Collab Projects

Anime Food Shiritori – Meal #2: Kinako Pan (Roasted Soybean Buns) from Date a Live

Bread-making is always such a pleasure. My yeast is slowly dying out in the freezer and my kinako powder has been in the cupboard forever. Now’s their time to shine!

kinako tohka
I’m eating something made with forgotten ingredients?

For those who missed the first post of my collaboration with Astral, or isn’t familiar with the game Shiritori, here is the simple explanation, copied directly from Astral’s post:

[Y]ou try and come up with words or sentences that begin with the last letter or syllable as the person before you. Repetition is not allowed.

kinako 7After Astral’s marvelous takoyaki dish last time, I am left to continue with the starting syllable “ki.” I was very tempted to make “Kiki’s cake” from Kiki’s Delivery Service, but when I opened my baking cupboard, the forgotten pack of kinako powder started screaming silently at me and I did what I had to do. Maybe next time for Kiki.

Kinako is roasted soybean powder. You see it sometimes as mochi coating (as depicted in the image). I’ve also heard that it works well as a dish soap alternative, but it seems like a bit of a waste.


Kinako Buns with Taro Cream Filling

Yields: 8 buns


Adapted from Vegan options in brackets.

  • 69507635_383617052299702_7191178195981303808_nKinako (roasted soybean flour): 20 g
  • All-purpose flour: 200 g
  • Cake flour: 40 g
  • Melted butter (or oil): 30 g
  • Brown sugar: 30 g
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Instant dry yeast: 1 tsp
  • Milk (or soy milk): 170 g

Magical bonus (filling):

This part I improvised. Alternatively, a piece of butter would probably work wonders as filling too.

  • Taro, cooked or steamed: 50 g
  • Cream cheese: 45 g
  • Melted butter: 5-10 g
  • Sugar: 30-40 g (or to taste)
  • Salt: a dash


  1. *Optional: To make the filling, simply blend together all the ingredients with a kitchen appliance or by hand. Store in fridge for later.
  2. Warm up milk and brown sugar in a pan, and turn off the heat once the sugar dissolves and the milk is thoroughly warm. *Do NOT let it boil, or else it will kill the yeast later.
  3. Add yeast to the mixture and let it sit for 5-7 min.kinako 2
  4. Add the melted butter, then the three types of flours (remember to sift) and salt. Mix well with wooden spoon or a bare hand.kinako 6
  5. Using your hand on a flat surface, knead the dough for 5 min. or so, or until the dough feels somewhat bouncy. The texture should be something like the cheeks of a tsundere anime girl when pouting.
  6. Rub a small amount of oil over the bread, and let it sit covered in a warm place for 40 min. to 1 hour. (If you have a small oven with a “warm” setting and adjustable temperatures, that will save you some time. Remember to set the temperature low so that the dough doesn’t cook though.)kinako 4kinako 1
  7. After the dough has doubled in size or grown significantly, place it on a floured surface and cut it into 8 equal pieces. kinako 3
  8. With a rolling pin, roll each piece into a flat circle, approx. 0.5 cm thick. Fold two sides of the dough towards the centre. It should feel something like a hollow empanada. (*If you choose to add the filling, dollop some in the centre of the circle before folding. Do not fill to the brim)kinako 5
  9. Flip the buns seam-side down and let sit for another 30 min.
  10. Bake at 390 F for 10 minutes. Remember to leave some space between each bun.
  11. And we’re done!


Kinako itself has an aromatic, slightly astringent taste. The smooth sweetness of taro cream gives it great balance, in my opinion. The buns are delightful when eaten straight out of the oven, but they’re also great chilled because that’s what truly allows the taro cream to shine!

Well, the reality is that my mom cooked too much sweet taro sago soup before she and the rest of my family went on vacation, and I had to be creative with ways to process all the leftovers that I simply can’t consume. Also, I had too much cream cheese left from making cheesecake last time. Shhh…don’t tell anyone that I only bake nowadays to get rid of leftover ingredients! The neighbours were pretty happy when they got a late night kinako bun delivery.

Chatter over the Platter

Blue = Astral

Red = Moya (Me)

Technically, you lose the Shiritori game if you choose a word that ends with “n,” but I just reaaally wanted to make kinako pan! 

Date a Live is an anime that I have, in truth, only seen an episode of, but I came across this kinako pan clip and was overwhelmed by its fluffiness (the bread of course!):

Wow, those look totally delicious! I’m a big fan of soft and fluffy bread myself. I generally find it much better than the harder artisanal breads that people seem to find so appealing (maybe it’s just because it seems fancier?) However it is, I’ll probably be giving your recipe a try sometime, because it looks delicious!

It’s been a while since i’ve seen Date A Live. I think I stopped at some point like in the middle of season 2? I do need to catch up on it though, it’s a fun show.

Yay, I’m glad we’re in agreement that fluffy breads are the best! Though flaky and buttery breads are pretty good too…

I don’t particularly feel like watching Date a Live, but Tohka’s twitching hair ribbon… I’m 90% sure she’d be my best girl if I watch more of the series.

So, so, I know I broke the rules of Shiritori…but I really look forward to Chef Astral’s next creation! Anything to add, Astral?

Tohka is pretty adorable, to be sure. She’s kinda hard not to love.

Well, you’ve definitely given me a pretty tough task, with “N”, but surprisingly, I think i’ve got an idea of what to make next… hopefully it turns out well, because it’s going to be somewhat complicated to put together, that’s for sure.

Mysterious~ Well, I’m sure it’s something that’ll get us all drooling.

I very much hope so!!

28 thoughts on “Anime Food Shiritori – Meal #2: Kinako Pan (Roasted Soybean Buns) from Date a Live

      1. Sure thing! I do need to step my culinary game up. I literally just bought a sushi cookbook which could be a start. Haha! Learning to make these foods and even some of the Congolese stuff I started learning about would be great.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Just to ask what are the setting on the oven stove and i need to know how long to cook the kinako pan i cause i mess up and wanna go over it please.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. does the oven stove have to be at 40 minutes instead of 1 hour and 40 minutes cause i made have turn the bread like this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry I wasn’t able to get to this comment in time, but you certainly don’t bake buns for more than 30 minutes. I gave my instructions in the post itself, including oven conditions and everything, so I hope you were able to find the answer in time.


    1. Mmmm, great idea. Preferably with some hot matcha!

      There’s NOTHING wrong with hard bread! I love any bread with fillings or with a buttery taste – it just happens that more often than not the bread is fluffy. Also, light and fluffy bread give you the illusion that you’re eating less than you really are. 🤣


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