How to distinguish different types of flour

Photo credit:


Are you looking for suitable flour for baking, confections, cooking particular dishes? How do we distinguish different types of flour sold in the supermarkets in Okinawa?


Page Contents (click each content to jump directly to the content)

  1. Classifications of flours sold at supermarkets in Japan
  2. Products sold in Okinawa
  3. Other products that may be substituted with wheat flours
  4. Useful Japanese words to look for flours you like
  5. Shops in Okinawa that sell different types of flours
  6. Recipe for Saataa andaagii (Okinawan donut or "fried sugar")
  7. These are not flour! 片栗粉(かたくりこ/katakuri ko)

Share your comments/requests here

Read other Go Grocery Shopping articles here!


Basic classifications of flours sold at supermarkets in Japan


    In Japan, flours for home use are mainly classified into the following 3 categories.

  Bread flour 強力粉 All-purpose flour 中力粉 Cake flour 薄力粉
Gluten content High Moderate Low
Protein content 12% or more Around 9% 8.5% or less
Elastic strength & gluten viscosity Strong Moderate Weak
Granularity Coarse Moderate Fine
Suitable for Bread, noodles, pizzas, Chinese dumplings, etc. Udon noodles, etc. Cake, tempura(recipe), confections, okonomiyaki(recipe), etc.
Notes Hard wheat produced in the US and Canada is mainly used to produce the bread flour sold in Japan. Medium-hard wheat produced in Australia and Japan is mainly used to produce the all-purpose flour sold in Japan. Soft wheat produced in the US is mainly used to produce the cake flour sold in Japan.


To page top


Products sold in Okinawa


★★★★★★★★★★★★Bread flour★★★★★★★★★★★★


Nissin Kameriya 日清カメリヤ強力小麦粉

Packaged in a ziplock, which is convenient for storing. The flour is compatible with bread making using “home bakery” (bread machine).


Okinawa seifun Ohmon 沖粉の強力粉王門

Local-made product. Although it’s labelled  “ALL PURPOSE” on the package, this is bread flour. It’s good for making bread, pizza, gyoza dumplings skin, Okinawa soba noodles


Kurashi more flour 強力粉

Recommended for bread, pizzas, and gyoza dumpling skin


★★★★★★★★★★★★All-purpose flour★★★★★★★★★★★★


Nissin Yuki 日清雪中力粉麦粉


Packaged in a ziplock, which is convenient for storing. The flour is suitable for making udon noodles, okonomiyaki(recipe), tempura(recipe), and confections.


Nissin Teuchi udon no komugiko 手打ちうどんの小麦粉 (flour for handmade udon noodles)

This flour is easy to knead, so it is recommended for the beginners of udon noodle making. You can make noodles which are good in colour and lustre.


★★★★★★★★★★★★Cake flour★★★★★★★★★★★★


Nissin Flour 日清フラワー薄力小麦粉

Packaged in a ziplock, which is convenient for storing. The flour is suitable for making tempura(recipe), hotcakes, deep-fried chicken, etc.


Nissin Violet 日清バイオレット

Packaged in a ziplock, which is convenient for storing. The characteristics of the flour are that the particles are very tiny which makes tempura(recipe) batter crunchier, confections fluffier compared to other flours. The four is suitable for confections, tempura(recipe), cakes, etc.


Kurashi more Cake flour 薄力粉

Recommended for tempura(recipe), confections, other dishes.


Okinawa seifun Cake flour おきん粉の羽衣

Very common product in Okinawan kitchen. Local-produce. Recommended for tempura, confections, okonomiyaki(recipe), and other dishes.

To page top

Other products that may be substituted with wheat flours

It may be an interesting adventure to try cooking things using other flours/powders.


Coarsely granulated rice powder for bread もっちり仕上がるお米の粉 (contains wheat gluten)

Recommended for baking bread. The flour makes the texture doughy.


Finely granulated rice powder for confections and cooking サクッ!と仕上がるお米の粉 (gluten-free)

Recommended for tempura batter, confections, and other dishes.


Rice powder for rice dumplings making 米の粉 Japanese rice dumplings(recipe)

The powder is suitable for making chewy dumplings.


