Okinawan-Style Sesame Donuts | サーターアンダギー

If you want to get to the heart of Japanese home cooking, you will appreciate Phaidon’s most recent Country Cookbook, Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. This hefty collection of over 400 recipes showcases the breadth of Japanese home-cooking today, and is a great reference book for any cook keen on the cuisine.

Read my full review of Japan: The Cookbook here, and enjoy the third and final extracted recipe, below. I’ve also shared Stir-Fried Japanese Leeks with Miso and Asparagus with Sesame-Vinegar Dressing.

Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu Okinawan-style Sesame Donuts from Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

5 from 1 vote

Okinawan-Style Sesame Doughnuts | サーターアンダギー

Okinawa’s cultural heritage is not considered part of mainstream Japan because it has its roots in China and the United States (due to the occupation). There are not many Okinawan dishes in this book, but these donuts are iconic.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 dougnuts
Author Nancy Singleton Hachisu


  • 200 g (11⁄3 cups / 7 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 100 g (1⁄2 cup / 3 1⁄2 oz) sugar
  • 1 large pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 medium egg at room temperature
  • 100 ml (3 1⁄3 fl oz) milk
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil, such as rapeseed [canola], peanut or safflower for deep-frying


Variation: Omit the sesame seeds and add chopped walnuts or raisins to the batter.


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture and crack the egg into the well.
  • Stir the milk and vanilla extract in slowly with a fork, while breaking up the egg, until the dry and wet ingredients are blended.
  • Warm the sesame seeds in a small dry pan and crush slightly in a suribachi [Japanese grinding bowl] or nut grinder. Stir the sesame seeds into the batter — it will be fairly sticky.
  • Pour 15 cm (6 inches) oil into a heavy medium pot and heat over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking.
  • Working in batches of 6 (do not crowd the pot), drop rounded spoonfuls of the batter, using 2 spoons, and fry until the donuts are bobbing on the surface and most of the tiny bubbles have subsided, at least 3 minutes. (Adjust the heat if they are browning too quickly.)

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu from publisher Phaidon. Food photography by Jennifer May. Recipe published with permission.

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12 Comments to "Okinawan-Style Sesame Donuts | サーターアンダギー"

  1. kaveyeats

    Yeah, I’m not so familiar at all with Okinawan cuisine, I know that it’s quite distinct from rest of Japan. It’s on my wishlist to visit there!

  2. kellie@foodtoglow

    Oh my days, Kavey. These look so good! I am crazy about anything sesame. I haven’t done any deep frying in over 20 years but this is awfully tempting. Fun fact: I am friends with the great great grand-daughter of the last emperor of Okinawa. She is a doctor and built a version of Maggie’s Cancer Centre near Mt Fuji. Gorgeous, humble lady. Hoping to go back to Japan for the sakura festival 🙂


    That’s amazing! How fun that you know a descendant of the last emperor of Okinawa! And that she has set up a similar cancer centre to Maggie’s as well. I hope you get back to Japan soon. We don’t deep fry often, usually we’ll fill the fryer with oil and maybe have a few things over the week or two, and then put it away for a few months again!!!

  3. kaveyeats

    It’s such a great flavouring ingredient! Tahini is becoming more prevalent in all kinds of recipes, so I think the sesame flavour is getting more and more popular!

  4. kaveyeats

    I’m not sure, as I’ve not tried that. There are some great baked doughnut recipes out there so I hope you’ll find one that suits.


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