Happy Face Manju

Demonstrated by: Lillian Yajima.
50th Cherry Blossom Festival - Japanese Desserts and Snacks - February 16, 2002.



Happy Face Manju

  • 1 can (18 oz) koshian (Japanese strained red bean paste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 28 squares (2 1/2-inch) waxed paper


  1. Form koshian into 28 3/4-inch balls.
  2. Combine the 1/4 cup water, food coloring, and sugar.
  3. Mix baking soda with the 2 teaspoons water; add to colored mixture.
  4. Add liquid mixture to cake flour.
  5. Mix until dough is formed; add more water if necessary.
  6. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; roll each portion into a 7-inch log.
  7. Cut each log into 7 1-inch pieces.
  8. Flatten each ball into a circle.
  9. Place a koshian ball in center of each circle.
  10. Wrap dough around koshian; pinch to seal.
  11. Roll in palms to form a ball; place on a square of waxed paper.
  12. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut a happy face on each ball; remove cut portions to show koshian.
  13. Line a steamer with cheesecloth; bring water to a boil.
  14. Place manju 1 inch apart in steamer.
  15. Steam for 12 minutes.
  16. After steaming, remove waxed paper and place manju on cooling racks.

Makes 28 manju.


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