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Japanese foods--Wagashi


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#121 torakris

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:56 PM

I picked up the pack of seasonal wagashi from a local shop

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top left: satsumaimo (sweet potato) ohagi
top right: kabocha youkan

bottom left: kaki (persimmon) mochi
bottom right: usagi (rabbit) mochi

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#122 MomOfLittleFoodies

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:13 PM

Wow Kristin, it all looks good, but that rabbit mochi is so darned cute.
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#123 Culinista

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 10:30 AM

OK, this thread has made me SERIOUSLY hungry for wagashi.

BTW, years ago I had a fantastic kuri manju made at a stand while you wait near Asakusa in Tokyo. They did not keep at all-an hour later, and the special texture was completely lost. Anyone know what I am talking about and if I can find it again? I've been back many times and wandered the streets, but I haven't found it.

#124 Hiroyuki

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:21 PM

In her recent, fabulous foodblog, helenjp showed us her home-made hanabira-mochi.
http://forums.egulle...dpost&p=1096189

My sister-in-law visited us yesterday, and kindly gave us this box of wagashi:
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Sho (pine), chiku (bamboo), and bai (plum) wagashi and rabit ones.
Surprisingly, the box also contained several hanabira-mochi. It had white an in it.
Posted Image

#125 helenjp

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 08:14 PM

I'll post a photo to go with this later, but the other day I unwisely told my kids to pick one pack of snacks each for the week...and one of them came up with Akita Morokoshi. My husband groaned, but they weren't expensive, so in they went.
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Not expensive! :biggrin: . Turns out there was a good reason for that.

Apparently made to reward the leaders in some military campaigning or scheming, they seem to belong to the great tradition of military cooking - making artful use of stuff that didn't get thrown out fast enough!

The "morokoshi" doesn't refer to "corn" here, but "moro-moro no kashi wo koshita mono" (better than all other confectionery). They are made from azuki bean skins (Ever wondered what to do with them after you've sieved cooked beans for koshi-an bean jam? Now you know.) and sugar, pressed together and molded like rakugan, turned out, and baked till hard and a bit toasty-tasting on the outsides. However, they have a distinictive harshness to the taste. I think the modern ones might be azuki bean powder rather than just the skins??? :hmmm: .

Edited by helenjp, 12 January 2006 - 01:04 AM.


#126 torakris

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 06:28 PM

a recent wagashi gift from one of my students, the sakura mochi were really wonderful!

Posted Image

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#127 SuzySushi

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:02 PM

Does anyone know the name of the Japanese tea ceremony sweets -- very traditional powdery dry candies -- that come in round rice-paper covered boxes with prints from Tale of Genji on the top? Website?

(I don't like the sweets much, but I've saved several boxes to use for stamps & other stationery!)
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#128 Hiroyuki

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 07:46 PM

Does anyone know the name of the Japanese tea ceremony sweets -- very traditional powdery dry candies -- that come in round rice-paper covered boxes with prints from Tale of Genji on the top? Website?

(I don't like the sweets much, but I've saved several boxes to use for stamps & other stationery!)

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No reply from anyone?
Could you be more specific? Some kind of higashi or rakugan?
Some explanation of higashi can be found here.

#129 SuzySushi

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:03 PM

Does anyone know the name of the Japanese tea ceremony sweets -- very traditional powdery dry candies -- that come in round rice-paper covered boxes with prints from Tale of Genji on the top? Website?

(I don't like the sweets much, but I've saved several boxes to use for stamps & other stationery!)

View Post

No reply from anyone?
Could you be more specific? Some kind of higashi or rakugan?
Some explanation of higashi can be found here.

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Nininsuzuka (二人静), from what's written in calligraphy on the cover. (Glad the Wikipedia list helped me transliterate the first two kanji characters into print!)

Do you know anything more about them?
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#130 helenjp

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:49 PM

Futari Shizuka confectionery - made from powdered rice, light brown "wasanbon" sugar, and very little syrup, then pressed into shape and allowed to dry.

