Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Daifuku Manju (Rice Cakes)

The phrase "rice cake" conjurs up images of a dry, crunchy cracker made of puffed rice. But, "rice cake" can also refer to a soft, round cake of glutinous rice flour, filled with a sweet paste.

I tend to buy daifuku manju (大福まんじゅう) with a plain cake and a sweet red bean paste filling (pictured above, sometimes the rice gluten cake is white instead of pink so read the label!).

However, the rice cakes also come in other flavors, including macadamia nut (white, below at left) and mango (orange, below at right).

The macadamia nut cake was unexpectedly crunchy, due to chunks of macadamia nut in the cake's exterior. The filling was my favorite - red bean paste. The mango cake, with a mango-esque filling, was a bit cloying for my taste.

A Japanese confection, rice cakes can be found at Asian groceries. In Denver, I've found them at the Pacific Mercantile and at H-Mart. Sometimes they are in a refrigerated section (Pacific Mercantile), sometimes in the freezer (H-Mart), and other times they are on the shelf, or even by the cash register. I'm not aware of any reason why the rice cakes need to be refrigerated or frozen; they don't last long in my home, anyway.

Thanks to Deb in Denver for the Japanese translation.

Pacific Mercantile Company
1925 Lawrence
Denver, CO 80202

2751 South Parker Road (Parker & Yale)
Aurora, CO 80014


ClaireWalter said...

The images on this post, the second one of the 18th and to an extent the Liks post, also on the 18th are color-coordinated with your blog template. Intentional or accidental artisitry?

Claire @

Beatrice said...

Any artistry is purely accidental, especially in terms of color scheme...

I hadn't noticed the colors matching up in the last 3 posts, but I have been wondering if a reader would ask if I interpret the term "vegetarian" to mean "skip dinner and go right for dessert" - I feel like I've been posting about a lot of sweets lately...


ClaireWalter said...

A lot of non-vegetarians I know believe in the "skip dinner and go right for dessert" approach. The corollary is, "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first."


Rita said...

I can't believe I found someone else that likes manju!! I am not asian, actually I am Brazilian but I grew up eating manjus since there is a lot of Japanese immigrants in my hometown. I used to like one that looks like a bread dough outside, and have the bean filling.
Nice blog!

Beatrice said...


You are lucky to have grown up eating manju; I didn't discover them until grad school. I know that some people find the texture off-putting, but as far as I'm concerned, that just means more for me!

Your blog is lovely, by the way.


dining tables said...

Wow! This looks delicious. I have never had one of these. I want to try it.