Japanese nightingale cakes

For a dainty treat try Simon Rimmer's recipe for traditional Japanese cakes, filled with sweet red bean paste
By Simon Rimmer
Japanese nightingale cakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 12 cakes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 120 g non-glutinous white rice flour
  • 150 ml water
  • 50-70g sugar
  • 300 g red bean paste
  • soya flour, for dusting


1. Put the white rice flour in a bowl. Gradually pour the water into the bowl gradually, kneading well.

2. Put a wet tea-towel in the steamer. Spread the rice flour mixture evenly over the tea-towel in the steamer. Steam for 15-20 minutes.

3. Push and knead the steamed rice flour mixture in a bowl with a pestle.

4. Knead the mixture, gradually adding in the sugar.

5. When it becomes sticky and glossy, cut it into 12 even-sized pieces. Roll the pieces into balls, then flatten the balls.

6. Divide the red bean paste into 12 balls.

7. Put a red bean paste ball in the centre of each flattened ball and wrap the rice flour paste up around the red bean paste forming a dome shape.

8. Sprinkle the cakes with soybean flour. Serve.

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