The box-lid shows the shirabyoushi dancer Shizuka in her white dancing costume, and presumably her lover Yoshitsune (but possibly the enemy who forced her to dance, but a bit hard to tell from the tiny picture!). The name of the confectionery refers to a time near the end of her life when she was captured, pregnant, after her lover had fled with his family and killed himself to avoid capture. She was forced to dance in front of her lover's enemy (his half-brother), and gave a famous performance celebrating her love for Yoshitsune. As she danced, her ghost appeared and danced with her, and so the dance and the Noh play written about the event are known as "The Two Shizukas" (Sometimes pronounced Ninin Shizuka, sometimes Futari Shizuka). Moved, her enemy's wife and daughter pleaded for her life to be spared, but her son was killed at birth and she herself died not very long after.

The shape of the sweets is also said to resemble a plant named "the two shizukas" because it flowers with double white flower-spikes, but I haven't seen the sweets, so I'm not sure about this.

Futari Shizuka plant

#131 Hiroyuki

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:01 PM

(Sometimes pronounced Ninin Shizuka, sometimes Futari Shizuka)

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According to the manufacturer, Ryochuchiya Korekiyo, the wagashi is called Ninin Shizuka. Usually, the plant is called Futari Shizuka, but in the Owari region of Japan, the plant is more often called Ninin Shizuka.
I found this site, which lists chabana (flower placed at a tea room for decoration). Futari Shizuka can be found under 六月.

#132 SuzySushi

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:40 PM

Futari Shizuka confectionery - made from powdered rice, light brown "wasanbon" sugar, and very little syrup, then pressed into shape and allowed to dry.

The box-lid shows the shirabyoushi dancer Shizuka in her white dancing costume, and presumably her lover Yoshitsune (but possibly the enemy who forced her to dance, but a bit hard to tell from the tiny picture!).

The shape of the sweets is also said to resemble a plant named "the two shizukas" because it flowers with double white flower-spikes, but I haven't seen the sweets, so I'm not sure about this.

Futari Shizuka plant

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YES! That's it!!!

As for the sweets resembling the plant, as far as I recall, each paper-wrapped bonbon contains two tiny sweets, one white, one pale pink, so they might be meant to represent the flowers.

Gee... and all these years I thought the pictures were from Tale of Genji!!
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#133 purpleplasticdoll

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 05:39 AM

Where do one buy kasutera in Tokyo? I don't think I've noticed it anywhere in Tokyo. I am sure food basements in the departmental stores should have it, but whenever I look, I can't find it.

I bought mine in Nagasaki and Yokohama but in May, I'll only be visiting Tokyo and am worried I can't find it anywhere, I've been craving for it!

#134 torakris

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

Where do one buy kasutera in Tokyo? I don't think I've noticed it anywhere in Tokyo. I am sure food basements in the departmental stores should have it, but whenever I look, I can't find it.

I bought mine in Nagasaki and Yokohama but in May, I'll only be visiting Tokyo and am worried I can't find it anywhere, I've been craving for it!

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It must be one of those foods that you can never find when you are looking for it. :biggrin:
I am sure you should be able to find it in a department store basement even my local supermarkets carry them (either whole or just slices). Are you looking for the Nagasaki kasutera? There is also a Tokyo kasutera (castella)
If you really want the real Nagasaki version, some of the famous shops have branches in Tokyo. Fukusaya

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#135 Hiroyuki

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:33 PM

I'm a fan of Bunmeido Kasutera, for no particular reasons, simply because it's what I grew up with.
A list of Bunmeido shops can be found here (Japanese only, though).
It's impossible that you can't find a shop selling kasutera in Tokyo.
Even station kiosks (well, not all of them) sell it!

#136 purpleplasticdoll

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:41 PM

Thank you! I know what Tokyo definitely has many places selling kasutera, I just can't seem to find it when I want it! :blink: I'll be traveling to Tokyo in May with my Aunt but she'll be away in London and I get to explore Tokyo for a week all by myself. I'm quite scared actually since I'm 18 and do not know the language.

Torakris, Thanks! I'd love to try Tokyo kasutera.. but I can't read Japanese. It says Ueno? Yeah, the link you gave for the Nagaski kasutera was the one I ate in Nagasaki, very very delicious!

