Kintsuba (きんつば) is a traditional Japanese sweet (wagashi) that is fairly common, although not as popular as others.
In essence, it’s a yōkan with an outer crust.
Nowadays, most kintsuba have a square shape, and the ingredients are tsubuan (chunky sweet red bean paste), agar (a jelly made from algae), water, sugar and flour (from wheat or rice).
The flour is used as a batter to create the outer crust by heating in a pan.
Another variation of the kintsuba is the imo kintsuba. This one is made with sweet potato paste instead of sweet red bean paste.
History of Kintsuba
This sweet comes from the 16 Edo period (1603 – 1867). It was invented in Kyoto.
Kintsuba can be translated as “gold sword guard”.
At the beginning, it had a round shape, similar to the guard of a Japanese sword.
It also had the name “gintsuba”, meaning silver sword guard.
Over time, the named changed to kintsuba, and the shape turned to a square.
Apparently, cooking the outer crust is easier with a square shape.
Personally, I find its texture more interesting than eating yōkan.
I like the chunky sensation when chewing it.