Sweet Sticks


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about



Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

The Japanese eat these sweet sticks as a light snack with numerous cups of hot green tea, though black or cinnamon-and-clove-spiced tea would be nice, too. Served with ice cream or fruit sherbet, these sweet sticks make an interesting dessert for a Western or Oriental meal.


  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1⅔ cups (all-purpose) flour (plus up to ¼ cup for board)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup water


Put the honey, salt and warm water into a bowl and stir until well blended. Add the egg and continue to stir until the mixture is well combined.

Combine flour and baking powder and sift it into the egg mixture, a little at a time. Stir to blend well after each addition. When all the flour has been added, form the soft dough into a ball and turn it out on a floured board. Knead the dough until it is satiny and smooth. Roll it out evenly to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the dough into sticks inches long and inch wide.

Fry these in 4–5 batches in deep oil, using medium-low temperature (325–350 degrees F.) for best results. The sticks should puff but not color at first, and the oil will be quite foamy. Fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Test a stick by cutting it in half; the inside should be dry. Drain the sticks well on paper towels before spreading them out on a cookie sheet.

Combine the brown sugar and cup water in a small saucepan and heat it. Stir constantly as the syrup bubbles and thickens. Check the temperature with a candy thermometer; the syrup should be about 245 degrees F. Or use a simple cold-water test: Drop a little syrup into a bowl of cold water. It should form a firm but pliable ball. Let the hot syrup cool for a few seconds before pouring it over the fried sticks. Toss and stir constantly until each stick has been coated with syrup. Continue to toss and stir to separate the sugar-frosted sticks. Store in an airtight canister.

For a tasty variation, knead 1 teaspoon ground black sesame seeds into the dough before rolling it out. Use refined white sugar instead of brown for the syrup.