Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Japanese Treat: Momiji Cookies

Momiji means "maple leaf" in Japanese. Momiji cookies are a local delicacy in southern Japan around Hiroshima. They are a soft cookie with a choice of three fillings: Nutella-like chocolate, Boston creme or red bean paste. They are absolutely delicious when warm and freshly made but quickly lose their charm once cold. We bought warm chocolate and creme ones to try:


What a treat! And of course, as Canadians, we felt a special affinity to their maple leaf shape.

The shop where we got them opened onto a beautiful tiny Japanese garden that boasted a shrine, a concrete lantern, bonsai trees and a koi pond. So we sat and contemplated this peaceful scene while we ate our momiji cookies.


The next morning, our hotel breakfast buffet served some cold momiji cookies with red bean paste centres. Red bean paste is the traditional Japanese idea of a sweet filling. It's certainly not sweet to our North American palate. Or particularly tasty. We each tried a bite of the cookie but left the rest of it.

[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

33 comments:

Jane said...

I was wondering what red bean paste would taste like - it doesn't sound particularly 'sweet.' That garden is over the top gorgeous!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love red bean paste! my husband eats it with ice cream. what a lovely little garden!

mxtodis123 said...

What a beautiful garden.
Mary

Yvonne said...

I guess it was a little surprise inside. I made a momiji art doll once. She was only 3 inches tall or so and she had a secret message inside. Go here to see that post and pics.
http://inkspillersattic.blogspot.com/2009/10/momiji-art-doll.html#links

laurie said...

what beautiful photos, our Japanese exchange student introduced us to red bean paste, its an acquired taste I suppose, not sweet at all you are so right but she thought it was, you sure had a great time, will you go back?

Elena said...

Oh that garden!!!!! Sounds heavenly...

turquoisemoon said...

never heard of red bean paste...hmmmm, sounds good tho!

Snap said...

I'm sure glad you went to Japan! Chinese use red bean paste, too....acquired taste! :D :D

Beadwright said...

I was in Japan in O9. The cookies are so good. Oh heck everything we ate was so very good there.
Nicole/Beadwright

Lois said...

I can't believe such orderly beauty exists. Those fish are giant, wow. I bet they like to eat the stale cookies... I would probably like the bean paste since my sweet tooth is nearly non-existant... :) L

Magaly Guerrero said...

First, my mouth waters at the cookies, and then my eyes water at the sight of that beautiful water shrine. Lots of watering going on.

Barfly said...

Too bad I quit making my calendar pages. Maple leaves would have been a good theme.

Robin Larkspur said...

I doubt that I would have tried the red bean paste cookies, sounds uninviting. the garden is beautiful, and those koi are immense~~

Francie said...

Is the paste strong or bland, Debra? I'm going to be trying a local japanese restarant in the next month so maybe I'll ask if they have Momiji cookies. (Does that mean Mom's cookies?)

laughingwolf said...

what... no maple syrup as sweetener?

A Beer for the Shower said...

Nutella filled leaf cookies? Where can I find these tiny chocolate pieces of heaven (not in Japan)?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Francie -- Red bean paste is fairly bland. I've never encountered it at a Japanese restaurant here in Canada, but have seen it used in steamed Chinese sweet buns. "Momiji" means "maple leaf" or "maple tree."

Joyful Things said...

I need those Koi for my pond - their colors are spectacular! I have tried the momiji cookies, did not care for them and yes, they were cold.

Super Earthling said...

How interesting that the cookies are shaped like maple leaves. I think my daughter tried these when she visited Japan a couple of years ago.

Your photo of the Japanese garden reminds me of the Japanese Garden here in Portland. So beautiful and serene.

You really have a lovely blog. I'm so glad I found it. :)

--Susan

steve-bailey said...

I would fill my toothpaste tube full of Nutella if I could!!

DEZMOND said...

those look heavenly!

Elsie said...

Oh my gosh, those cookies look and sound divine! That garden is just so lush and beautiful - it's what I think of whenever I think of Japan; serenity.

Lon A. said...

Those cookies really do sound tasty, and that garden truly is beautiful, and I must say, those fish look so at peace. At least they probably don't have to worry about getting caught by somebody's fishhook.

Introverted Art said...

The photos are stunning. I think I would love the cookies since I am not a big fan of overly sweet goodies.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Those cookies look delicious! Boston creme for me, all the way! I am in love with that garden. It is absolutely stunning. I love the addition of bonsai trees and a koi pond. That would be a dream addition to my backyard. *sigh*

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I had bean paste years ago..and still have that nasty taste in the back of my throat..eek.

Makropoulos said...

Did you give the left over cookies to those fabulous fish? Great photos; thanks for sharing your Japan trip!

Sulky Kitten said...

I love the name of those cookies - and that little garden is perfect.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Mmm...they sound delicious!

Victoria said...

ooh...that garden looks so enchanring and sublime..perfect litle yoga spot..how I'd love to sit there!yummy cookies!
Victoria

Victoria said...

Hope you enjoyed all my mispelled-typos ha ha! Have a great day!

Jeanne said...

I have heard of these Momiji cookies. And have always wondered the particulars....though I don't think the red bean paste would be a very tasty filling. especially cold!
Beautiful photo! Perfect picture of serenity.

Suzie Ridler said...

Love that the Canadian maple leaf is exotic! I hate cold cookies too. Even after living in Vancouver, could never develop a taste for bean paste.

Love seeing your trip Debra! It's so wonderful.