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Walnut-Soy Sauce Muffins

This muffin recipe is unique in its use of soy sauce, five-spice powder and grated ginger. The umami of the soy sauce blends together with these other two ingredients to create a rich savory taste that will especially appeal to the adult palate.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins)

  • 240 g cake flour*1
  • 1/4 t five-spice powder
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 T + 1 t milk
  • 2 1/2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 120 g (a little more than 1/2 C) butter, softened at room temperature
  • 60 g (1/4 C + 1 t) granulated sugar
  • 120 g (3/4 C + 2 T) kibito (Japanese light brown cane sugar)*2
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large ginger knob (about 20 g / .7 oz.), peeled and grated*3
  • Walnut praline: See recipe below.
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    To make the muffins, preheat oven to 190ºC (370ºF) and grease muffin pans or cups.

  2. 2

    Sift together flour, five-spice powder and baking powder, and set aside. In another small bowl, mix milk and soy sauce, and set aside.

  3. 3

    Place butter in separate bowl and cream until it turns light and fluffy; add granulated sugar and kibito and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until the mixture turns white.

  4. 4

    Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and lightly mix with a spatula. Add grated ginger and fold in the soy sauce-milk mixture.

  5. 5

    Stir in the remaining flour mixture and gently mix in the chopped praline. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pans or cups and bake at 190ºC (370ºF) for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the muffin tops are browned and spring back when touched with a finger.

Walnut Praline
  1. 1Bake 50 g (1.8 oz.) of roughly-chopped walnuts in 160ºC (320ºF) oven for 10 minutes.
  2. 2Place 40 g (about 3 T) granulated sugar, 1/2 T water and 1/2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce in a shallow pan over medium-low heat. When bubbles begin to appear around the edges, shake the pan slightly, but do not stir. When bubbles appear evenly throughout the pan, and a slight aroma of soy sauce rises, remove from heat, quickly add walnuts and 5 g (1 t) butter to the pan, then mix. Spread this mixture onto a baking sheet or a non-stick sheet to cool. When cooled, roughly chop up the praline.
  1. *1About 2 C of sifted all-purpose flour may be substituted.
  2. *2A scant 5/8 C light brown sugar may be substituted.
  3. *3If fresh ginger is unavailable, a small amount of dried ginger powder may be substituted.

Note: For accurate measurements, please weigh all ingredients.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

Vol. 26

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