Desserts are the last serving on a fine dining restaurant. Desserts usually consist of sweet delicacies. Desserts have been known in every country including Japan. Japan also has a wide variety of Japanese dessert .
Japan was making desserts for centuries before sugar became widely available in the country. As a result, Japanese dessert developed unique desserts that were based on the ingredients that were available such as rice and sweet beans. It’s served only for the Japanese Emperor and His royal family. But the good news is, we can enjoy it now.
Japan has more to offer with their rich selection of desserts and I will take you to eye-taste it one by one through this article.
Mochi are a fundamental ingredient of Japanese desserts. Mochi is a sticky rice cake with various kind of filling. This dessert can be your favorite snacks in the evening. The most popular mocha is filled with sweet red beans. They are also a dessert on their own. For example, mochi can be toasted and sweetened with a topping such as kinako.
Daifuku are pockets of mochi with various sweet fillings. They are as common as cake in Japan. The reason why the name of this dessert is Ichigo Daifuku is come from the usage of a whole strawberry (ichigo) as the filling of mocha.
Dorayaki is a kind of castella pancake sandwiched with a filling anko on the center. In many cases, other ingredients to fill of dorayaki usually is a red bean jam, chocolate or matcha (green tea powder). The texture of dorayaki is soft and tender suitable to be served along with a healthy cup of green tea.
Small crepe shops are a common sight in Japan. Japanese crepes are typically handheld with a pancake that’s similar to the French original with fillings such as fruit, whipped cream, chocolate and ice cream. Many have elaborate and original designs with chocolates, biscuits, small cakes or big pieces of fruit on top.
Anmitsu is a classic Japanese dessert that includes an assortment of ingredients such as anko, agar jelly, mochi, chestnuts, sweet beans, fruits and boiled peas with a side of sweet black syrup as a topping. There’s no standard recipe for Anmitsu but anko and agar jelly are the core ingredients. Anmitsu with ice cream is considered a separate dessert known as Cream Anmitsu.
You can find this signature dessert in Kyoto. Yatsuhashi has the soft texture of mochi and filled with cinnamons. Yatsuhashi usually served as steamed desserts but you can also find the fried version of this dessert along with the red bean paste as the filling.
Our next Japanese popular dessert is Yokan. It’sa Japanese thick gelatin made from sugar, red bean paste and of course gelatin. Yokan can beaded with sweet nuts, green tea powder or grounded chestnut. Practically every souvenir shop in Japan sells a local version in a block with individually wrapped slices.
Dango are chewy Japanese rice dumplings. They taste best grilled with a sweet topping. Dango can also be toasted over an open fire like marshmallows.Dango is served at least three dangoes and put it into a bamboo stick. The taste of dango is depend on the current Japanese seasons.
Wasanbon is a type of Japanese sugar that comes from the northernmost sugarcane crop in the world. The products of local Japanese farm usually more expensive than the imported ones. Local Japanese sugar can cost you 10 times of the imported sugar. Due to its pricey matters, local Japanese sugar only used only for certain products and Wasanbo is the example of it. So, can you imagine the price of real Japanese sweetness?
Hanabiramochi means “petal flower mocha” in Japanese. Hanabiramochi are a delicate dessert that represent an ume blossom wrapped around an Ayu fish that have symbolic meaning for New Year’s. They consist of a white mochi wrapped around a pink mochi such that the pink shows through at the center but not the edges. They are filled with white anko or sweet white miso and a candied gobo root that sticks out the ends.
Namagashi is a category of traditional Japanese dessert that includes any fresh prepared sweet that is fancy enough to present at tea ceremony. It is common for Namagashi and Higashi to be served together.
Simple sponge cakes that have been a Japanese favorite ever since they were introduced to the country by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Honey Toast is a dessert that’s available at cafes in Japan that consists of a very large piece of toast or caramelized bread with honey, ice cream, fruits and other sweet items on top.
Manju are a type of Chinese style steamed bun that come in hundreds of varieties. Most are a bread-like bun with a sticky texture filled with a sweet paste such as anko. Manju first arrived from China in 1341 and have a long history in Japan.
Imagawayaki are a thick pancake-like dessert that are traditionally filled with anko. Recent varieties also include fruit jams, custards, meats, potato and curry. Imagawayaki are known by dozens of different names depending on their region and type.
Karukan is a steamed sweet bread that contains grated Japanese yam. It’s a specialty of Kyushu and many cities and towns in the region have unique versions of Karukan that often include a sweet filling.
Monaka have a crispy outer shell and are filled with sweet ingredients such as red bean paste, chestnut paste, mochi and ice cream. The outer shell is made with mochiko flour and has a texture similar to an ice cream cone.
A dessert of mochigome rice coated in anko that has a history of dating back to the 13th century. Botamochi are associated with the Spring and Autumn equinox, two national holidays in Japan that are traditional times to visit the graves of ancestors.
Yatsuhashi is a mochi-like dessert that’s made with cinnamon. It’s served either baked or raw. The baked version is crispy like a senbei. Raw yatsuhashi are typically served as a dumpling with anko in the middle.
Shiruko is a Japanese dessert soup that is made with crushed azuki beans and mochi. It has a number of variations that include both watery and thick chilly-like soups. Shiruko is a winter dish that’s normally served hot with a small salty side item.
Tokoroten is a clear noodle that’s made by boiling seaweed and pressing the resulting jelly using a wooden mold. It is served cold with ingredients such as soy sauce, sesame and nori. Although it isn’t sweet it is often considered a dessert.
That is the selections of popular Japanese dessert; I hope you can enjoy them all when you go there and it will becomes a reference for doing a culinary journey there. See you on other interesting articles.