Tag

Tsubuan

Blog, Spring Food

Tsubaki-mochi (椿餅) camellia leaf mochi

 


Risshun is the first micro season in the cycle of 24 sekki, this season translates to “Spring Rises”. This is the coldest season, but emotionally we are gradually beginning to feel the end of winter and the arrival of Spring. The first blooms of camellias and ume blossom bring positive energies, the days start to get slightly longer and life is starting to emerge from the earth.
Tsubaki-mochi is an oval shaped domyoji mochi, a freshly made rice cake with azuki bean paste wrapped in tsubaki (camellia leaves). This confectionery has been eaten in Japan since the Heian period and is now often served at tea ceremonies as a Kyoto confectionery during the month of February in Japan.

The leaves are not edible but are the same family as tea and traditionally used as a non-stick wrapper for some sticky sweets.

This confectionery has been eaten in Japan for about 1100 years and is believed to be the oldest mochi sweet, often being referred to as the origin of wagashi. This Japanese confectionery was written about in The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) 源氏物語 in the 11th century. Genji tale is the oldest long novel in the world written by a woman writer, Murasaki Shikibu about 1008 in Japan. You can see her statue placed at one end of the Uji Bridge in Uji Kyoto where the tale of Genji was a prime setting.


In Genji tale, young men were eating tsubaki rice cake, citrus fruits and pears in the lids of bamboo baskets after playing kemari; the ancient football game of the imperial court.

When I read that mochi powder (present-day Domyoji powder) was made by drying glutinous rice and grinding it in a mortar and was used to make tsubaki-mochi I decided to try making my own as I have never been able to obtain domyoji powder.

Recipe for x5 tsubaki-mochi:

First grind 1 rice cooker cup of glutinous mochi (you can use a suribachi Japanese mortar & pestle grinding bowl). However this can take a while to grind so I used an electric blender, you could also use a clean coffee grinder. This is going to be your Domyoji substitute. You do not want a powder you just need to break up the rice grains so giving it a few blitz in your blender will be enough.

Note: The plastic rice cooker cup that comes with the rice cooker is 3/4 cup (180ml). In Japan, this amount is called ichi go (一合).

You will also need 25grams of granulated sugar.

Add the ground rice to a bowl with the sugar and add one rice cooker cup of hot water stir and leave over night to soak.

After your rice has been soaking over night.

You will need 100grams of red sweet bean paste smooth koshian or chunky tsubuan and x10 camellia leaves wiped clean.

You will also need to make a sugar syrup 25ml of hot water and 25grams of granulated sugar. (or you can use the syrup that comes with the kuri kanroni candied chestnuts from making Osechi for new year.

I have read that tsubaki-mochi can also sometimes be flavoured with a hint of cinnamon or clove. If you would like to do this that is your own preference.

First make a syrup by adding the 25 grams of sugar to 25ml of hot water and stir to combine heat in a pan or in a microwave until boiling and then cool to room temperature if not using kanroni syrup.

Then make your mochi:

Take the rice that has been soaking in sugar over night and add this to your rice cooker and add one rice cooker cup of water. Set your timer to cook short grain rice.

Roll your sweet bean paste into 20 gram balls makes x5 balls and put to one side and wipe clean your camellia leaves.

When the rice is cooked let it steam for a further fifteen minutes. Take your mochi and mash it to a sticky consistency, I usually use the end of a rolling pin, you could use the pestle from the suribachi known as a Surikogi. Turn the mochi out onto a surface and cut into five equal pieces.

Wet your hands with the syrup and roll each piece into a ball. Place each ball into the palm of your hand and flatten adding one ball of bean paste in the middle, work the mochi over the bean paste making an oval shaped ball.

Keep wetting your hands with sugar syrup or kanroni syrup as you go. Sandwich each mochi ball in between two camellia leaves (not edible) use the leaves to hold the mochi when eating.

These delicious sweets are perfect with a sencha green tea or hojicha please enjoy and savour the coming of Spring.

