Sata andagi (Okinawan doughnuts) サーターアンダギー

SATA ANDAGI ­— This Okinawan doughnut is made with three ingredients — cake flour, sugar, and egg. photo by Namiko Chen

Make this deliciously sweet Okinawan treat called sata andagi with simple baking ingredients. It’s a type of deep fried doughnut popular in Okinawa, with the winning combination of a crispy and cakey texture!

During our short stay in Okinawa, we had a few chances to enjoy different flavors of Okinawan doughnuts, sata andagi (サーターアンダギー). Not only were these doughnuts on a list of must-eats when you visit, they are also known as an easy homemade snack in Okinawa. Since making something easy is always appealing, it had been on my mind to try my hand at making these yummy doughnuts for a while.

Of all the various fun flavors, I decided to make Black Sugar Sata Andagi as my first. Relatively unrefined, black sugar is a common sugar in Okinawa and its deep malty, caramel-y characteristic enhances the flavor of the doughnuts tremendously.

What is Sata Andagi?
Sata andagi (サーターアンダギー or サーターアンダーギー) is a doughnut made with three ingredients — cake flour, sugar and egg. The name comes from the Okinawan words: sata, which means sugar, and andagi, which means deep fried (food). The texture of sata andagi is very dense, and less airy and fluffy than regular doughnuts.

When deep fried, the round balls crack with lines that resemble the smiley faces, which is why the doughnuts are considered good luck in Okinawa and are used for many happy occasions, such as engagements and birthdays.

In Okinawa, where the weather is hot and humid, sata andagi keep well at room temperature for a few days. No wonder they have been enjoyed as homemade snacks for generations. If you visit Okinawa, the easiest place to spot sata andagi is at touristy places where you’ll see tiny kiosks selling these sweet treats. You can also find sata andagi specialty stores throughout Okinawa.

Popular Sata Andagi Flavors
Many sata andagi shops carry similar flavors (shown in bold) but there are other delicious flavors that I didn’t get to try.

Plain
Beni imo (Okinawan sweet potato)
Black sugar (kokuto)
Black/white sesame
Black tea
Caramel
Cheese
Chocolate
Cinnamon
Coconut
Coffee
Kabocha
(Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha squash)
Kinako (soybean flour)
Mocha
Peanut
Walnut

Sata andagi has no fillings or fancy frosting. The ingredients are mixed in with the dough to make different flavors. Do any of these flavors above catch your attention?

If you haven’t made doughnuts before, you’ll be happy to know that these Okinawan doughnuts are rather straight-forward. The only caveat is the deep frying, but since they were delicious in the way that deep fried dough is, it’s worth the effort. My family loves that they are not overly sweet, but more of a snacking doughnut, not a heavily glazed dessert doughnut that can bog you down easily. And yes, you can definitely eat them on a more regular basis. Okinawans say so!

Sata Andagi
One only needs three ingredients to make a deliciously sweet Okinawan treat called sata andagi. It’s a type of deep fried doughnut popular in Okinawa, with the winning combination of crispy and cakey!

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Dough Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 mins

Servings: 8 doughnuts

1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
1/3 cup black sugar (packed; I used dark muscovado sugar that I bought on Amazon, but you can also purchase Okinawan black sugar on Amazon)
1 tsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
1 cup cake flour (plus more if needed)
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
3 cups neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (plus more for rolling dough)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/ingredient-substitution-for-japanese-cooking/.

To read the full recipe, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/sata-andagi/.

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