Yatsuhashi 八ツ橋

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  • Yatsuhashi is the most popular traditional Japanese sweet from Kyoto. You can make this delicious treat at home with just a few simple ingredients.

    Nama Yatsuhashi on a plate with a cup of tea.

    When you visit Kyoto (京都) – one of the most beautiful cities in Japan with ancient temples, gorgeous Japanese gardens, serene rock display, and fabulous food, you should also try its popular confectionery, Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋).

    If you are not visiting Kyoto, no worries!  I’m going to show you how to make it at home, so you can enjoy this delicious Japanese sweet without stepping foot in the city.

    Nama Yatsuhashi on a plate and a cup of tea.

    Yatsuhashi – Popular Souvenir from Kyoto

    Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋) is a Japanese confectionery which is made from rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon.

    When you’re in Kyoto, you’ll notice every souvenir shop sells them.  It’s probably the most famous regional product from Kyoto.  Since it’s a very well-known gift from the city, you can purchase it even at the international airports in Japan.

    Yatsuhashi Three Ways

    This traditional sweet is made in 3 different ways; baked, unbaked, and unbaked with Red Bean Paste.

    When the mochi dough is flattened and baked until it gets hard, we simply call it Yatsuhashi.  This is the most traditional type.  The shape of the crackers is roundish and resembles a Japanese harp or a bamboo stalk cut in half lengthwise.  The texture is very crispy and you may find it a bit hard to bite and break with your teeth.  They usually come in cinnamon flavor, and you can smell and taste the intense cinnamon spice as you bite into the crackers.

    The unbaked version is called Nama Yatsuhashi (生八ツ橋).  The steamed mochi is rolled out and cut into small rectangular shape, and it is enjoyed as is.  There are different flavors for Nama Yatsuhashi.  Most common ones are cinnamon and matcha (green tea powder) flavors.

    Nama Yatsuhashi with Red Bean Paste (餡入り生八ツ橋) is the most popular kind these days.  The square thin mochi is folded into a triangle and filled with red bean paste (tsubuan).  Today I’m sharing this most popular recipe.

    Nama Yatsuhashi on a plate and a cup of tea on the wooden table.

    The Key Ingredients for Nama Yatsuhashi

    The authentic version is made of 100% rice flour (米粉) – the flour made from short-grain Japanese rice (うるち米), not glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour (もち米).

    Joshinko (上新粉) is one type of rice flour and its texture is very fine.  When you cook it, it’s not as elastic / pliable as mochi made from glutinous rice flour.

    The majority  of homemade Yatsuhashi recipes require both Joshinko and Shiratamako (白玉粉) – glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour).  Depends on the recipe, the ratio between these two flours could vary, and a lot of people use more Shiratamako than Joshinko.  However, I used more Joshinko in this recipe to keep it closer to the authentic Yatsuhashi taste with 100% rice flour.

    When you look for shiratamako at a Japanese grocery store, keep in mind that the texture of shiratamako is rather coarse, despite it being glutinous rice “flour”.  Some pieces are as big as 1/8 inch (3 mm).

    Nama Yatsuhashi on a plate.

    Where to Find Joshinko and Shiratamako

    Joshinko and Shiratamako can be found in Japanese grocery stores.  Unfortunately, they are not sold on Amazon (yet).

    In Asian grocery stores, you can find other Asian rice flour and glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour).  However, they do NOT use Japanese short grain rice so the end result might come out differently in terms of texture and flavors.

    If you cannot find Shiratamako, you can use another type of glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour called Mochiko.  This is fairly easy to find on Amazon or even American supermarkets (Asian isle) carry them somtimes.  If you cannot find Joshinko or Shiratamako, you can make this with mochiko.  However, please understand that the result will NOT be the same.

    Nama Yatsuhashi on a plate.

    I hope you enjoy making this Nama Yatsuhashi recipe!  If you try it, don’t forget to share your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #JustOneCookbook.  Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

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    5 from 1 vote
    Nama Yatsuhashi (生八ツ橋) - Popular Cinnamon Mochi from Kyoto | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Yatsuhashi
    Prep Time
    25 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
     
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 10 pieces
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Nama Yatsuhashi Ingredients
    2. In a large (microwave-safe) bowl, add scant ¼ cup (30 g) shiratamako and ¼ cup + 1 tsp. (65 ml) water. Whisk well to combine so that there are no lumps of flour. We mix these two first, before adding the rest of dry ingredients.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 1
    3. Add ¼ cup + 1 tsp. (60 g) granulated sugar and ¼ cup + 2 tsp. (50 g) joshinko, mix well with spatula. Sugar will make the dough watery. You should be able to see the bottom of the bowl for a second when you draw a line. Add more water to reach that consistency, if necessary.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 2
    Microwave Method
    1. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the microwave. My microwave is 1400W and strong, so I reduced the power to half (P5) and then microwave for 1.5 minutes (if you microwave is 600W then you should heat it for 3 minutes). Take it out and mix evenly with a wet spatula. Cover with plastic wrap again and microwave for another 1 to 1.5 minute (adjust based on your microwave wattage).
      Nama Yatsuhashi 3
    2. It’s ready once it becomes thick and sticky like soft mochi when you mix it with a wet spatula.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 4
    Stovetop Method
    1. In a pot that is large enough to fit the bowl, put a steamer rack inside. Fill the bottom of the pot with water (make sure water won’t reach to bowl when boiling) and bring to boil. Once boiling, place the bowl inside. Wrap the lid with kitchen towel so that the condensation won’t drop into the mixture. Cover the lid and steam for 12-15 minutes, until the mixture becomes mochi like – sticky, white, and thick when you mix with a wet spatula.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 5
    2. Spread some soybean powder on the working surface.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 6
    3. Cut the dough in half. Keep the half in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it won’t dry out.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 7
    4. Flatten the dough and sprinkle 2 tsp. cinnamon powder.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 8
    5. Knead the dough to evenly distribute the cinnamon powder.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 9
    6. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to thin sheet. Try to stretch it out into a rectangular (or square) shape, so it’ll be easier to cut into squares.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 10
    7. Create a 3 x 3 inch (8 x 8 cm) square pattern with a cardboard paper. Place on the dough and cut out with a knife. Sprinkle soybean powder in between the wrappers so they don’t stick together.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 11
    8. With leftover pieces, knead and roll flat again to create more pieces.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 12
    9. Combine 2 tsp. matcha green tea powder and 1 tsp. cinnamon powder. Whisk well together.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 13
    10. Flatten half of the dough that you kept in the bowl and sprinkle the matcha/cinnamon powder over the dough as you knead.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 14
    11. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to thin rectangular sheet. Try to stretch it out into a rectangular (or square) shape, so it’ll be easier to cut into squares.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 15
    12. Once you finish cutting the dough in squares, place 1 heaping teaspoon (15 g) of red bean paste in the center of the dough.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 16
    13. Fold into a triangle shape. If the dough edge won’t stick, wet it with water and fold to seal. Enjoy within 24 hours. Keep it in a cool room temperature and avoid putting in the refrigerator, as it will harden.
      Nama Yatsuhashi 17
    Baked Yatsuhashi
    1. Roll out the dough into a thinner dough and cut into inch 3/4 x 2 1/4 inch (2 x 6 cm) strips. Bake them at 300F (150C) for 15-20 minutes. If you prefer it to be more crispy, keep it in the oven for a little longer. When they are crispy, remove from the oven and let them cool. Store in an airtight container.
    Recipe Notes

    Equipment you will need:

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     

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