Recipe Manju

Manju is a traditional Japanese confectionery that has been enjoyed for centuries. It's typically filled with sweet red bean paste and encased in a soft, fluffy dough. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making Manju, including the ingredients you'll need, preparation steps, tips for success, variations, calorie information, and a conclusion.

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp honey

Filling:

250g sweet red bean paste (anko)

Preparation

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder.

2. Add Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the water and honey until the honey is fully dissolved.

3. Combine Mixtures: Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring constantly until a dough forms.

4. Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

5. Rest the Dough: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling

1. Shape the Filling: Divide the sweet red bean paste into small balls, approximately 15g each. This will be the filling for the Manju.

Step 3: Assembling the Manju

1. Divide the Dough: After resting, divide the dough into equal portions, each about 30g.

2. Flatten the Dough: Take one portion of dough and flatten it into a small circle with your fingers.

3. Add the Filling: Place a red bean paste ball in the center of the dough circle.

4. Seal the Manju: Carefully fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pinching the edges together to seal it. Roll it gently in your hands to form a smooth ball.

5. Repeat: Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.

Step 4: Steaming the Manju

1. Prepare the Steamer: Line the steamer with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

2. Arrange the Manju: Place the Manju balls in the steamer, leaving some space between each one to allow for expansion.

3. Steam: Steam the Manju over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they are firm and cooked through.

4. Cool: Let the Manju cool slightly before serving.

Tips for Success

Consistency of Dough: Ensure the dough is not too dry or too sticky. If it's too dry, add a bit more water; if too sticky, add a little more flour.

Sealing the Dough: Properly sealing the dough around the filling is crucial to prevent the filling from leaking during steaming.

Steaming Time: Do not oversteam the Manju as it can cause them to become tough. Keep an eye on the time and adjust as necessary based on your steamer.

Variations

Different Fillings: While sweet red bean paste is traditional, you can experiment with other fillings such as white bean paste, chestnut paste, or even sweet potato paste.

Flavored Dough: Add matcha powder to the dough for a green tea-flavored Manju, or cocoa powder for a chocolate version.

Baked Manju: Instead of steaming, try baking the Manju for a different texture. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Calorie Information

A typical Manju (approximately 45g) contains:

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 12g

Conclusion

Making Manju at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy a taste of traditional Japanese confectionery. With simple ingredients and straightforward preparation steps, you can create these delightful treats in your own kitchen. Experiment with different fillings and flavors to make them uniquely yours. Whether you steam or bake them, Manju are sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy the process and savor the delicious results!

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