Okinawa Tourism Information:"MugiManjufromIeIsland"

"Mugi Manju from Ie Island"

post : 2014.07.08 00:00

Speaking of a specialty from Ie Island, everybody will think of komugi (buckwheat) very easily.

You can savor a traditional “Mugi *Manju,” which is made using plenty of wheat harvested on the island at “Homemade Shop NATSU.”

 *Manju is a Japanese traditional steamed cake filled with an (usually sweet azuki bean paste).

“Homemade Shop NATSU” is an about 8-minute car ride from Ie Port.

Teke Highway 181 to Highway 225, turn right at the junction of the village office, continue for some hundred meters, and you will find the shop on the right.

Please find a beautifully-planted flowerbed in front of the shop, which is a landmark.

In the shop, you will find freshly-harvested vegetables displayed.  I had heard that my target “Mugi Manju” would be sold out soon; however, I just walked into the store without making a reservation on the phone.  So it was already sold out.  They are right about the manju is very popular!!  I would strongly recommend you make a reservation on the phone before you head off to the store.

Then I made a reservation and came back again the following morning. Mrs. Natsu Oshiro welcomed me with a warm smile.
Luckily I could start an interview with her making the manju.

“This is a very rare chance.  I have never let anyone see me making them,” said Natsu-san.  She kindly allowed me to enter the kitchen for reporting on her making the manju wholeheartedly one by one carefully by hand

The outside of “Mugi Manju” is made from the whole buckwheat flour produced from Ie Island, so you can enjoy the fragrant flavor and texture particular to the whole buckwheat flour.

The usual image of “an” is white sugar and sweet azuki beans, but Natsu-san’s “Mugi Manju” is made with “an” using brown sugar and fava beans produced on Ie Island.

“I use seasonal products from the island, so not only fava beans, but also I use peas and kidney beans, too.

Each bean tastes different, so you can enjoy its fresh taste when it is in season respectively. In addition, it is good that “an” is not too sweet.

Using the “an,” she makes “Imo Manju” in addition to “Mugi Manju.”

How long has Natsu-san been making manju?

“It is not for years, or for some ten years!  I have been making manju since a long time ago,” she answered with a smile.

The size is about the same size as a person’s palm, but it costs just 100 yen, a friendly price.  Even one piece is filing and very satisfying.

Would you like to have a nostalgic-flavored “Mugi Manju ” the elderly island lady made for you?

Homemade Shop NATSU

Address: 166-1, Agarie-mae, Ie Village, Kunigami County
TEL: 0980-49-2522
Hours: 9:00〜17:00
The shop is irregularly closed.
Price: 100 yen for one piece
(Prior reservation is required.)

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  KUWA