Lovely New Year's Treats! Bunny Buns

Lovely New Year's Treats! Bunny Buns

Next year is the Year of the Rabbit! Challenge yourself and take the time to make these adorable bunny manju (steamed filled buns)! They're easier than you think. Time necessary: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 10 buns

Yamato-imo (Japanese sticky potato), grated
30 g
Caster sugar
70 g
70 g
Smooth sweet red bean paste
300 g
Red food coloring
as needed


1. Roll the red bean paste into 10 balls, each weighing 30 grams.
2. Add sugar to the grated potato, and use a wooden spatula to mix together. (If you add a tiny bit of red food coloring, that'll make it a very cute pink.)
3. Add flour, and mix with the wooden spatula. When the mix forms a dough, start using your hands to mix.
4. If the dough gets too hard, add a bit of water. It should be about as soft as your earlobes. Divide it into 10 equal portions and roll into balls.
5. Wrap the bean paste in the dough. Roll each ball out to a circle about the size of your palm, and place the bean paste in the middle.
6. Wrap the bean paste by stretching the dough around it. Cover the an entirely with the dough. If you stretch the dough from the sides, the bean paste won't show through from the top.
7. The dough will be very thin, so take care not to tear it when you're wrapping the bean paste. If you're having trouble, try making 20% more dough.
8. Form the finished balls into barrels, arrange in a steamer and mist with water. When steam starts to rise, put them in the steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes.
9. Heat the tip of a metal skewer over a flame until it's red, then sear the tops of the buns to make the ear pattern.
10. Dissolve the red food coloring in water, and use a toothpick to make the eyes.

Story Behind this Recipe

It'll be moon-viewing time (tsukimi) soon. I didn't want to just make boring old dango (rice dumplings), so I made these roly-poly cute little bunny buns. They're easier than you think.