Bakery: Shuei-Do Manju Shop
City: San Jose, CA
Shuei-Do Manju Shop is a block down the street from Gombei, so I got some Japanese sweets after lunch on Friday. Below is the set of 6 sweets I picked, which was a combination of daifuku and manju.
Here, we have the white manju; steamed wheat flour with smooth azuki (red) bean.
Below is some info about manjū, from Wikipedia:
Manjū (饅頭, まんじゅう) is a popular traditional Japanese confection. There are many varieties of manjū, but most have an outside made from flour, rice powder and buckwheat and a filling of anko (red bean paste), made from boiled azuki beans and sugar. They are boiled together again and kneaded. There are several varieties of bean paste used including koshian, tsubuan, and tsubushian.
Manjū was derived from a type of mochi (蒸餅), or pounded rice cake, that has existed in China for a long time. It was originally called mantou in Chinese, but became known as manjū when it came to Japan. In 1341, a Japanese envoy that came back from China brought back manjū with him and started to sell it as Nara-manjū. It is said that this was the origin of Japanese manjū. Since then, it has been eaten for nearly 700 years by Japanese people. Now it can be found in many Japanese sweet shops. Its low price is a reason that it is popular.
The difference between mochi and manju is that mochi is made from pounded ricecake while manju is made of rice powder, flour, and buckwheat flour. Texturally, manju has a flakey crust and a cake-like interior. (Origamidumpling)