Tasty Tuesday: Japanese Red Bean Donuts

I have been trying to cut down on sugar the last few months.  I am only allowed to have desserts on special occasions (which happen more often than you’d think).  But if an item has less than 10grams of sugar in a serving, then it is okay.  That’s how Lucas and I stumbled across these little “donuts”.

Here we are at the Mitsuwa market at Centinela/Venice.  It is a cake donut-like batter that is fried (I think) and has red bean paste in the middle.  And granulated sugar on the outside.  But here’s the trip.  According to the package, there is only 5 grams of sugar…in 2.5 of those donuts!  Only 10 grams of sugar for that whole package?!  It just doesn’t add up.  Lucas bought them the first time and then realized that they are totally dessert.  Maybe the sugar on the outside just confuses us or something.  But a mochi ball, the size of one of those donuts, with red bean paste has something like 20grams of sugar in it.  Here’s the back of the package:

There were even several brands of the same item that had similar sugar levels.  There’s a sticker covering it, but sugar is the second ingredient!  I’ve been looking for a recipe online, but can’t find anything similar.  The package says “Tomitaya” but that doesn’t bring up any hits.  It seems to be similar to Anpan, which is a Japanese bread, often filled with red bean, but they look pretty different.

In any case, they are delicious.  The bean paste is slightly on the dry side, so it all seems to crumble together and dissolve in your mouth.  I’m a big fan, and I’d like to learn more.  If you know what the deal is with these donuts, let me know!  Lucas has a theory that they are the favorite snack of an organized crime boss in Japan and all of his subordinates are engaged in a world-wide conspiracy to hide the sugar content from their boss.  What do you think?

I’ve gotten a lot of spinning done in the last few weeks, so I’ll show you some of that next time.

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