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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lucky Me! Manju and Hojicha from Kyoto, Japan

I LOVE manju. When I was a kid we only had it once or twice a year because there were no shops that made it fresh and sold it locally. When I moved to California I was thrilled that not only did the Japanese grocery stores sell it in one form or another but there is a manju shop in downtown San Jose's Japantown that is so famous even the Emperor of Japan made a request to sample their manju while visiting the Bay Area.

Manju is sweetened red bean paste called "an" that is wrapped inside of sweet and sticky pounded rice called mochi, or is baked inside of several different types of dough.

But this was the first time I've ever had manju fresh from Japan. Thanks so much to my friend Michael who was recently traveling there and was kind of enough to share with me. I met Michael for lunch yesterday and he surprised me with manju, hojicha tea and some crunchy snacks. What a treat! I mean really it just blew me away. *Nom, nom, nom* I just finished eating the second piece of manju... It was so good!

This is Michael on his trip to Japan. That's Michael on the right in the green t-shirt dining with friends, the Kyoto market where he purchased the manju, snacks and tea and a temple where he attended a service. To see more pictures of his trip CLICK HERE

Manju made with bean paste and mochi.

Hojicha (roasted green tea leaves)

Crunchy Snacks covered in flavored powders. I loved them all!

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