Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cranes and Yatsuhashi (Mochi!!) :)

Yeek! I'm going to Japan so soon. In less than a week! :) I'm sooo excited. But first, I have to make my share of the cranes. Yes, you heard right, I'm making paper cranes. But do you know what it's for??

Sadako and her 1000 cranes, of course! You guys all know the story right? She contracted leukemia because of the Hiroshima bomb, and her friend said if she made 1000 paper cranes, the gods would grant her a wish. Sadly, she died before she could finish, but today there is a memorial dedicated to the children who were victims of the atom bomb. And, usually when people visit, they bring 1000 cranes!!! Okay, so maybe not everyone, but I'm pretty sure that's what most schools do.

So yea, I'm making my share of the cranes. Do you want to see one of them?? Here it is!:
And there are 50 more of those!!! See:

So today's recipe actually has to do with the cranes. Okay, well not really. But it's for the same class! I had to do this project on Kyoto, and my "hands-on-activity" was eating! Yes, other people did actual games, crafts, but of course, knowing me I would do something like eating. :)

So the food I made was one of Kyoto's meibutsu or famous regional product. Yastuhashi is a cinnamon-y mochi that comes in two forms. Raw or baked. The raw version is usually filled with tsubuan or some other filling (peanut butter tastes pretty good!). The baked version is more like a cookie. I thought it tasted like a big piece of cinnamon toast crunch!

Usually when I make mochi, it turns out, well, nasty. I'm not joking. It's hard or it's gummy or it's just ugh, gross! But these actually turned out pretty well! They were easy to make (they weren't nasty) and they tasted pretty good! They were soft and mochi-like! See:

Nama Yatsuhashi
Recipe is from here
100 grams mochiko rice flour
60 grams brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
85 grams water
3 Tbs. kinako powder
2 Tbs. Ground cinnamon
1/2 cup tsubuan or other filling (peanut butter or nutella works well!)

1. In a microwavable bowl, mix stir mochiko flour, sugar, cinnamon, and water
2. Microwave on High for 1 minute. Mix well. Microwave for an additional 1 minute 30 seconds. Mix well again
3. Wrap the dough in plastic (will be very sticky! I dusted the plastic with kinako before so it would be easier to remove)
4. Knead dough until smooth and comes together
5. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and kinako
6. Dust a cutting board with the kinako-cinnamon mixture and roll out the dough until thin
7. Cut in to squares (mine were about 2 inches x 2 inches
8. Wet two adjacent sides with water, and place 1/2 teaspoon of tsubuan or filling inside.
9. Fold the square into a triangle. Enjoy!

For yaki yatsuhashi instead of cutting in to squares, use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into cute shapes. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave in the oven for 10 more minutes.


  1. Interesting! I've never seen these before, but I know I'd love them :) Enjoy Japan, I'm going there for NYE this year!!

  2. Thanks! Oh, I wish I could go for new years. I've always wanted to experience one of their new year's festivals! I bet your gonna have a great time. :)


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