Monday, April 11, 2011


If asked what was my favorite sweet, I don't think I would be able to answer. But if asked my favorite cuisine, well, that's an easy question, definitely Japanese food. Not only is the food delightfully appealing to the eye (見た目がいい, mitamegaii), but also deliciously tasty. While I do love sushi (ikura!, nom nom), I also love Japanese sweets, or wagashi. Wagashi are traditional sweets typically served along side Japanese tea. Okashi, or Japanese snacks, are another favorite of mine.

When my cousin came to visit, our obachan (Japanese for grandmother) taught us how to make several different wagashis and okashis. Mochi was at the top of our to-do lists, and after several attempts we finally achieved that soft, supple, earlobe-like feeling mochi. Yes, I know, that last description was a little strange, but I'll explain later. Why did it take several attempts? Well, the first batch was waaaayyy too hard and lumpy, the second batch was a little better (less hard), and the third batch was perfect! :) As we were making each batch, we discovered several tips that helped us achieve that soft smooth mochi.

1. After adding the mochiko to the water, stir vigorously to incorporate all of the flour.
2. The mixture will at first look too dry and lumpy, but just keep stirring until the mixture reaches a smooth paste
3. Add the sugar in several batches. I added mine in about 5 or 6.
4. If you see a few lumps of flour, that's okay, you can always pick it out later. If you see a lot of lumps, you may want to start over...
5. The mochi can be shaped when it has cooled, but it's easier to pinch the side closed when still warm
6. Pre-shaping the anko balls saves time and it's less messy

Hope that helped and happy mochi making!

Daifuku -Printer Friendly Version

Adapted from my obachan's recipe

(Mochi with anko or sweet red bean inside)
100 grams Mochi-ko (sweet rice flour)

200 grams sugar (Can be lowered to 150 grams if too sweet)

220 mL water
koshian or tsubuan, red bean paste, rolled in to a ball
Corn starch for dusting
Large wooden spoon
8 cupcake lined tins

1. Measure out all ingredients before hand as this will make it easier

2. Put water in frying pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat.
3. Sift in mochiko mixing well with a large wooden spoon. At first it will be very lumpy and seem too dry, but the sugar will bring out the moisture.

4. Stir for 4-5 minutes until smooth making sure to not burn the mixture. This step is crucial, so keep stirring!

5. Add the sugar in several batches.

6. Dust a plate with cornstarch and pour mochi on to the plate. Dust mochi surface with corn starch.
7. Wait five minutes, then form in to a ball the size of a golf ball, flatten, add anko, then close by pinching the edges together
8. Place on cupcake wrapper in cupcake pan so it retains its shape

For ichigo daifuku (strawberry mochi): Wash and pat dry 8 small strawberries. Cover strawberries in a layer of anko, roll in to a ball. Proceed as if using normal anko balls

For kinako mochi: Substitute kinako (ground soy bean flour) for cornstarch

Anko rolled in to balls
Light dusting of cornstarch
Almost ready to be shaped!

Ichigo daifuku! oops, i guess I flattened that area too much!

1 comment:

  1. I've never made these except at mochi pounding... The speed in which everything has to be done intimidates me. These look great!


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