Wednesday, 16 July 2014

日本大好き - Strawberry Daifukumochi いちご大福餅

As an Asian, the usual cake that we grow up with is a little different with western, as we tend to heavily reply on various types of rice flour, and starch on our sweet and savoury snack. And one of my all-time favourite even since I was a kid is Mochi. Mochi is usually referred to any glutinous flour products but in Japan, mocha is generally referred to any traditional cake.

What I love the most of these Mochi is the chewy texture, traditionally the chewiness was made from continuously pounding from cooked rice to paste. But now a day, thing was so much easier for us, you do not need to pound til you sweat to make these delicious traditional Mochi, all you need is just a microwave and it will be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Because I do not like to use canned sweet red bean paste from supermarket, they are usually too sweet for me. Therefore if I have the time I usually make my own red bean paste from scratch, it wasn’t hard to make but just time consuming and usually you will need to make it in a big batch. But if you don’t have the time, feel free to buy those sweet red bean paste can from any Asian grocery around you.  

Despite of the red bean, it is another unbelievably easy and fast traditional Japanese dessert that you can make at home. Strawberry Daifukumochi is one of the most common types of confectionary you can find in Japan and around the world but feel free to substitute the filling to any fruit or paste that you like or even ice cream.

Hope you enjoy this recipe, as I will be going to Japan in 3 days hopefully I can bring back more inspiration during my trips.


Make your own Red Bean Paste or Buy straight from Asian Supermarket
200g Azuki Red Bean
150g Sugar
Pinch of Salt

100g Glutinous Rice flour
40g Sugar
120ml Water
6 Strawberry, Washed
150g Azuki Red Bean Paste
Some Potato Starch
1) Soak the red bean in water for 8 hours or overnight. (This would reduce the cooking time later.)
2) Rinse the bean and put it in a pot. Once is boiling turn off and let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse it again.  (This is to get rid of the raw taste of the bean.)
3) Bring the red bean back to the pot and just put enough water to cover the bean on high heat.

4) Once the water start boiling, turn down to the lowest heat and keep shimming for about an 1 hours to 1 ½ hours.

5) Without stirring, keep adding water when it reduces until the bean is soft enough to easily squash.
6) After the bean is soft enough, gradually add in the sugar and the red bean paste become thicken that you can draw a line in the pot. 
7) Turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt until well combined. 

8) Transfer to a shallow container and cover cling wrap on top to cool down. (Red Bean Paste is better to prepare a before night, you may pack it into 100g each and freeze it for up to 2 weeks.)
9) Pat dry and trim the top of the strawberry off. Use about 25g of red bean and wrap around the strawberry. 
10) Combine the glutinous rice flour and sugar in a microwave safe bowl.

11) Add in 120ml water and stir until no lump in the mixture. Cover in cling wrap and microwave at high power for 1 minute.
12) Take the bowl out and stir well, as this stage the dough is very sticky so damp some water on the spoon to prevent the dough from sticking.

13) Microwave for about 45 second and repeat the stirring until the glutinous appear glossy and soft gel texture, it is then become Mochi dough. (The stirring part is what makes the glutinous flour become chewier later.)
14) Sprinkle some potato starch on a plate and take about 1 tablespoon of Mochi dough on potato starch (dip tablespoon in water first so it won’t stick to it.)

15) Coat the mocha dough with potato starch then use your clean finger gently press the dough into a round flat shape, pat away the excess starch.
16) Put the Strawberry Red Bean filling, pointy part face down and use your finger press the edge of the mocha dough and enclose it.
17) Use your hand gently shape the Daifukumochi into a ball shape. 

Bon Appetite.