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Japanese Confectionery: Wagashi

Wagashi is a general term for traditional Japanese confectionery. We will explain about wagashi and its history in the middle of this newsletter, but we will start with the wagashi that we carry. If you are not familiar with wagashi, you might find something new here.

These products are sold at room temperature close to the cash register.


Shirakiku, Monaka Bean Cake with Matcha (top left)

Shirakiku, Monaka Bean Cake with Mochi Rice Cake (top middle)

Monaka is a traditional Japanese confectionery made of azuki bean jam filling sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from sweet rice. They go well with tea or coffee. Currently, we offer matcha flavor and original flavor with mochi rice cakes.


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Tenkei, Nishoku An-Pie (top right)

Tenkei is from Nagano, Japan. Each package contains 8 an-pie pastries with 2 kinds of fillings - ogura-an and kuri-an. Ogura-an is large grains of azuki red beans boiled with sugar then blended with asuki red bean paste. Kurian is chestnuts boiled with sugar, then blended with white bean paste. Both fillings are very mild and moist. They're wrapped in pie crust. No synthetic coloring or preservatives are used.

Tenkei, Assorted Monaka (bottom right)

Each bag contains 5 kinds of monaka - 3 mochi rice cake monaka, 2 sakura cherry blossom monaka, 2 shio salt monaka, 2 kuri chestnut monaka, and 2 yuzu citrus monaka (11 in total). They are small enough to eat easily even if you are not that hungry. No synthetic coloring or preservatives are used.


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Tenkei, Nishoku An-Zutsimi (bottom left)

The soft sponge cake dough is used to wrap 2 different kinds of fillings - ogura-an red bean paste with chestnut grains and imo-an, sweet potato bean paste with the umami of beni-azuma, a type of sweet potato from Ibaraki, Japan. Both fillings have some small soft mochi rice cakes as well. No synthetic coloring or preservatives are used. Each package includes 8 cakes.


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(Custom Recipe) Milk Oshiruko Sweet Red Bean Soup with Monaka

When you want something sweet and warm from the inside out, use this recipe. It is also good as a snack because it is filling. It is recommended for those who find it too sweet to eat monaka as it is, or for those who have trouble consuming the large amount of monaka, or those who are tired of eating it in the same way every time. It is easy to make, and the rich and tasty sweet red bean paste from wagashi is perfect for oshiruko. Ingredients (for 1 bowl): 1 piece of monaka Appropriate amount of milk or water Directions: 1. Break the monaka and put into a slightly larger bowl or cup with plenty of room to spare. It is just to make it easy to dissolve, so breaking into rough pieces is ok. 2. Add enough milk or water to cover the dough. 3. Heat in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to spill it. When warmed to desired temperature, it is ready. 4. Crumble the monaka with a spoon and stir to dissolve the bean paste. Tips:

  • If you use the monaka with mochi rice cakes in it, it becomes even thicker and tasty.

  • If you make it with water instead of milk, it becomes lighter and you can enjoy the taste of red bean paste more.

  • Choose a bowl or cup that is large enough to hold the monaka so that it does not spill over while microwaving.

  • Be careful not to burn yourself while you are engrossed in the deliciousness!


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You can find these products in the refrigerator.

Tokachi, Kinako Mochi with Kuromitsu (left) These are soft rice cakes filled with kuromitsu made of brown sugar from Okinawa and covered with kinako made of soybeans produced in Tokachi, Hokkaido. You can enjoy the rich taste of the kuromitsu and the savory aroma of kinako.

Tokachi, Shiratama Zenzai (right)

This product is made with lightly sweet zenzai-an red bean paste made with azuki beans produced in Tokachi, Hokkaido, and topped with large chewy shiratama rice cakes. This is a classic Japanese sweet.

Tokachi, Warabi Mochi with Kuromitsu (bottom)

A thickly-textured warabimochi is filled with kuromitsu made of brown sugar from Okinawa and covered with kinako made of soybeans produced in Tokachi, Hokkaido. This product is similar to kinako mochi introduced above, but the type of mochi is different. (Explained below.)

Tokachi, Matcha Warabi Mochi with Kuromitsu (top)

It's covered with a generous amount of matcha powder (Uji green tea + kinako). You can enjoy the elegant bitterness of the matcha and the sweetness of the Okinawan brown sugar. The aroma, texture, and sweetness of each are individually perceptible, creating an impressive flavor.

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Warabimochi is a chilled and smooth Japanese confectionery made from warabi/bracken flour. It is not too hard or too soft, and changes its texture as it glides in your mouth.

Warabimochi is not only tasty, but also has some health benefits. Warabi flour contains nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, carotene, and dietary fiber. It's highly nutritious and quite healthy, yet low in calories. The unique sticky texture of warabi mochi makes it easy to feel full, which is also good for weight loss. Soybean flour is also expected to have beauty and health benefits.

Taiyaki (top left) is sold frozen in the freezer, and the rest is chilled in the refrigerator.

Nichirei, Taiyaki

This taiyaki fish shaped pancake is delicious you won't believe it is a frozen food. The azuki sweet red bean paste is thoroughly soaked in the delicious broth to bring out the original flavor and color of the azuki beans. The paste is filled tightly from head to tail so that the paste hits you no matter where you eat it from. After microwaving, you can heat in a toaster oven to make the skin crispy and even more delicious. Each package comes with 5 taiyaki.

Awashimado, Mitarashi Dango

This mitarashi dango dumpling has a rich rice flavor. The sauce is homemade and tastes delicious with a taste of soy sauce. It comes with 3 skewers. Each skewer has 4 pieces of dango.

Hakushindo, Nama Yatsuhashi

This nama yatsuhashi, which means fresh yatsuhashi has moderately sweet red bean paste and mild soymilk cream inside. The skin is soft and chewy, and is dusted with cinnamon powder. You get 5 nama yatsuhashi in each package.

Shirakiku, Mitarashi Dango

We introduced Otsukimi Moon Viewing (as known as Japanese Thanksgiving) and introduced the recipe of mitarashi dango in our last newsletter, as they eat it for Otsukimi. If you've missed it, here is the link to it. Click here!


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(Custom Recipe) Taiyaki with Butter

Here is an official custom recipe from Nichirei. The sweet azuki bean paste and milky, slightly salty butter are a perfect match! Why not upgrade your ordinary taiyaki to something a little more luxurious?

Ingredients (for 1 taiyaki):

1 piece of taiyaki

0.2 oz./5 g of butter

1 tbsp of whipped cream

A few pieces of mint or another herb to your liking

Directions:

1. Heat the taiyaki according to the directions on the package.

2. Make a cross-shaped incision on one side of the taiyaki.

3. Place butter on top of the incision and garnish with herb and whipped cream.

Tip:

By making a cross-shaped incision, the melted butter will soak into the taiyaki more easily.


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There is a lot of food items, housewares, stationery, and gifts available at the store and our online store, Maido! Kairashi Shop, where you can place your order for shipping or store pickup! Happy shopping. :)
























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