Autumn Food, Blog

Otsukimi (お月見) & Moon Cakes 月餅

Tsukimi (月見) or Otsukimi (お月見), meaning, “moon-viewing”, also known as Jugoya (十五夜), is a Japanese festival honoring the autumn moon and the seasonal harvest. People often accompany moon viewing with tea ceremonies and eat seasonal produce, like chestnuts, kabocha, taro potato and  edamame. Often Tsukimi Dango is eaten to represent the full moon, which you can read about on some of my previous blog posts for this time.

Another traditional sweet to represent the full moon are moon cakes. In China this festival is called “The Mid-Autumn Festival” and these cakes are offered at family gatherings at this time. Even though moon cakes are popular in China they are also eaten in Japan and are known as geppei 月餅 and are slightly different to their Chinese counterparts. The main difference between Japanese and Chinese moon cakes is the crust. Chinese moon cakes have a thin, flaky crust made from glutinous rice flour, while Japanese moon cakes have a thicker crust made from regular wheat flour. Also the fillings are different instead of sweet lotus seed paste, Japanese moon cakes are often  filled with azuki bean paste and nuts such as chestnuts.

These delicious pastries are perfect for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival and can be enjoyed with a green tea to balance out the sweetness. They also make pretty seasonal gifts for family and friends.

Mooncakes how ever are not normally vegan but now you can try my simple vegan recipe for yourself that I have been making every year. All you will need to do is order yourself a moon cake press from somewhere like Amazon or EBay.
Once you have your press gather together the rest of your ingredients.

200g of plain white flour

120g of brown rice syrup (over the years I have also used maple syrup and even date syrup)

x4 teaspoons of odourless oil like coconut butter

2-3 tablespoon of soy milk

Potato starch for dusting

Extra soy milk to glaze and maple syrup to glaze after cooking.

Filling:

Red bean tsubuan paste.

Whole roasted chestnuts (I used the precooked ones you get in a packet)

Chopped mixed nuts and fruit (a variety like cashew, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, raisins, cranberries.)

A few drops of toasted sesame oil.

You will also need some weighing scales and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Method:

Put your flour into a bowl.

In a separate bowl add your oil and syrup and mix.

Add the syrup and oil mixture to your flour and combine then add a tablespoon at a time of your soy milk until you form a dough.

Wrap your dough in film and place in the freezer to firm while you chop your nuts and fruit.
To make two kinds of moon cakes one with sweet bean paste and chopped fruit and nuts and one with bean paste and a whole chestnut.

Chop a selection of nuts and fruit and mix with sweet bean paste you will need about 150g of bean paste and a few tablespoons of fruit and nut. Mix together and add a few drops of toasted sesame oil and mix in. Roll into 30g balls.

For your chestnut filling take a 20g ball of bean paste and roll into a ball flatten the ball and place a chestnut in the middle then fold the bean paste over the chestnut.

Remove the dough from the freezer tear off chunks of dough and weigh them to make 30g balls.

Dust your surface with potato starch and flatten the balls, then  place a bean paste ball in the middle. Fold over the dough and make in to a ball.


Roll the ball in potato starch and dust your press with potato starch also so nothing sticks. Place the ball inside and turn the press down on to your surface. Press down gently then lift the press to reveal your mooncake. Don’t worry you make get a few not so pretty ones to start with until you get the hang of it. Place each moon cake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

I made four chopped nuts and five chestnut filling ones as I had a few that didn’t quite work at the beginning.

Brush each cake with soy milk and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Take out the oven and allow to cool fully, then brush the tops with maple syrup. You can store them in an airtight container for a few days.

When you would like to eat them I recommend placing them in a microwave for 10-20 seconds to slightly warm and soften the cake. It makes them even more delicious as otherwise the pastry is more like a biscuit.

Enjoy and Happy Moon viewing.

Autumn Food, Blog

Autumn Equinox Taro Mochi Ohagi

The Autumn Equinox 秋分 is the 16th micro season in the 24 micro seasonal calendar marking the first day of Autumn and is known as Shūbun. Buddhists call the Autumn Equinox O-Higan or Aki no Higan. Higan translates to “other shore” meaning land of the dead. Higan is a special time for Buddhists in Japan as they believe that this is when the worlds between the living and dead are at their thinnest, thus at this time people pay respects to the deceased. In Japan people are very much in touch with the changing of the seasons. Aki is the word for autumn/fall in Japan and after the hot humid heat of the Japanese summer, people look forward to the cooling breezes and clear blue skies that the new season brings.

