Kinako (Sweet Soy Bean Flour) for Ohagi (Glutinous Rice Balls)

Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Blog, Desserts & Treats, Wagashi | Japanese Sweets | 4 comments

Kinako - 2

Today’s indulgent Japanese afternoon snack was ohagi. Over the weekend, we spent some time at my parents home and my beautiful Mom made ohagi.

If you’re not familiar with ohagi, it is glutinous sweet rice that is steamed in a rice cooker and then slightly pounded, or in this case it was gently mixed and mashed with a wooden spoon until it resembled a sticky mass. If this glutinous rice is pounded until it is smooth, it is then referred to as, what we call mochi or rice cake.

Personally, I like ohagi because it requires less physical labor to make. Who wants to pound rice, right? Ok, well yes, there are mochi-making machines and my Mom has one, but I love the texture of the ohagi and the fact it requires little attention to make.

My Mom likes to eat traditional ohagi which is tsubuan (sweet red bean paste) wrapped with glutinous rice. I prefer my ohagi plain, with no red beans, so I asked my Mom to make me a few special plain ones. (Tsubuan recipe is available here.)

My favorite way to enjoy ohagi is with kinako, or sweetened soy bean flour. I was lucky enough to bring home fresh made ohagi that my mom dusted with kinako, but when I brought it home, all the powder had disintegrated into the damp ohagi rice ball.

Fortunately, I like to keep a small package of soy bean flour in my pantry (it’s a staple in every Japanese girl’s pantry, right?) and I made a small batch of sweetened kinako for the little ohagi my Mom made for me, and decided that kinako deserved a recipe post all of it’s own. Because it’s just THAT good. So here it is!

For your reference, my ohagi recipe post along with my Japanese Children’s Day post can be found here.

Kinako - 1

Kinako (Sweet Soy Bean Flour) for Ohagi (Glutinous Rice Balls)
  • ½ cup kinako (Japanese soy bean flour)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar, to taste
  • 1 - 2 dashes of salt
  1. In a small resealable plastic container, combine kinako flour, granulated sugar and salt.
  2. Stir generously until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Serve over warm ohagi (Japanese rice balls)
Recipe for ohagi (glutinous rice balls) is available on the Recipes Index of



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    Wow! Fancy snack!! I haven’t had ohagi in awhile. It looks like my mom made Daifuku. When we stopped by my parents house this morning, I sawa tupperware full of Daifuku manju. Hehe…my mom’s latest craze. It’f sunny how she makes something and it’s good, she’ll make it a lot. And it’s alsways something new. She’ll make it a lot and then she won’t ever make it again! We’ll see how long she makes these Daifuku manju.

    • avatar

      Aloha! Oh… daifuku! I have yet to get to making daifuku.That’s funny about your mom. I miss it if I really like it that much and haven’t had it in a while but I know how your mom feels… It’s like the weird jello cheesecake kick I’m on right now. I’ve made it twice in the last 3 weeks and already thinking about when I could make it again. LOL.

  2. avatar

    I don’t think I ever had ohagi! But I love kinako powder on mochi. The last time I had it was last new year’s but I didn’t have kinako! (I’m not a nice Japanese girl? ha ha) I made it with roasted peanut flour instead, and it was really good! :)
    I love your origami paper style plates, by the way !

    • avatar

      Melissa, you’re definitely a nice Japanese girl, kinako or not. LOL! It’s so weird but kinako almost tastes like peanut flour or has the nutty taste to it, despite the fact it’s made from soy beans. I bet ohagi with peanut flour tastes delicious! Thanks – the plates were a gift from my Mom! :)