From late October to November you may see this confectionery in wagashi stores throughout Japan. It is custom to eat this Japanese sesame delight on “inoko no hi” 亥の子の日 Baby Boar Day . The wagashi is normally eaten on the day of the boar ( this year 2022 being Sunday the 6th of November) for a prayer for good health. These wagashi are served at this time as part of a Japanese tea ceremony known as “Robiraki” 炉開き which is when the brazier set in the tatami mat is opened for the winter season. This is because the wild boar is believed to be a messenger of the Buddhist god of war and fire. It is also custom at this time to start using heating devices like the kotatsu 炬燵. The winter hearth is opened on the first wild boar day and tea is served with inoko mochi.
I decided to make inoko mochi wagashi 亥の子餅 baby boar cake. After the Halloween festivities it’s something that little bit different and still keeping in with the Japanese seasons. Black sesame is used to look like the spots on a wild boar piglet. The mochi is also seared with markings on the surface.
This is how I made Baby Boar Piglet Mochi ( Inoko Mochi )
Mix 30grm Shiratama flour with 4 and 1/2 tablespoons of water add 30grms of Joshinko flour and 50grms of sugar and mix again. Then mix in 30grms of mashed bean paste and 8grms of black sesame seeds.
Place a metal pancake ring inside a steamer and cover with a muslin cloth. Spoon the mixture inside the ring and steam for 15mins.
Meanwhile make x8 balls of bean paste ( 160grms = 20grms each ball)
Tip the steamed Mochi out into a bowl and mash, then tip out onto a surface with potato starch. Divide the Mochi into 8 pieces. Flatten each piece and place a ball of bean paste inside and fold the mochi over. Roll and shape into a piglet.
Heat a metal rod and sear each Mochi with three stripes. Enjoy with matcha or your favourite Japanese tea to celebrate the changing seasons. The searing of the mochi gives it a lovely toasted sesame flavour.
I served mine with a hojicha latte and sprinkled it with powdered ginger to make it extra warming.