During the heat of the summer people loose their appetites so when autumn comes people refer to it as  Shokuyoku no Aki (Autumn the season of Appetites).

There is a word in Japanese “Fuubutsushi” this refers to the little things that signal a change in the seasons, the feelings, scents, images and sounds that might evoke memories or anticipation of the coming season. I think when we become more aware of this it helps us to centre ourselves and celebrate the passing of time.

Every year I always like to make Ohagi a traditional type of Japanese wagashi (sweet) made from half pounded ( hangoroshi ) mochi rice with an anko filling and rolled in various toppings like kinako and ground sesame. You can also do a reverse one where the rice is the filling and the anko is on the outside. Ohagi おはぎ is named after the Japanese clover bush in the autumn, in the spring the same sweets are called Botamochi named after the tree peony botan.

In Japan  it is traditional to take Ohagi along with flowers and incense to the graves of ancestors at this time as offerings. It is also said that Botamochi in the spring were made as a prayer for fertility and a successful growing season and Ohagi in the autumn was to give thanks to the harvest .
This year I decided to make my Ohagi with something a little different. Ohagi actually started as a sweet called “Kaimochi” which was first mentioned in the 13th century. This sweet is made by pounding both glutinous rice and satoimo “taro root” and covering with a layer of tsubuan bean paste. Satoimo are a starchy crop with a slightly nutty flavour and a creamy white sticky flesh. They look a bit like a cross between a kiwi and a coconut and are harvested in the autumn time around the same time as newly harvested rice. So I thought it would be perfect to make kaimochi for the autumn equinox.


To make x6 large or x12 smaller Kaimochi Ohagi you will need:

75g of glutinous mochi rice and 75g of Japanese rice (this equates to about half and half of a sushi rice cup used in your rice cooker).

You will also need x1 medium peeled taro root chopped into chunks, half a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Along with your tsubuan sweet bean paste. Ohagi in the autumn normally has tsubuan a chunky bean paste and the Botamochi in the spring uses the smoother koshian.

Method:
1: Wash and rinse your rice together until the water runs clear then tip this into a sieve and leave to air for ten minutes.

3: Put your rice in your rice cooker with 1 1/2 rice cooker cups of water ( this is about 200ml).  Add the sugar and leave for at least two hours to soak.

4: Peel one medium taro potato and chop into small chunks, wash the starch off the taro in water.

5: Add the taro to the top of the rice and cook on a white short  grain rice setting until it’s done if you have a rice cooker.

5. When the rice is cooked add a pinch of salt and while hot mash the rice and taro potato together I like to use a surikogi to do this that comes with a suribachi grinding bowl. Make sure to leave a little grain in the rice, the taro will make the mochi rice even more sticky.


6. Have a bowl of water to hand and divide the rice into six equal pieces. When the rice is easy to hold dampen your hands and roll each section into a ball then flatten in to an oval shape. Do this with all the rice. Alternatively divide the balls again to make twelve if you want smaller Ohagi .


7. Then cover each rice ball in your bean paste. I do this by rolling the bean paste into a ball then flattening it out and places the rice ball on the top then moulding the bean paste all the way around the rice ball.

If you wanted to make smaller Ohagi and divided each rice ball further into another six to make 12 rice balls, you can also make Ohagi with bean paste in the middle and rice on the outside. Then you can roll it in ground black sesame seeds or kinako (soy bean flour). You can view this further on previous posts just search Ohagi.


Red azuki beans are often used as an auspicious colour. The deep red was believed to console ancestral spirits and offer protection. The use of red and white in Japanese cuisine is also used for times of celebration like Sekihan glutinous rice cooked with azuki beans eaten for birthdays, graduations, weddings, and new year.

As the leaves change colours and the air turns crisp, the comforting palette of Japanese tableware becomes the perfect backdrop for the hearty and flavoursome dishes of the season. This is why I chose to serve my wagashi on this Hozan Kiln Botamochi Bizen Ware Half-Round Plate. Especially as the name of the plate is Botamochi .

Bizen ware is a traditional stoneware produced in the Ibe area of Okayama Prefecture. It is one of the oldest ceramics in Japan, and is made using the “Yakishime” technique, in which pieces are fired at high temperatures without glaze to make them durable and water-resistant.

Bizen ware is called “the art of clay and fire” for the exquisite colors and patterns produced by the kiln’s flames, and is characterized by its minimalist, “Wabi-sabi” design. You can read more about how this earthy rustic stoneware is made on the Musubi kiln website where this plate is from www.musubikiln.com

Why not try making Ohagi to welcome in the autumn season and give thanks to the harvest. I have never tried using taro root in Ohagi before and I found it made the rice so creamy and delicious I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

You can normally find taro root in Asian grocery stores. Ohagi is best eaten on the day of making and leaving no longer than two days in an airtight container.

Blog, Spring Food

Sakura no Hi & Chomeiji Sakura Mochi 

Day of Cherry Blossom 

March 27 is sakura no hi (さくらの日), Day of Cherry Blossom. This was decided by the Nihon Sakura no kai (日本さくらの会), Japan Cherry Blossom Association in 1992. They made it that date  because the pun of sakura 3 (sa) x 9 (ku) = 27. Saku (咲く) in Japanese means “to bloom”.
The name “Sakura” comes from Japan’s most famous flower the cherry blossoms. Some say that cherry blossom is the national flower of the country although some dispute this and say the chrysanthemum is the correct national flower of Japan.

Nevertheless there is  something to be said about the beauty and wonder the cherry blossom season brings.

The general flower language of cherry blossoms is “spiritual beauty” and seeing the cherry blossom definitely gives you a feeling like no other, touching the soul in an almost spiritual way.

There are 9 original species of cherry blossoms in Japan, and there are about 100 varieties, each coming into flower at different times depending on where in japan they are. The earlier blooms tend to appear in tropical Okinawa in January, with the last on the northernmost island of Hokkaido in early May.

The arrival of the cherry blossoms in Japan is a big deal, people eagerly wait for the forecasts of when the blossoms will bloom making the national news when the first blossom opens.

Cherry blossom viewing or “hanami” 花見 as  it’s known started in the Edo period. Throughout Japan many people will be celebrating the cherry blossoms with viewing parties and picnics, taking place in gardens and parks.

Often you will see blue sheeting laying on the ground for people to sit on while they have special food and drink sake under the blossom while generally enjoying the arrival of spring.

This can go on well into the evening when viewing the blossom under lanterns that light up the branches is known as yozakura.

Many sakura themed and flavoured foods are eaten at this time, one of which is a popular confectionery called sakura mochi 桜餅 a traditional Japanese wagashi confection with over 300 years of history when Tokyo was still called Edo. This wagashi heralds the arrival of spring.

It is a soft, chewy, sticky rice cake filled with sweet azuki red bean paste. Did you know there are two types ? You may be familiar with the sakura mochi with roots in the Kansai region around Osaka called Domyoji made from domyojiko (道明寺粉), which is glutinous rice steamed, dried, and coarsely groundThe main characteristic of Domyoji Sakura Mochi is the distinctive  stickiness of rice grain. As domyojiko is difficult to find outside of japan I always use mochigome a Japanese short-grain glutinous rice. The recipe for this is basically the same as my Ohagi recipe but you just colour the rice pink with a natural dye like a few drops of beetroot juice and wrap the mochi in a salted preserved sakura leaf. Cherry leaves are what gives the mochi that distinctive flavour.

The salted preserved sakura leaves are also hard to find but you can buy them from Nihon Ichiban on line from Japan.

They are often also decorated with preserved sakura flowers again you can buy these on line or why not use my recipe to make your own. This year I also intend to try preserving my own leaves.

