Tag

Mochi

Blog, Spring Food

Kashiwa Mochi

Happy Children’s day Japan🎏
To day May 5th in Japan is known as ( Kodomo no hi ) ( こどもの日)
It is part of the string of national holidays over the Golden Week period .
This day is in fact for the boys as girls day Hina Matsuri was in March . However a lot of people celebrate this day now as children’s day.
It is traditional to eat these mochi wagashi called Kashiwa mochi to day . They symbolise a child’s growth as an oak leaf is used to wrap the mochi ( not edible ). The reason an oak leaf is used is because oak trees do not shed their leaves until the new ones start to grow so thus are seen as a symbol of harmonious flow from one generation to the next. They are also a symbol of growth,strength and prosperity. These mochi are made from pounded sweet joshinko rice flour and filled with bean paste . Other mochi can be filled with white sweet bean and miso paste known as misoan. How would you know if a mochi is filled with bean paste or miso paste ? Well look at the leaves the mochi is wrapped in. If the veins are on the outside there is bean paste inside.

I was lucky enough to be sent some of the preserved oak leaves from japan so I set out to make Kashiwa Mochi . I’m really hoping next year I am in japan eating an authentic Japanese one and visiting the wisteria park and seeing the azalea.

To make 5 Kashiwa Mochi

( they do not keep well so only make what you plan to eat on the day or at the very latest the next day)

x5 preserved oak leaves ( not edible)

125g of Koshi-an ( smooth bean paste)

100g of Joshinko flour

x1 tablespoon of organic granulated sugar

130 mil of water

you will need a sharp knife,some paper towel, a microwaveable bowl,something to pound the Mochi like a rolling pin or pestle and plastic wrap and a spoon ( also have to hand a bowl of water and a damp cloth.

First rinse and pat dry with some paper towel your oak leaves and set aside.

Then make five balls of sweet bean paste and set aside

Add joshinko flour and sugar to a bowl and mix then add your water and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 mins.

When done remove from the microwave and use a wet spoon to loosen the edges. Start to pound your Mochi with your pestle or rolling pin.

When it is smooth and elastic take out of the bowl and place on a damp surface, dampen your hands and knead the Mochi.

When nice and stretchy form into a log shape and cut into five pieces with a damp sharp knife. Cover with a damp cloth,while you make each mochi. Keep your hands and surfaces damp to avoid sticking.

Flatten each piece out into an egg shape then place a ball of sweet bean paste in the centre and fold over your Mochi to cover it and then pinch the ends together. Wrap with an oak leaf and you are done.

They are best eaten straight away they are so chewy and soft. If you need to store them wrap them in plastic wrap and put in an airtight container. I did have one the next day and although still nice they were no where near as nice as eating straight away.

I hope what ever you do you all have a wonderful Golden week in Japan and happy children’s day !

 

 

Blog, Spring Food

Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri is a festival in Japan celebrated on March 3rd.
Sometimes also known as girls day or dolls day. On this day parents celebrate their daughters happiness and good health.

It is tradition to display ceremonial dolls,sometimes past down from many generations. There are lots of special foods associated with this day. You will find three colours of significance often displayed in a layered mochi rice cake known as hishi mochi. I made a coconut ice in these three colours and also a tofu mousse dessert.

White is for purification, green for health and pink for luck.

Another sweet eaten is Sakura Mochi. Mochi rice cake with a sweet red bean paste filling and wrapped in a salted pickled Sakura leaf and topped with a salted Sakura flower. They are a nice combination of sweet and salty.

A drink called Umeshu or plum wine goes down well for Hinamatsuri. Have it chilled on its own or with soda or even a splash in green tea for a hot drink. Plum blossom is very significant at this time as it is the start of the Hanami or flower viewing festivals and marks the beginning of spring.

Temari sushi is one of the traditional meals you can have. These decorated sushi balls take their name from Temari balls which children used to play with. Temari means hand ball. They are beautiful embroidered balls that to day are mainly used for decoration.

Another food also associated with Hinamatsuri is chirashi sushi you can find a recipe for this in one of my other posts. Which is a simple scattered sushi dish.

For to day I also made Inari sushi for my final meal served with three colour coconut ice and a nice glass of Umeshu.

