Sake Manju--Better Than Those Sold in Souvenir Shops!

Sake Manju--Better Than Those Sold in Souvenir Shops!

This is my second recipe using sake lees! Since they're cheaper and more delicious than those you can buy in stores, try these sake lees manju!

Ingredients: Makes about 20 manju buns

Sake lees
100 g
3 tablespoons
Cake flour
120 g
Baking powder
2 teaspoons
Sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
100 g
Anko (I used koshi-an)
500 g


1. [To prepare the ingredients] Microwave the sake lees for 20 seconds, then strain. Sift together the cake flour and baking powder. Make 25 g balls of anko.
2. Strain the sake lees, and mix in the sake until smooth. Add the sugar, then mix until well blended. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, then mix until it's no longer floury.
3. Dust a metal tray with flour (not listed), then place the dough on top, lightly roll into a ball, then separate it into 20 pieces. Next, wrap the dough around the balls of anko.
4. The anko balls should look like this. When wrapping, lightly spread the dough on the palm of your hand, place the anko on top, then stretch the dough around while pulling it over any gaps. The dough is quite sticky, but it will become hard if you use too much flour for dusting.
5. Place the prepared manju on parchment paper cut into 5 x 5 cm square sheets.
6. Fill a pot (steamer) with water, add about 1 teaspoon sake (not listed), then bring to a boil. Spritz the manju with water, then steam over high heat. It should take 13-15 minutes. The manju should be spaced about 5 cm apart or else they will stick, as they did in this photo.
7. The manju on the left has not yet been steamed, while the one on the right has been steamed through. They should rise about this much. The surface will shine if left to cool at room temperature. By the way, they taste great fresh from the steamer!
8. Since steaming is troublesome, I tried microwaving them. I microwaved them with a cup filled with water for 2 minutes. They came out dry, hard, and did not rise. The moisture also was drawn out of the anko paste--in short, it was a complete failure!

Story Behind this Recipe

I came up with this recipe to use up my sake lees. After making these, I realized that white sugar may bring out the aroma of the sake better. It would also be nice with pickled cherry blossoms inside.
I also would like to come up with an easy way to make these in the microwave.