Although Japan is surrounded by the sea, there are few types of salt.
However, Japan has the most kinds of sugar.
Each sugar has a unique flavor, it is decided that using this sugar for this dish.
We use granulated sugar when making western sweets or bread. But we never use this sugar for Japanese recipe.
Because, Granulated sugar is too sweet to not work well with Japanese foods.
Today, I introduce Japanese sugar.
“Tou” means sugar in Japanese.
It looks like powdered sugar. But the texture is more moist and soft flavor. Almost all Japanese foods and sweets mainly are used this sugar.
Zarame is clear ,glossy and larger than granulated sugar. This is one of the expensive sugar. So, it is used in Japanese sweets.
The unrefined and brown sugar is called Chu zarame that is with a unique mellow flavor.
“koori” means ice. this sugar looks like ice shape.
It melts slowly so, it is often used to make fruits wine.
In Japan, Green plums grows in June, so we make plum wine with this sugar and green plums at home.
Sanon-tou is unrefined Johaku-tou that is often used in simmer or stew. This is extract the flavor of cooking.
“Wa” means Japanese,”San” means 3times and
Wasanbon-tou is named “Grinding sugar three times on the tray”.
This is a specialty product of Shikoku. The very high-class sugar and costs for approx. 30USD per 1kg(2.2lb)!
You can often see these sweets at tea party. When you come to Japan, Why not join at tea party?
It has refined and mellow sweetness.
So, it is used in high-quality Japanese sweets like Higashi(Japanese dried sweets) or Yokan(azuki-bean jelly).
“Tensai” means beet. This sugar is beet sugar.
This contains oligosaccharides, and the sweetness is lighter than the other sugars. It is used in vegetable dishes.
White sugar is said to cool down the body. Whereas beet sugar is said to warm up the body, improving blood circulation. So, this sugar is better for ourselves😊
Kibi-tou means sugar made from sugarcane. It has a richer cane flavor than Johaku-tou. It is used in summer or stew also, but it is not used usually.
Koku-tou is Brown sugar. This has a sucrose content of only 80% over. This has also astringency and bitterness because of this contains much minerals.
We often eat this chunks instead of chocolate.
Made in Hateruma island near Okinawa is the most famous.
We use this sugar melted with water like honey. They are often used in Japanese sweets.
Children under 2 years can never eat this as same as honey!
Mizuame is a sweetener made by saccharifying acid and diastatic enzymes with starch. this texture is similar to corn syrup.
This syrup is also used in Japanese sweets.
Amazake is a sweet drink made from fermented rice. Under the macrobiotic diet, Amazake is often used as a sweetener instead of sugar.
I’ve heard that Western Japanese restaurants put sugar into Sukiyaki. This is strange for Eastern Japanese…😱
Tokyo’s never put sugar in Sukiyaki, because the meat texture will become harder.
We use different sugar depending on dishes.
Why not buy Johaku-tou as souvenir in Japan?