Manju is one of many types of wagashi, or small Japanese confections. There are lots of varieties based on region and preference, but in general Manju is some sort of thin bun filled with a sweet paste filling. Originating in China, they were introduced to Japan around 700 years ago and have been a popular sweet snack since.
The most common filling is a sweet red bean paste, although other types of sweetened beans are used occasionally, as are chestnuts and other ingredients. Meanwhile, there are different types of outer bun, including those made out of buckwheat, rice flour, wheat flour, or yam. Some Manju include matcha as well. Depending on where you are in Japan, certain kinds will be especially popular.
Along with differences in filling and exterior, Manju can also be differentiated by whether they’re steamed or baked. A steamed bun is softer and smoother, while a baked bun will have a thin soft “crust” of sorts.
Different types of Manju are sold at Uwajimaya alongside our other confections and sweets. Plus, if you want to make your own, you can find all the ingredients throughout our store!