Ohanasi Kagawa

Many People are Addicted! Highly Recommended Japanese Sweets with Anko

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sweets with anko

Japanese sweets are a must-try among Japanese foods.

In particular, I would like to recommend Japanese sweets using “anko” (red bean paste).

Anko is made from sweetened and mashed azuki beans.

It is also called “an.”

It is a popular ingredient in traditional Japanese sweets.

Foreigners may feel some resistance to food made from sweetened beans.

However, anko and bean foods are not the same thing.

Once you try it, you will be surprised at how delicious it is.

And you may be addicted to its cute appearance.

Today, we will introduce some typical Japanese sweets using anko.

こしあん”Koshi-an” and つぶあん”Tsubu-an” are two types of red bean paste

There are two main types of red bean paste.

One is “koshi-an.”

Koshi-an is made from cooked azuki beans that have been mashed and then strained.

The outer skin of the azuki bean curd is removed so that the texture is very smooth.

The other is “tsubu-an.”

Tsubu-an is made by cooking azuki beans softly, leaving the grains and skin.

People either prefer koshi-an or tsubu-an.

The colors of red bean paste which are called あかあん “Aka-an” and しろあん “Shiro-an”

The color of red bean paste made from azuki beans is described as “aka.”

Technically, it is not red but rather a brownish-reddish-purple or purplish-reddish-brown color.

The general term “aka-an” refers to red bean paste made from red beans such as red kidney beans as well as azuki beans.

There is also a type of red bean paste called “shiro-an.”

“Shiro-an” is made from white beans, such as white kidney beans and white flower beans, cooked sweetly and mashed.

Japanese sweets using あんこ “anko”

たいやき Taiyaki

It is shaped like a fish and filled with tsubuan on the inside.

It may seem strange that there is bean paste in a fish, but it is a cute-looking Japanese sweet.

There are specialty stores in Asakusa and other sightseeing spots.

It is recommended to eat them while walking around.

どらやき Dorayaki

This Japanese sweet is made with a fluffy pancake-like dough stuffed with tsubu-an.

Honey is used in the batter, making it moist and fluffy.

Some pancakes contain chestnuts or shiratama (white rice balls like mochi) along with the red bean paste.

They are available at convenience stores, supermarkets, and Japanese confectionery stores.

いまがわやき Imagawayaki

It is a Japanese sweet with a round shape and a filling of tsubuan or shiroan inside.

It is sometimes called “oban-yaki” or “kaiten-yaki,” depending on the region.

In Hyogo Prefecture and the Kansai region, Imagawa-yaki is called “Gozasouro.”

This is the name of the Imagawa-yaki store that originated in Hyogo.

“Gozasoro” is loved by the locals, and is now easily found in the food sections of department stores all over the country.

It can be eaten in department stores and tourist areas.

だいふく Daifuku

It is a Japanese sweet made of mochi dough and wrapped with either koshi-an or tsubu-an.

There are many ways to arrange the bean paste and the dough.

Mame daifuku is made by boiling large peas or black beans with salt and wrapping them in mochi dough.

There are also various types of Daifuku, such as salty salt Daifuku and Kusa Daifuku with yomogi (mugwort).

We especially recommend the strawberry daifuku.

It contains a single strawberry wrapped in mochi dough and koshian.

It can be purchased at convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, and Japanese confectionery stores.

There are many other Japanese sweets using anko. 

  • おだんご Odango
  • ようかん Youkan
  • 八つ橋 Yatsuhashi
  • 最中 Monaka
  • あんぱん Anpan
  • あんみつ Anmitsu
  • おしるこ Oshiruko

The list is endless when you include famous local confections.

That is how inseparable Japanese sweets and anko are.

Let’s get to know Anko, talk about Japanese sweets, and have fun at Ohanashi Kagawa!

Ohanasi Kagawa