Hina Manju


Traditional cake for children during Hina Doll Festival

Hina Manju

Hina Manju, also known as Hana Dango, is sweet bean cakes. In and around Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, dolls set up for the Doll Festival (end of February to early March) are offered the cakes, with another traditional confectionery called Kirisensho. Ohasama of Hanamaki City prospered as an important post station in the Edo period, and a number of invaluable dolls from the era have been treasured and kept to date. During the festival in the old times, children traditionally visited their neighbours, saying “please let us see your dolls”, admired the display at each family, and received the sweet bean cakes, which were made at each home as a treat for visiting children and relatives.

Recipi of cuisin

for 4 persons

  • non-glutinous rice flour3 cups
  • glutinous rice flour1 cup
  • boiling water500ml
  • sugar2 tablespoons
  • strained bean paste900g
  • Starchas needed
  • Red food colouringas needed
Mix both flours well in a bowl.
Add boiling water to 1, and mix with chopsticks so that there are no lumps. The water should be added slowly until the dough feels like drained tofu.
Cover the bowl with a wet cloth, let it sit to cool until it is at body temperature. Ideally, let it sit overnight.
Knead the dough well until it is glossy.
Make 10cm balls, put a hole in the middle (each ball should be doughnut-shaped), and cook them in plenty of boiling water.
In about 15 minutes, the balls should float to the surface of the water. Scoop them into ice water.
Drain when they are at body temperature, add sugar and knead them together into one dough. Knead it well until it is glossy. If it is too hard to knead, wet your hands with water and knead.
Spread starch on a cutting board, divide the dough into 40g balls, and put them in a plastic bag to avoid getting dried.
*If you wish to colour them, add the red food colouring to a small piece of dough, wrap it with another piece of dough, and knead it to get the right colouring.
Wrap the bean paste with the dough. To shape them into flowers and fruits, sprinkle starch on a wooden mold, and be careful not to press too hard. If you do not have a mold, use a spatula or chopsticks instead to shape them.

Information provided by : Agriculture Promotion Division, Iwate Prefectural Office


Local cuisine