A picture of the green tea kasutera I bought in Nagasaki:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by purpleplasticdoll, 09 February 2006 - 10:43 PM.


#137 torakris

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:14 PM

I think your best best for finding Tokyo castella (kasutera/kasuteira) might be the Asakusa area. You will be able to find alot of Japanese traditional sweets, sembei, etc and it is just a great place to walk around.
Here is one shop in Asakusa that sells them, they are even their 2nd best selling item. If you scroll down there is a picture on the left of their Tokyo castella.

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#138 Hiroyuki

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:35 PM

Now I know what Tokyo Kasutera is.
I didn't know that!

一般的に長崎カステラと呼ばれるものは、長崎県の銘菓だけでなく、製法が同じものを総称している。 水飴を用いる事でしっとりとした食感をもたらしており、牛乳・抹茶・黒糖・チョコレート・チーズなどを加えて味付けをする変種も多い。この他に釜カステラ(東京カステラともいい、一つ一つの型に入れてオーブンで焼いたタイプ。水飴を用いない事からさっぱりとしており、カステラの原型に近いともいわれる)、蒸しカステラ、カステラ饅頭、ロールカステラ、人形焼などがある。

from here

#139 purpleplasticdoll

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:37 PM

Ok, thanks! I'll definitely try Asakusa, I love that place

#140 Pan

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:43 PM

Now I know what Tokyo Kasutera is.
I didn't know that!

一般的に長崎カステラと呼ばれるものは、長崎県の銘菓だけでなく、製法が同じものを総称している。 水飴を用いる事でしっとりとした食感をもたらしており、牛乳・抹茶・黒糖・チョコレート・チーズなどを加えて味付けをする変種も多い。この他に釜カステラ(東京カステラともいい、一つ一つの型に入れてオーブンで焼いたタイプ。水飴を用いない事からさっぱりとしており、カステラの原型に近いともいわれる)、蒸しカステラ、カステラ饅頭、ロールカステラ、人形焼などがある。

from here

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Hiroyuki (or Kristin, or whoever), could you please translate that or give an English summary?

#141 Hiroyuki

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 12:28 AM

Now I know what Tokyo Kasutera is.
I didn't know that!

一般的に長崎カステラと呼ばれるものは、長崎県の銘菓だけでなく、製法が同じものを総称している。 水飴を用いる事でしっとりとした食感をもたらしており、牛乳・抹茶・黒糖・チョコレート・チーズなどを加えて味付けをする変種も多い。この他に釜カステラ(東京カステラともいい、一つ一つの型に入れてオーブンで焼いたタイプ。水飴を用いない事からさっぱりとしており、カステラの原型に近いともいわれる)、蒸しカステラ、カステラ饅頭、ロールカステラ、人形焼などがある。

from here

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Hiroyuki (or Kristin, or whoever), could you please translate that or give an English summary?

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OK, a quick summary:
Nagasaki kasutera has a moist texture because it contains maltose.
Kama kasutera, also known as Tokyo kasutera, is molded and baked in an oven. It has a light texture because it does not contain maltose.

I'll provide a more detailed translation later.

#142 Hiroyuki

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 12:59 AM

Hiroyuki (or Kristin, or whoever), could you please translate that or give an English summary?

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In general, "Nagasaki kasutera" is used to refer to not only that specialty of Nagasaki prefecture but also any cake made with the same method. It provides a moist texture by using mizuame (maltose), and there are variations flavored with milk, matcha, kurozatou, chocolate, cheese, and so on. Other types include kama kasutera, also known as Tokyo kasutera, which is made by putting in a mold and baking in an oven, has a light texture because it does not use mizuame, and is said to be close to the original kasutera), mushi (steamed) kasutera, kasutera manju, roll kasutera, and ningyo yaki.

Pan, see also the English page for Castella
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castella

I still like Bunmeido's Kasutera. It's dense and moist, and has zarame sugar at the bottom.

#143 SuzySushi

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 07:35 AM

Hiroyuki (or Kristin, or whoever), could you please translate that or give an English summary?

