If you love Japanese sweets, then you are sure to love the Monaka wafer. This particular treat consists of two thin wafers and a sweet azuki bean filling. The wafers are made using mochi and toasted to produce a light, crisp shell. The filling, while usually made using Japanese red bean, can actually vary according to manufacturers.
Some of the fillings you can find in other Monaka wafers include chestnuts, sesame seeds, and other sweet fillings. The outer shell is a rice wafer that melts in your mouth and is crispy when you bite into it. The contrast between the sticky and sweet filling complements the neutral and crispy characteristics of the outer shell.
Monaka wafers usually come in a rectangular shape but a lot of manufacturers now make these in many different shapes. These include square, triangular, round, and many more. Some companies create this wafer in flower shapes, with the more popular choices being chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms.
The traditional version of this wafer comes with the bean jam filling, which is both satisfying and nostalgic. The azuki bean filling in these crisp wafer shells are not too sweet and is made using azuki mixed with some sugar. The wafers, on the other hand, are made using rice pounded into a paste, otherwise known as mochi. The mochi is toasted in individual molds to create the thin, crisp shells that form the wafer part of this treat.
Monaka wafers are usually consumed together with tea. It has been a favorite partner of this drink for more than 300 years. This means that Monaka wafers are not only tasty but also a part of Japanese culture and history. This popular wafer is also used with other fillings in bigger forms, such as ice cream sandwiches and fruit jams. These modern versions of this dessert wafer are consumed in the hot summer months.