Happy Hinamatsuri 幸せなひな祭り

Blog

New Year Traditions

2018 is the animal year of the dog. Each year is related to 12 animals if you were born in 1934,1946,1958,1970,1982,1994,2006 and 2018 you are a dog.
I was born in 1970 so my animal is the dog. It is said not to be a lucky year when it is your animal year and to ward off bad luck it is said you should wear red. Lucky numbers are 3,4,9 or a combination like 39 or 49. Lucky flowers are rose and orchid.

A popular thing to do for New Year is to get a daruma doll. The doll comes with no eyes and you paint on one eye with your goal or intention for the year. Back in 2012 I set a goal ( I have yet to paint in the other eye ) My goal was to work in a career with something that had a connection to japan in some way. I hope I get to paint in the other eye.

Kagami mochi is a traditional Japanese decoration consisting of two round mochi .
This one is store bought and has mochi inside. On the 11th of January it is known as Kagami Biraki ( the breaking of the new year mochi ) so I opened mine and this year I made grilled mochi rice cake with thick matcha tea with sweet red beans. 美味しい!
This was a bit different to the zenzai I normally have.

I hope that 2018 isn’t too unlucky for me and that anyone else born in the year of the dog has luck and health ( just remember to wear that red ! )

Autumn Food, Blog

Ohagi

The Autumn equinox is nearly upon us. In Japan it is a Buddhist festival known as higan. In the spring it is known as haru no higan . To celebrate I made Ohagi. This is a traditional confectionery made of sweet mochi rice pounded and shaped with a red bean centre . It is traditional to take these with flowers and incense to the graves of ancestors at this time. In the spring the sweets are called Botamochi named after the tree peony botan . In the fall the same sweets are called ohagi named after the clover bush hagi. I covered mine with kinako and black sesame .

Served with a nice green tea they make a wonderful treat .

This is how to make your very own ( it takes a little time but is well worth the effort !)
1 cup of Japanese rice
1 cup of mochi rice
plastic wrap
tsubu-an ( bean paste )
toppings  matcha powder,kinako ground black sesame powder
first wash your rice together really well changing the water a few times
place in your rice cooker with water up to level 2 and cook until done
then pound your rice I use the end of a rolling pin until some it’s mashed but still has some grain don’t over pound or it will be to sticky mix it as your pounding in between with your rice paddle so it’s even.
take about 70g of rice if your having rice on the outside and make balls of these in plastic wrap . Flatten each one spreading it out. Measure out balls of bean paste 30g and place in the middle of each flattened out ball ( mould  the rice around the bean paste .
If you want to do a reverse 40g rice and 60g red bean paste .
when they are all done roll them in your chosen topping .
I like to then wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze them and defrost over night ( great for a bento dessert ) .

Blog

Sakura soba noodles

I wanted to use the last of my Sakura soba noodles as it’s cherry blossom season .
I chose to make a simple kitsune soba.
Kitsune means fox in Japanese and it is said that the fox spirits are very fond of fried tofu so hence the name kitsune soba as I added aburaage to my soba noodles. The broth was just a simple tamari and mirin.
I added a few toppings of carrot flowers,furikake,sesame seeds,diced green onion and komatsuna.
It makes a really satisfying meal so quick and easy .
Now I’m off to watch ghost in the shell.
狐そば
さくらおはぎ

Blog, Spring Food

Mochi Cheese On Toast

To night is no cheese on toast (mochi cheese) placed under the grill . I had this with left over vegetable tofu miso soup from yesterday, rice,pickles and salad with a miso dressing . Grapes and strawberry. Hope everyone has a great day/evening . 餅ビーガンチーズとトースト 野菜と豆腐と味噌汁 ごはん サラダと味噌ドレッシング 漬物 イチゴとブドウ

want to make mochi cheese ? 

Add one mochi rice cake ( dried mochi block ) to a shallow bowl and almost cover with soy milk  

microwave for 30 seconds ( take out and mash with a fork )

add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 

put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds the mochi with rice and go gooey and sticky . Keep mashing with a fork .

then add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of white miso ( this will give you your cheese  flavour .

add a touch more milk if needed and microwave again for 15 sec 

now it’s ready for your toast then place under the grill to brown .

this can also be used for lots of things like pizza for instance 

 

Blog

Sakura Mochi

It’s Hanami season !
In Japan it is traditional at this time to make Sakura mochi .
Sweet sticky mochi rice with a bean paste filling wrapped In pickled Sakura leaves and topped with a Sakura flower .
The last ones I made I had to make some marzipan leaves as I didn’t have the pickled Sakura ones but I was lucky enough to be sent some by my good friend @violet_1223 so I decided to make some more .
自家製さくら餅 ???

