Baked sweet pastry

Manju 만주

I’m happy to introduce my delicious sweet manju pastry recipe to you today.

I researched the origin of this pastry on the internet, some bloggers and Wikipedia say the idea of this pastry originated a long ways back in China, as Chinese dumplings are made with fillings and dough skin. When these dumplings were introduced to Japan, the Japanese modified the dumplings and made them into pastries by adding fillings made with sweet beans. They called this manju.

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Eventually manju came to Korea, which is where I learned it. I’m not sure if the taste of my manju is different from the original Japanese manju because I’ve never tasted Japanese manju. If you know more about the history and tastes of different manju, please let us know about it in the comments.

Where did I get this recipe?
I was very excited the first time I had this homemade manju visiting my friend Jeongjin’s house in Korea. Jeongjin would make so many delicious dishes and I loved whatever she made. She was generous about sharing her recipes with me and my other friends. It was a big revelation for me to see that we could make such delicious sweet pastries at home and not have to buy them at a bakery. As soon as I tasted these, I knew I had to make them. This is Jeongjin’s recipe.

She and I lost touch years ago. I’m wondering if she still keeps cooking these days. Whenever we met each other, we talked about new delicious dishes and recipes and learned from each other.

If you feel your heart beating quickly when you see this video recipe today, you’ll know how I felt the first time I saw them being made!

Ingredients (for 8 manju)

1 cup lima beans, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup flour plus ½ cup extra flour, 2 eggs, ¼ cup sesame seeds, ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Directions

Make sweet filling:

  1. Soak 1 cup of lima beans in cold water overnight (for about 10-12 hours).
  2. Pop the beans out of the skins with your fingers.
  3. Place the beans in a heavy bottomed pot with 1¼ cup of water and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to very low and  simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the beans are soft and fluffy.
  5. Mash the beans with a wooden spoon until they have the consistency and look of mashed potatoes.
    *tip: If you need to make a large quantity, using a food processor will be faster
  6. Add sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Turn up the heat to medium high heat and stir  for about 2 to 3 minutes with a wooden spoon to thicken the filling.
  7. Turn the heat off and cool down.

Make dough:

  1. Combine ¾ cup flour, 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Make 8 manju:

  1. Divide the dough and the filling into 8 same-sized balls on a floured cutting board.
  2. Flatten out each dough ball by pressing it down with the palm of your hand.
  3. Place a filling ball into the center of a flattened dough. Wrap the dough around the filling.
  4. Seal the edges of the wrapped dough and form into the shape of an egg. To make chestnut shaped manju, first make a ball and then gently pinch a point at one end. Leave the other end rounded.
  5. Dip top of a manju into cold water, and then dip into sesame seeds so the seeds stick to side. Repeat it with the rest of the manju, water, and sesame seeds. For chestnut shaped manju, dip the top into water, and then dip the top into seeds.
  6. Brush the egg yolk over the manju. For chestnut shaped manju, brush egg yolk below the part where sesame seeds are on so that the color will change into brown when it’s baked.
  7. Repeat for each manju, and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper, with the sealed part of the manju on the bottom.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the pan on the middle rack and bake for about 20 minutes.
  9. If you make chestnut shaped manju, bake them a little longer for a deep, rich color.
  10. Serve as a dessert or snack.

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81 Comments:

  1. bombignants MN joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    so…I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it took over 3 hours of simmering after 10 minutes of boiling to get the beans mashable. Any idea what happened?

  2. Bellaboo302 United States joined 7/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Mmm this looks so delicious! I have baby lima beans, will those work the same as the large ones?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      yes, you will have the same result as if you used large beans, but it will take more time to remove all the skins, right? : )

      • zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

        lol … I used baby lima beans since that was all the store had at the time AND as you said, it DID take more time to peel the skins off! I was ready to say, “Never again!” before I even did 1/4 of them! However, I am very glad I did, because in the end, they were delicious! You will note that I made sure to find a bag of regular sized lima beans for the next time! Confession time: I, um, sorta hate you, Maangchi! You make wrapping the filling look so easy! I struggled with that step, rrrr … Although they ended up delish, they didn’t look as pretty as yours, hmmm. Oh, well, I “forgive you” for being so talented! As always, thank you for sharing with us your talents and recipes! Komapsumnida …

  3. seoulsister joined 4/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi,how about “Han Cook” as the title for your new show??

  4. Xylena Billings, Montana joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, I found your website a few months ago and have been watching all your videos when I have time. I really want to try every recipe here! This is the first recipe I am going to try, since its one of the recipes I have all the ingredients for(It’s hard to find asian markets here!) I hope it goes well. Love your videos!!!!

  5. Anayokari norway joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi!
    I made these today, but while they were baking the filling exploded out of the cakes! It looks like lava bursting from rocks! :O
    They are all ruined in looks, but they still taste good though. :)
    Do you know why this might have happened?
    thank you!

