Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi)

April 15, 2015

Wagashi is traditional Japanese confectionary, and the ingredients and preparation techniques are vastly different from western desserts. The best Wagashi I've ever had were none other than in Japan itself, particularly in the Kansai region - Kyoto, Nara, Uji, and Osaka.

Today, I am sharing a Wagashi recipe for Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi with red bean paste). It is the merger of a few of my favourite things in one - strawberry, chewy stuff (mochi), and red bean! If you are looking for a dessert that is less sinful, then the Ichigo Daifuku is for you!

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Dog

[For Anko (Red Bean Paste)]
150g of Yude Azuki (Canned Japanese red beans)
115g of Caster Sugar

[For Ichigo Daifuku]
100g of Shiratamako (Glutinous rice flour)
2 Tablespoons of Caster Sugar
95 to 100ml of Water
Some Corn Starch for dusting
6 Strawberries

[For Anko (Red Bean Paste)]
1. Strain the beans to remove water
2. Place the soft beans and sugar in a pot on medium-high heat, stirring constantly for approximately 10 minutes until a shiny but loose paste is formed. It might appear too liquid, but the paste would harden up when cooled.
3. Transfer the paste to a bowl/container and allow it to cool.
4. Divide the anko equally into 6 balls. Set aside.

[For Ichigo Daifuku]
1. Slice the stems off the strawberries.

2. Flatten the anko into a disc-shape, place a piece of strawberry in the center, and wrap the anko to cover the strawberry entirely. Place the anko balls in a dish and cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist.
3. Dust a baking sheet with corn starch and set it aside. This is for the mochi.
4. To make the mochi from Shiratamako, add the shiratamako and sugar in a non-stick bowl. Gradually mix in the water, ensuring no pockets of flour are left.
5. Steam the mochi for 15 minutes on high heat.
6. Remove the bowl from the steamer and knead the dough with a spatula until an even consistency is achieved.
7. Transfer the mochi onto the baking sheet and dust it with corn starch. Divide into 6 equal balls.
8. Lightly press the mochi balls into a disc-shape, and brush away the corn starch.
9. Place the tip of the anko strawberry in the center of the mochi, and fold the mochi up towards the stem of the strawberry. Do this quickly or else the mochi would not be able to stretch far enough to cover the strawberries. 

Now it's done!

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