Wagashi: What is Tamago Manju?
Wagashi (和菓子) is the word for traditional Japanese confections, and Manju (饅頭) is one of the staple sweets in the category whose origin can be traced back to the 14th century.
The wagashi type typically consists of sweet red bean paste stuffed in a steamed bun made from wheat flour, Kokuto (黒糖) brown raw sugar, and baking soda.
But it today comes in various variants, and this Tamago Manju (たまご饅頭) is one of the modern ones, together with Cheese Manju and Choco-Man.
Tamago Manju (たまご饅頭)
I didn’t know about Tamago Manju until recently, and I thought I wanted to know its background when I went shopping at a supermarket and came across it.
And here it is.
As you may know, Tamago (たまご) means egg in Japanese, and this Manju cake uses a hen’s egg.
Tamago Manju seems to be also called Keiran Manju (鶏卵饅頭: meaning Hen’s Egg Manju), and its name comes from generously using hen’s eggs or the shape similar to a hen’s egg.
According to the ingredients listed on the back of the package, this Egg Manju mainly consists of sugar, navy beans, wheat flour, hen’s egg, reduced starch syrup, dairy products, wheat protein, trehalose, and a leavening agent.
While the outer dough is wheat-based and baked, the yellow Anko (餡子) filling inside appears to be made with white navy beans and egg yolk.
Based on what I got from my research, Keiran Manju or Tamago Manju can be seen in various regions of Japan, including onsen resorts like Kusatsu.
It also comes steamed, and some use a real boiled egg as the filling.
Incidentally, the article 鶏卵饅頭 on Japanese Wikipedia introduces,
- the Keiran Manju of Isshodo (一笑堂) (Google Map), a Wagashi confectionery shop founded in 1790 in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture
- the one of Keirando (鶏卵堂) (Google Map), a Wagashi shop based in Masuda City, Shimane
- the one of Isshikido (一色堂) (Google Map), a Wagashi shop located on the first basement floor of the Sanyo Department Store in Himeji, Hyogo