    • Lythial Canada joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

      I had the same problem! They looked ok at 20 minutes but since I made the chestnut shape, I wanted to bake them longer for the colour, but 2 minutes later, they had all exploded!

      I hope Maangchi has some idea – they were very tasty, but not presentable as gifts xD

      • StageDreamer2590 joined 3/11 & has 5 comments

        I’ve never tried making manju, but I know these are common mistakes in making mooncakes.

        Make sure you wrap them tight. If there’s air between the layers then it will expand during cooking.

        Also make sure you cook out enough water in you bean filling. If you don’t the water in the filling will expand during baking and could cause you dough to crack.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      Yes, it sometimes happens. I suggest lowering your oven temperature and bake them longer. Maybe 325ºF ?

  6. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10 & has 27 comments

    Made this for a bbq and it was a huge huge hit! Great recipe and super easy!

    http://ikkin-bot.blogspot.com/2011/06/cooking-korean-manju-sweet-white-bean.html

  7. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 102 comments

    Looking good! These beans are also known as butter beans. I use them for a greek recipe for ‘gigantes’ (meaning huge beans) with tomato sauce and spices, i never knew you could make these buns with them.

  8. Cheeryvisage New York City joined 1/11 & has 7 comments

    Wow, this looks great, Maangchi! I ran out to buy lima beans and condensed milk last night. Will be making this recipe this weekend. I also plan to make this with red bean fillings as well. The lima beans and the red beans are now soaking in water.

    I have a question about storage if you don’t finish all of the manjus at once. What is the best way to store these? Do you leave them at room temperature? Or put them in the fridge (or even freezer)? What sort of container would you use? How long would the leftover manjus last?

    Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      I hope your manju turned out delicious! If you have any leftover, put them in a plastic bag or plastic container and keep them in the fridge or freezer. If you keep them in the fridge, you will have to eat them in a few days because they will dry out.

  9. Soju123 New York, NY joined 3/11 & has 21 comments

    This looks so good!!! (And I think that’s the first time I’ve said that about anything with lima beans in it…) :)

  10. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 34 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    Just as iichan mentiones, I also know Manju as steamed ones with azuki bean filling, but this variety looks great and delicious as well.
    If you want to have the Japanese recipe, I would like to show you a site (unfortunately in German) that contains many Japanese recipes, like Manju, or Patbingsu (of course in its Japanese variety).
    Well here’s the link for the Manju recipe http://nekobento.com/?page=manju
    thank you very much :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      It looks like jjinppang (steamed bun with sweet red bean filling).
      Have you checked out my jjinppang mandu (steamed pork buns) recipe? https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/jjinppang-mandu
      Jjinppang is made with sweet red bean filling instead of mixture of meat and vegetables.

      • Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 34 comments

        I see :). So the Japanese Manju is very different from the Korean Manju :)
        Well, just at this moment, I remember a Japanese recipe, that is very equal to the Korean Manju (in its creation and ingredients). It’s called “Anpan”. The creation is very simmilar, but Anpan is filled with sweet red bean paste, instead of white beans.
        But I think I like the Korean ones more :)

  11. annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

    My mom makes something very similar and she calls it “bam gwaja” or chestnut cookie. Although there are no chestnuts in it – just that lima bean paste -, it looks like one (kind of) once she brushes the top with egg yolk/alcohol mix. Never heard of “manju.” Love it!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      Your mom must be a good cook. Not many people make their own bamgwaja at home. yum!

      • annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

        Turns out she knew the other name for bamgwaja was manju – she never tells me these things=P Yes, she’s a good cook/baker, but she hasn’t been able to teach me any recipes (difficulty understanding her way of measuring) and that is where you come in! Thanks again for your recipes and videos, Maangchi!

  12. des Philippines joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Looks real yummy. May I know if I may fry them, too?

  13. anytoh singapore joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi….

    So far this year I have prepared Kimchi every other month from Feb…
    gonna made again in late June. Each batch yields 10- 12jam jars!

    My colleagues at school & Church friends love them…& offered me more glass bottles to fill up with Kimchi!

    You r inspiring….U made me to be successful in Korean cuisine!

    & u make me wanna try out this pastry..
    The Chinese have lots of sweet pastry too.
    Just that to make them flaky— we usually have oil & water pastry..

    Wow..Discussing with you about recipes & food is really fun in itself…
    It sets my heart pumnping…
    I have recipes that i would love to share with u but more of cakes…
    lvoe,

    Annie toh from Singapore

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      ” ..offered me more glass bottles to fill up with Kimchi!” funny! I hope you get some compensation!
      You must be passionate about cooking and sharing!

  14. iichan Indianapolis, Indiana joined 2/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I am Japanese and I love Korean food! I love your recipes and have made many dishes thanks to you!! I didn’t know Korea had Manju as well! In Japan we have many different varieties of manju but I think most popular will always be the original steamed manju. We also use different filling as well but again I think the most popular would be red azuki bean paste.

  15. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    look so yummy maangchi , def. going to try this in the weekend !!!

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