What is Kinako?
Kinako is one of many Japanese ingredients made from soybeans. It is dried, milled and roasted soybean flour. It is golden tan in color and has a powdery texture similar to that of all-purpose flour. It has a warm, toasted and nutty aroma, and its flavors are similarly nutty and slightly reminiscent of roasted peanuts.
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Sweetened Kinako (Roasted Soy Bean Flour) for Mochi (Rice Cakes)
Sweetened kinako can be easily prepared by mixing equal parts of kinako and granulated white sugar. Optionally, a dash of salt may be added to bring out the flavors of the kinako and sugar. It is traditionally used to garnish many different types of mochi (rice cakes) and other wagashi (Japanese-style desserts).
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Baked Goods: Cookies, Cakes, Bread
Kinako, as flour can also be used in baked goods. If you are interested in substituting kinako with all-purpose flour, a general rule of thumb is to replace 1/4 of the total amount of flour needed for a recipe, although up to 1/3 may be substituted. Kinako, while nutritionally superior due to its higher protein content, has a very strong flavor unlike all-purpose flour which is bland, so it should be used sparingly. Note, the addition of kinako to baked goods tends to decrease its moisture content. Therefore liquids or fats should be adjusted accordingly.
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Beverages: Shakes, Smoothies, Lattes
Kinako, due to its high protein content, can easily be incorporated into a smoothie or shake to increase its nutritional value. It also adds a nutty flavor to your drink of choice and is a great alternative to peanut butter or peanut flour.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Frozen Desserts: Ice Cream and Shaved Ice
Kinako, either unsweetened or sweetened, may be used to garnish ice cream, shaved ice, or other frozen treats to change the "mood" of the dessert. The addition of kinako adds a savory, warm, and nutty character to an otherwise sweet dessert. Additionally, kinako is often associated with Japanese desserts and magically transforms an ordinary dessert into a mysterious Japanese dessert!