Rikyu Manju

READY IN: 1hr 12mins
YIELD: 12 manju




  • Put the brown sugar, the white sugar and 1 tablespoon water into a small pan and heat over low heat just until the sugar is melted.
  • Do not cook until syrupy; place into a mixing bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the baking soda with 1 tablespoon water in a separate small bowl, and add to the cooled sugar solution.
  • (It is important for the sugar solution to have cooled because if it is still hot, that will affect the rising ablility of the baking soda).
  • Sift the flour and add it to the sugar/baking soda solution in the mixing bowl.
  • Mix well with a spoon, then gather up the dough into a ball with your hands.
  • Depending on how long the sugar was cooked, you will need to adjust the amount of flour to make a dough that is soft but not too sticky.
  • Divide the sweet bean paste into 12 portions and shape it into balls.
  • Dust your hands with a little flour (if you use too much flour, the manju with have white spots on them).
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces, and flatten each piece into a circle, making the edges thinner than the center.
  • Place a bean paste ball in the center, and wrap the dough around it, forming a ball shape, and sealing the dough at the bottom of the ball.
  • Place the finished manju on a small piece of wax paper, with the sealed portion facing the paper.
  • When all are shaped, put a clean cloth towel (not terry) into the top part of a steamer, with water boiling in the lower part.
  • Line up the manju in the steamer,leaving some space for expansion between them.
  • Cover and steam on high heat for 12 to 13 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and remove the cover of the steamer.
  • Fan the steamed manju briefly to make the surface shiny.
  • When they are not so hot, remove from the steamer with lightly oiled hands.
  • Cool on a wire rack.