View Post

In general, "Nagasaki kasutera" is used to refer to not only that specialty of Nagasaki prefecture but also any cake made with the same method. It provides a moist texture by using mizuame (maltose), and there are variations flavored with milk, matcha, kurozatou, chocolate, cheese, and so on. Other types include kama kasutera, also known as Tokyo kasutera, which is made by putting in a mold and baking in an oven, has a light texture because it does not use mizuame, and is said to be close to the original kasutera), mushi (steamed) kasutera, kasutera manju, roll kasutera, and ningyo yaki.

Pan, see also the English page for Castella
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castella

I still like Bunmeido's Kasutera. It's dense and moist, and has zarame sugar at the bottom.

View Post



Wow! I hadn't realized there were so many different types! Of course, with the heavy influx of Japanese culture in Hawaii, we can get kasutera pretty easily here, sometimes even in supermarkets. Bunmeido even has a bakery here.
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#144 sanrensho

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 03:56 PM

We recently received a box of Sugomori from my wife's parents in Nagano Pref. I guess you could call it fusion wagashi, based on the use of chocolate. Wow, were these good! It's been a long time since I've been really impressed with wagashi, so this was a pleasant surprise.

These are simply kimi an enrobed in a thin glaze of white chocolate. They also make seasonal variations with flavoured kimi an, but the basic version was impressive enough. Yum!

Now if only I could convince someone to send me some Bunmeida castella...

Edited by sanrensho, 22 February 2006 - 03:57 PM.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#145 torakris

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 04:41 PM

Sakura shigure, these were wonderful!
Iw as only able to eat 2 as my son snuck the remaining four when I wasn't looking. :angry:

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#146 torakris

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:37 PM

Posted Image

sakura castella

This was a supermarket version and was ok tasting but on the dry side, also the salted cherry blossom on top made the parts of the cake it touched so unbearably salty you couldn't eat it.

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#147 Kuma

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 12:45 AM

I have a favourite recipe for Honey Kasutera - I've entered it Here for you

Enjoy !! :cool:

#148 Hiroyuki

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 04:24 PM

Todays's edition of "Me Ga Ten" featured warabi. They say that warabi ko (flour) costs 20,000 yen per 1 kg (2.2 lb.) and its starch particles are small and spherical, giving warabi mochi its smooth texture. A wagashi maker at Ikko-an kneaded warabi paste for 30 minutes with a pestle-like tool.
You can see a photo of warabi mochi of Ikko-an here and here.

I have never eaten real warabi mochi... Now I crave it :sad: .

#149 torakris

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 04:27 PM

I have a favourite recipe for Honey Kasutera - I've entered it Here for you

Enjoy !!  :cool:

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Oooh, thank you!
That sounds so good and so easy! I will try it today, I was thinking of what to make for this cold rainy Sunday.....

Quick questions, what exactly are you using for raw sugar? I am thinking the Japanese kurozato/kokuto (black raw sugar) is quite strong and would overpower the honey. Though it might make a nice black sugar castella.

Why do you mix it after the first 15 minutes?
That is interesting and I don't think I have ever seen that before.

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#150 Kiem Hwa

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:12 AM


In general, "Nagasaki kasutera" is used to refer to not only that specialty of Nagasaki prefecture but also any cake made with the same method.  It provides a moist texture by using mizuame (maltose), and there are variations flavored with milk, matcha, kurozatou, chocolate, cheese, and so on.  Other types include kama kasutera, also known as Tokyo kasutera, which is made by putting in a mold and baking in an oven, has a light texture because it does not use mizuame, and is said to be close to the original kasutera), mushi (steamed) kasutera, kasutera manju, roll kasutera, and ningyo yaki.

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Wow! I hadn't realized there were so many different types! Of course, with the heavy influx of Japanese culture in Hawaii, we can get kasutera pretty easily here, sometimes even in supermarkets. Bunmeido even has a bakery here.

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So is the Bunmeido in Hawaii a branch from a chain in Japan?

As for the Nagasaki Kasutera, do they just put in some refined maltose, or some ingredient with a high maltose content? Id be interested to try out different recipes (Nagasaki vs Tokyo).