18 Wagashi - Japanese desserts

Wagashi [和菓子] is a traditional Japanese confectionery or sweet that is usually served with tea, especially types made from mochi, anko, and fruits. O wagashi it is usually made from plant ingredients. In this article, we will see 18 of these desserts.

Want to Learn How to Make Wagashi?

Before reading the article that recommends you the Traditional Japanese Cooking course Wagashi. You can see an interview in Jornal da Tarde about Cesar the creator of this course and his Wagashi recipes:

1. Namagashi (生菓子)

Namagashi is the general term for sweets used in the tea ceremony. They must be aesthetically pleasing. Many of them are filled with azuki bean paste.

Namagashi can contain jellies, other jellies, they are made from natural ingredients and usually have an appearance of nature like flowers and plants.

Namagashi. Jpg

2. sakuramochi (桜餅)

Sakura mochi are rice balls filled with bean paste and covered with a sakura leaf. Mochi Sakura are eaten to celebrate the girl's day (Hinamatsuri) in Japan on March 3rd.


3. Amanatto (甘納豆)

Amanatto most of the time they are Azuki beans covered in sugar. Basically a jujube made of beans and other grains. The beans are cooked in water with sugar, and after being dried covered with more sugar.

Not only azuki, but soybeans and other beans can be used to make an Amanatto thus creating its own flavor. Amanatto is most popular with the elderly over 60, it is usually served with tea in nursing homes in Japan. 


4. Kompeito (甘納豆)

Kompeito candies are small colored candies made of pure sugar. They are round and have small, naturally occurring bumps as part of the cooking process looking like a star or an asteroid.

Kompêto was first introduced to Japan by English merchants in the 16th century. Kompêto are gifts of thanks to visitors to the Imperial House of Japan.


5. Hanabiramochi (葩餅)

Hanabiramochi means "flower petal mochi". It is traditionally served at the first tea ceremony of the new year. This tradition started with the Imperial Family. Hanabiramochi has a different shape and color.

It is filled with mung bean paste. The shape and colors of the hanabiramochi have symbolic meaning (related to the new year).

Japanese desert hanabiramochi

6.Suama (寿甘)

Suama is a dessert made from rice flour and sugar. It uses red dye on the outside and remains white on the inside.


7. Wasanbon (和三盆)

Wasanbon are colorful sugar candies. Sugar is made from cane fines grown locally in Shikoku, called taketo (竹糖) or chikusha (竹蔗).


8. Botamochi (ぼたもち)

A seasonal treat made with rice pudding and red bean paste.


9. Karukan (軽羹)

A Kyushu dessert made from rice flour, sugar and Japanese yam.

Japanese Karukan Desert

10. uiro (外郎)

They are chewy and slightly sweet cakes. They come in various flavors, such as green tea, sakura, strawberry and chestnut.


11. Dango (団子)

Dango are Japanese dumplings that are similar to mochi. They are served on skewers with three or four. Flavors vary according to the time of year. Its name literally means group of children.

The Japanese eat dango since the Jomon period, many prepared from forest nuts, which they crushed to flourish and mixed with porridge to survive winter.

Usually Dango it can refer to practically anything round on a skewer, a ball-shaped object; something round or lumps grouped together forming a family.

Traditional Japanese desert dango

12. Monaka (最中)

Red bean paste jam inside a crisp mochi wafer.


13. Yokan (羊羹)

Yokan is a jelly dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar. They usually have green tea powder, chopped nuts, whole sweetened beans or other ingredients suspended in the jam.

Japanese yokan desert

14. Manju (饅頭)

Manju are Japanese sweet dumplings that have a variety of fillings.

Strawberry manju

15. Kuzumochi (葛餅)

Mochi made with starch powder from the root of the kudzu plant.


16.Kusa Mochi (草餅)

Kusa Mochi means "herb mochi". It is mochi made with powder from the leaves of the Japanese mugwort plant. It is traditionally consumed in the spring. Kusa Mochi is usually served with sweet soy flour as a topping.

Kusa mochi japanese desert

17. Taiyaki (たい焼き)

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. It is commonly filled with red bean paste, cheese or cream. Its name literally means grilled snapper fish. It can be found with sweet and savory flavors.

Taiyaki is basically a normal fish-shaped pancake or waffle. It is placed on a grid with mold on both sides. It is quite similar to those Swiss crepes. And it is usually grilled until golden.

The most common Taiyaki is stuffed with sweet beans, but you can find chocolate, cream, cheese, green tea or stuffed with meat and chicken. It is a recipe with infinite possibilities, just having the shape in the shape of a fish.


18. Yatsuhashi (八橋)

The Kyoto specialty, which has the texture of mochi and contains cinnamon. They are sometimes overcooked and crunchy. Other times, they are served with bean filling.


Share This Article: