Blog, Summer Food

Mochi Ice Cream For Wagashi no Hi

Wagashi no hi
The Day of Japanese Confectionery (和菓子の日)

Starting in the Heian period, the Emperor Ninmyo prayed to the gods with an offering of 16 wagashi on June 16th to pray for his people to live healthy and happy lives when a plague spread throughout Japan.

With the popularity of tea and sugar during the Edo period ( 1603-1867) due to sugar being more widely available the development of stores selling sweets to be eaten with tea flourished. Before this tea was introduced in the Kamakura period ( 1185-1333) and zen monks partook in drinking tea with a small snack.

With demand, different wagashi stores introduced their own styles of sweets. Kyoto style wagashi were beautiful edible pieces of art to be eaten with a tea ceremony where as Tokyo style wagashi were more simple in design.

Wagashi comes in so many shapes and is a wide term for many varieties of Japanese desserts and confectionery as well as sweets  eaten with green tea. Wagashi plays an important role in representing the seasons and you may find  motifs used in the confectionery each month  bringing a celebration of nature.

As wagashi day falls during the rainy season known as tsuyu in Japanese and the flowering of the ajisai (hydrangea) I decided to use the tofu ice cream recipe in one of my previous posts a few weeks ago to make mochi ice cream .

The ice cream is a blue mint chocolate chip and I dyed the soft mochi out shell with butterfly pea tea in a purple colour.

Here’s the simple recipe to make ice cream mochi.

You will need either my home made tofu ice cream or ice cream of choice.

First scoop up small balls of ice cream with a teaspoon and place into a piece of recyclable plastic wrap. Work quickly to make into balls and freeze until hard.

To make the soft mochi outer shell.

You will need:

100g of Joshinko flour

x1 tablespoon of organic granulated sugar

130 mil of water

x1 teaspoon of butterfly pea tea powder

x1 teaspoon of yuzu or lemon juice

A dusting of potato starch to finish

You will also need a microwaveable bowl and parchment paper.


Mix the Joshinko flour and sugar together in a microwaveable bowl.

Add the butterfly pea tea powder to the water and mix well then add the yuzu juice this will change the colour of the water to purple.

Whisk the water and Joshinko flour together to combine well. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.

Take the bowl out of the microwave and remove the wrap. Using a rolling pin or pestle wet the end and pound the mochi until elastic.

Tip out the mochi onto a damp surface or onto parchment paper. Adding a piece of parchment paper to the top of the mochi roll out flat so you can then use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds.

Take your ice cream out of the freezer and add a small ball of ice cream to the centre of each cut mochi round.

Work quickly to gather up the sides and press gently into a ball shape. Dust with potato starch and place back in the freezer to harden slightly for about 30 minutes.

Best eaten on the day but if you leave them in the freezer put them in a container and remove them from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Wagashi no hi’  was established by ‘Zenkoku Wagashi Kyokai’ (Japan Wagashi Association) in 1979. It is now observed every year on June 16th.

I’m not sure I want to eat 16 wagashi but it’s nice to have one with a green tea and wish for health and happiness.