Sanonto has a distinctive, rich, sweet taste, it is often used in Nimono dishes and the like to add deep flavor.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 上白糖, 氷砂糖, 三温糖 )


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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