Blog, Spring Food

Ichigo Daifuku

I made soft ichigo daifuku Strawberry Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi) いちご大福 Daifuku is a traditional Japanese wagashi . This one is mochi with anko (sweet red bean paste) and strawberry filling. There are many varieties of Daifuku, but it’s the same soft mochi with different fillings . During the spring time, Japanese confectionery shops sells a seasonal daifuku. This one always reminds me of the Sakura season I spent in Kyoto and visiting the beautiful shrines and temples. I’m not very experienced at making these but they taste delicious with a delicate green tea.  Daifuku actually means ( great luck) so wishing you all luck in your life.

To make these delicious treats you will need

40g of shiratama rice flour

60ml water

3 small strawberries

red bean paste

10g of unrefined caster sugar

potato starch ( I like to use one from Hokkaido) ( Toyo potato starch powder )

you will need a plastic microwaveable bowl plastic spatula plastic wrap and a good clean open work service ( it can get a bit messy )

First get a ball of red bean paste in plastic wrap and flatten it out . Put a strawberry in the middle and cover the strawberry with red bean paste . Do this to all three strawberries .

Then mix flour and water in your bowl and add the sugar and mix well.

cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 mins

uncover and mix well

cover and microwave again for a further one min .

cover your service in potato starch and your hands

knead potato starch to make your mochi keep adding potato starch I like to keep a bowl to hand with some in ready . Then when it’s nice and stretchy make three balls .

Then flatten each ball and mould  the mochi around your already read bean paste covered strawberries .

they are ready .

slice with a sharp knife and enjoy like this one with a green tea.

Blog

Sakura Mochi

It is almost Hina-matsuri in Japan .
On March the 3rd it is the girls day festival in Japan .
One of the traditional foods to eat is Sakura mochi . Mochi rice cakes filled with red bean paste and wrapped in a pickled cherry leaf.
Unfortunately I do not have pickled cherry leaves so I made the Sakura mochi Kansai style with sweet mochi rice filled it with lovely sweet Tsubu-an (chunky bean paste) and then made matcha marzipan cherry leaves . To make the pink rice I just used a little beet juice .
They turned out really good lovely to have with a matcha tea.
私はさくら餅を作った.
私はチェリーリーフを持っていなかったので即興しなければならなかった.
???

Blog

Zenzai


The weather here is Horrible to day high winds and rain ☔️ I made zenzai using @bionaorganic azuki beans .
I cooked them down in water and instead of using loads of sugar I used @clearspringuk rice malt syrup . I topped my zenzai with a grilled mochi rice cake and a dusting of kinako . I also had a matcha and to go with the sweetness of the zenzai you normally have something like pickles so I had an umeboshi plum . Sure wakens up the senses but it’s also really good for digestion .

ぜんざい
餅と黄粉
抹茶
梅干し

Blog

Pizza or Toasted Open Sandwich

This is kinda of a mix between a pizza and a toasted open sandwich . Toasted bread topped with sweet tomato purée then spread with mochi cheese and roasted veggies . Veggies were red and yellow peppers,aubergine,lotus root, eryngii mushroom and snap peas and cress. Served with salad and miso tofu dressing .
ピザオープン野菜サンドイッチ
餅チーズ
サラダ
豆腐みそドレッシング

Blog, Winter Food

Kagami Biraki Zenzai

in Japan on the 11th of January is Kagami biraki the breaking of the new year Mochi for luck and good fortune .
It is traditional to make  zenzai a sweet red bean soup with the toasted Mochi on the top.

This can be made as simple as you wish you can buy a tin of sweet red beans and add a little water and cook up into a soup. Zenzai is also available in a pouch just simply heat and serve .  Or you can buy a can of azuki beans drain and simmer in water with a sweetener . After this it gets a little more complicated if you want to cook your beans from scratch so for ease I do one of the above .

I cooked my mochi rice cake under the grill and topped this onto my zenzai