Soy powder 大豆粉 (gluten-free)

Carbohydrate is reduced by 73%. Contains 13.7g of dietary fibre per 100g.

Recommended for bread, confections, hotcakes, okonomiyaki(recipe), etc.

To page top


Useful Japanese words to look for flours you like

  • Bread flour - 強力粉 (きょうりきこ / kyo riki ko)
  • All-purpose flour - 中力粉 (ちゅうりきこ / chuu riki ko)
  • Cake flour - 薄力粉 (はくりきこ / haku riki ko)
  • Wheat flour - 小麦粉 (こむぎこ / komugi ko) *this is a general term for all kinds of flours
  • Whole wheat flour - 全粒粉 (ぜんりゅうふん / zenryu fun)
  • Rye flour - ライ麦粉 (らいむぎこ / raimugi ko)
  • Graham flour - グラハム粉 (ぐらはむこ / gurahamu ko)

To page top


Shops in Okinawa that sell different types of flours


Their shop is specialised in selling products for confections, etc. They mainly sell bread flour, all-purpose flour, and cake flour produced from different types of wheat, etc. They also sell graham flour, whole wheat flour.

Below are some examples of the products they sell.

Cake flours

Bread flours

Other flours

Ready-to-make mixes


The shop sells products for restaurants. Some of the products are imported from overseas. They sell rye flour and corn flour.


The shop has a wide variety of flour and other products for baking. They sometimes do campaigns to make the shipping costs free. Even without the campaigns, the shipping costs will be free even for chilled items if the purchase is more than 5,980JPY. It may be a good idea to order items with your friends to make your purchase greater than 5,980JPY.


To page top


Recipe for Saataa andaagii (Okinawan donut)

Photo credit:

Saataa andaagii (Okinawan donut) is a traditional Okinawan confectionary. It is crunchy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. The history of the confectionary has lasted since Ryukyu kingdom times. It is said that it was inspired by Chinese/Taiwanese confectionary called "開口笑(Laughing sesame donuts)". While being fried, the dough is cracked and the crack seems as if it were laughing, or Okinawan people expressed it as a "blooming flower". Therefore the confectionary is considered a "happy dessert". The term saataa andaagii is said to consist of three words - "saataa", an Okinawan word for sugar, "anda", an Okinawan word for oil, and "agi", an Okinawan word that means to fry. The direct translation of the confectionary would be "sugar fried in oil".

Recipe (20 balls)


(show the Japanese words next to each ingredient if you cannot find them in the supermarket)

  1. 300g cake flour 薄力粉
  2. 3 eggs 卵
  3. 150g sugar 砂糖
  4. 30g brown sugar 粉黒糖
  5. 30g butter バター
  6. 1 tablespoon hotcake mix ホットケーキミックス
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder ベーキングパウダー
  8. a pinch of salt 塩

What to do

  1. [Making a dry mixture] Mix flour, hotcake mix, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly with an eggbeater.
  2. [Making a wet mixture] In another bowl, mix eggs and sugar thoroughly. After mixing, ass melted butter into the mixture and continue to mix.
  3. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix using a spatula. continue adding the dry mixture in the same portion and keep mixing. The dry mix doesn't have to be dissolved completely.
  4. Rest the dough for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight) in a refrigerator.
  5. Roll the dough to make a round shape. (you can make them whatever size you like)
  6. Pour cooking oil in a pot, heat it to 160℃.
  7. Fry the dough in 160℃ oil. Make sure the temperature of the oil doesn't get any higher than that, otherwise the dough will get stiffened.
  8. When the dough is heated up, they start to twirling in the oil by itself. Do not use chopsticks to twirl them in the oil, otherwise, the dough will get stiffened.

The recipe and the photo were taken from this website. Visit the website to see the photos during the cooking process.

To page top


These are not flour! 片栗粉(かたくりこ/katakuri ko)

They may look like flour, but they are not. They are potato starch, or 片栗粉(かたくりこ/katakuri ko), which is normally used to thicken sauces/soups and they are also used to make batter for deep-fried chicken. They can also be used for baking sponge cake bases to make them fluffier. I personally mix a small portion of potato starch to sponge bake cake bases.


To page top


Read other Go Grocery Shopping articles here!

Share your comments/requests here