Sake Manju: Wagashi Steamed Bun using Rice Wine
Sake Manju was one of the representative types of Manju (饅頭/まんじゅう) that I probably had never tried before simply because I don’t care for rice wine.
But today, I took the courage to buy one at a store.
Sake Manju (酒饅頭)
Sake Manju (酒まんじゅう) is a Wagashi steamed bun called Manju made with alcohol sake (酒), known as rice wine in English.
According to the article 饅頭 on Japanese Wikipedia, there are many variations of Sake Manju in Japan, whose shape, taste, and making method differ depending on the region.
Since the mainstream is Anman-style Sake Manju in Niigata and Nagano, the bun is like a Chinese-style steamed bun or Chukaman.
Incidentally, it is said that Anpan was created by imitating the production method of Sake Manju.
The wheat flour dough of Sake Manju is usually leavened with a yeast mash of sake called Shubo (酒母), and this Anman-style Sake Manju is filled with sweet Anko red bean paste mixed with sake lees.
The dough is soft and fluffy, while the Anko inside has a floral fragrance from sake lees. And the overall cake was much easier to eat and more delicious than I imagined!
Lastly, here are the specific ingredients and nutrition facts of the Sake Manju from Yamazaki Baking.
Koshi-An (Sugar, Azuki red bean, Fermented flavoring, Powdered sake lees, Agar), Wheat flour, Sugar, Fermented flavoring, Margarine, Dextrose, Baker’s yeast, White Koshi-An, Powdered oil/fat, Salt, Sorbitol, Leavening agent, Emulsifier, Sodium acetate, Modified starch, Flavoring, Yeast food, Acidifier, Glycine, Vitamin C, Enzyme (Partially including Daily products, Egg, Wheat, Soybean)