What Is kinako?
Kinako (きな粉), which literally means “yellow powder,” is a fine flour made by grinding soybeans. Accordingly, it is most often translated as “soybean flour.” Yes, if you can believe it, the same soybeans that are used to make soy sauce and tofu can also be made into the golden powder pictured below! However, unlike soy sauce—a condiment for the savory side of things—kinako is most often used as a garnish for dessert!
What Does Kinako Taste Like?
Kinako has a one-of-a-kind flavor, and the easiest way to describe it would be nutty and kind of like roasted peanuts. Some people have even described it as similar to peanut butter! Texturally, kinako is finely ground and quite powder-like. Kinako has a subtle sweetness to it, so it is commonly used as a garnish on traditional Japanese sweets, though sugar is often mixed in to further enhance its flavor.
Countless Ways to Eat Kinako!
Kinako is incorporated in all kinds of Japanese snacks, both in traditional and modern culinary creations. Here are some of our favorite kinako snacks!
Kinako Mochi, where sweet glutinous mochi is simply topped with kinako powder, is one of the best ways to experience the unique, nutty flavor. Try this traditional snack at home with Kinako Dango Mochi from our Market. Delciously chewy mochi dumplings are rolled in kinako powder for a simple and traditional snack.