The Japanese diet features plenty of healthy, nutritious savory dishes – but what about dessert?
As you’d expect, Japanese desserts are colorful, creative, and absolutely delicious. Featuring chocolates, creams, fruits, sponge, and more, Japanese desserts incorporate a gorgeous variety of ingredients.
Whether you want to try crafting these in your restaurant, at home, or just want to know which dessert to pick next time you visit your local Japanese eatery, we’ve got you covered …
You’ve probably already heard of mochi. These are a key fixture in many Japanese desserts, though they’re a popular dish in themselves, without additional ingredients.
Mochi is made from glutinous rice, which is made into a paste before being shaped however you like. It’s especially tasty when toasted, with a sweet topping, perhaps with a little fruit on the side.
Higashi are made with soybean flour or sugar, and made to be as visually-satisfying as possible (like all Japanese food). Not only do these candies look absolutely irresistible, whatever their color or design, but they’re usually delicious.
Higashi are commonly served with tea or as gifts – and it’s easy to see why.
This dessert is like a thick pancake, usually served with anko as the filling, though you might also see custards, fruity spreads, or even potatoes. Meat has also been used in Imagawayaki, if you can believe it!
These look terrific, and while they may lack color on their own, the filling can really brighten them up.
This is a traditional dessert, often seen at tea ceremonies or other formal situations (like higashi).
These are freshly-made, usually with fruity jellies, sweet bean-pastes, and more. They also include various designs in their decoration (leaves, flowers, seasonal motifs), and are a powerful complement to higashi.
These delicious pancakes are made from castella, with an Azuki red-bean paste in the center. They’re a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Chefs may innovate and experiment with their own additions, such as ice cream, nuts, fruits, and anything else they fancy.
This classic dessert is pretty open to interpretation, often featuring various ingredients, including fruits, mochi, chestnuts, boiled peas, and more. It’s generally served with black syrup, for extra taste and a more diverse texture.
While there’s actually no strict guidelines regarding must-have elements, agar jelly and anko serve as the core elements. Apart from that, you can have fun experimenting with it!
Speaking of anko, this is more than just a filling and topping – it’s often eaten by itself.
Anko is produced with azuki beans, which were a popular ingredient in desserts before processed sugar became available in Japan. It’s a fantastic treat on its own or with another dessert.
Another confection, manju are made in a huge variety of types. These are generally made with rice powder, buckwheat, and flour, while their filling may include anko.
One of the most popular manju variations is the matcha, with a green tea-flavoring and an appropriate green color. Other fillings include orange and various fruit-flavorings,
Though they originated in China, manju have been a favorite in Japan for around 700 years.
We hope this gives you plenty of inspiration to satisfy that sweet tooth the Japanese way! Our Japanese kitchen knives are the perfect tool for slicing, chopping, and preparing desserts to perfection.
Have you tried any of these treats?