Mochi! What a Delicious Sticky Mess
I love ending my meals with something sweet, so it’s no different when it comes to brunch. I was really in the mood for something warm and chewy but nothing too heavy. After my incredibly filling Japanese breakfast I wanted to end my morning with a traditional Japanese dessert, the red bean daifuku commonly known as mochi.
The daifuku is a traditional Japanese sweet treat made with mochi dough and stuffed with a sweet filling such as red bean paste. The easiest way of making the mochi dough is by using prepared sweet rice flour, Mochiko, mixed with water and cooked until it becomes opaque and elastic. Then the sticky dough is dusted heavily with cornstarch and powdered sugar, filled and formed into various shapes. The most important part about morphing these little sticky dough balls is that you HAVE to make sure that your hands and the balls are generously covered with the cornstarch mixture otherwise you are just going to end up with a gooey sticky mess.
You can stuff mochi dough with all sorts of different fillings such as green bean paste, fruits and even ice cream. I just so happen to have Anko, red bean paste, in my fridge. So red bean daifuku it is! The flavors are light, and not overly sweet. I like my mochi warm, while the dough is still soft and chewy and the inside filling is slightly cold; It creates a nice contrast in textures. This sweet treat is the perfect end to my breakfast.
Red Bean Daifuku
adapted from Kitchen Meditation
1 box mochiko (3 cups)
2 cups white sugar
3 cups water
2 drops rice wine vinegar
2 cups corn starch
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup anko (red bean paste)
1. In a microwavable large glass bowl, mix together the mochiko, granulated sugar, and vinegar until all lumps are gone. Microwave uncovered for two minutes. Mix (preferably with chopsticks), and then microwave for another two minutes. Mix again, the mixture should be getting firmer. Microwave for another minute, mix, and then microwave in thirty second increments and mix as it gets hotter and more elastic. The mochi dough will look opaque and feel like a sticky blob when it is done.
2. Allow the dough to cool on the counter so you can handle it. While it cools, form your red bean paste into marble sized balls. In a flat dish, mix together the corn starch and powdered sugar. The cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture is KEY, it will dampen the stickiness of the mochi dough.
3. Dust your hands with the cornstarch mixture and continue to do so as you go along. When the dough has cooled, scoop a golfball size piece of dough and drop it into the cornstarch mixture. Lightly coat the the outside of the dough, roll the dough into a ball, then flatten to form a 3 inch circle.
4. Place the red bean paste in the center and pinch the edges together to seal. Roll the ball in the cornstarch mixture again, then roll between the palms of your hands to create and nice ball shape. Repeat until finished.
*Note: Mochi can be left at room temperature for a few days or refrigerated for longer keeping.
This being my first time making daifuku I was not so pleasantly surprised by how sticky the dough is so they don’t look too attractive but I was told by my Japanese friend that the flavors are pretty close to the traditional ones!! If you don’t believe me try the recipe and then go out to your nearest Asian market like an H Mart and buy one of their Mochi cakes and compare for yourself and let me know what you think!