The next sakura mochi is called Chomeiji Mochi which originated in the Kanto region, and was created around 1717 in an old Buddhist temple in Mukojima, Tokyo, named Chomeiji 長命寺. Unlike Domyoji mochi, the Kanto version has an outer pink thin crepe made by baking a mixture of wheat flour, glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water. The pale pink crepe is rolled and wrapped in mashed red bean paste and are then neatly wrapped inside salted cherry leaves.

People in the Kanto region (greater Tokyo areas) use shiratamako (白玉粉) a type of glutinous rice flour as the main ingredient for the mochi. They are super easy to make if you manage to gather all the ingredients it just takes a bit of planning a head if you want to make your own Sakura flowers and leaves but you can buy them if you wish.

This is how I made Chomeiji mochi 長命寺餅

Makes around x5

Ingredients & method sakura flowers and leaves rinsed in water and dried between kitchen towel. One of each for each mochi

Anko Tsubuan (粒あん) The paste has a chunky texture or Koshian (こしあん) The paste has a fine, smooth texture. Rolled into log shapes.

20 grams of Shiratama flour

Mixed with 40ml of water (mix and wait ten mins)

Then add 5 grams of sugar, 40 grams of plain flour and another 60ml of water.

Mix well until smooth and strain through a sieve.

Add a few drops of pink food colouring I like to use a natural dye so I use beetroot juice.

Heat up a non stick frying pan til hot then wipe neutral oil without flavour I use Tiana coconut butter over the pan with kitchen towel and then wipe it off (you do not want an oily pan)

Take a tablespoon of your mixture an add it to the pan add another and spread the batter out thinly into an oval shape.

This takes only second to cook once it’s solid flip it over for a few seconds to solidify on the other side. Remove and add to a plate and repeat the process until all your batter is used.

Lay a sakura leaf with the veins visible then place on top one of the crepes then add one of the anko logs and roll the leaf from the base and you are done. Continue with the rest and finish with a salted sakura flower. You can store these in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge.

Why not make yourself a bento this spring. One of my favourite places to buy bento boxes is Bento & Co in Kyoto. They have a wonderful on line store and ship really quickly from japan.
One memorable day last year I sat under a cherry blossom in my local park with my bento box and sake on a warm day.

The cherry blossom petals were falling like snow around me. Did you know there is a word for this ? 桜吹雪 Sakura-fubuki. It’s the little memories like this that stay with you. Another memory of Sakura-fubuki is when I visited Japan over cherry blossom season, I was walking in the Yasukuni Shrine and all the blossoms were falling.
The Japan Meteorological Agency determines the state of Tokyo’s sakura season by the flowers on a particular tree in the Yasukuni Shrine called the Index Tree. When only five or six blossoms have opened, Tokyo’s cherry blossoms are considered “in bloom.” When 80 percent of the buds on the tree have opened, Tokyo is considered to be in “full bloom.”  Forty seven other prefectures have their own index tree.

I hope you are able to enjoy hanami even if you are not in Japan just by doing those little things that make you feel closer.

Happy Hanami

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Japanese Micro Season Part 16 Autumn Equinox & Making Ohagi


We are now heading in to the shorter days of Autumn. Saturday the 23rd is the Autumn Equinox. In Japanese micro season it is known as Shūbun. This season is broken into three parts.

September the 23rd-27th Kaminari sunawachi  koe o osamu ( thunder ceases )

September the 28th- October 2nd Mushi Kakurete to o fusagu ( insects hole up underground )

October 3rd-7th Mizu hajimete karuru. ( farmers drain the fields )

The equinoxes are a special time for Buddhists they believe that this is when the worlds between the living and dead are at their thinnest, thus at this time people pay respects to the deceased .

This is also part of the silver week holiday in Japan starting with Respect the aged day  and finishing on equinox day.

Buddhists call Autumn Equinox O-Higan or Aki no Higan, and it is tradition to make ohagi at the time a type of Japanese wagashi (sweet) Ohagi おはぎ is named after the Japanese clover bush and these sweets are sometimes also taken to ancestors graves at this time as offerings. They are really delicious and so easy and fun to make.

To celebrate why don’t you try to make them. They are made with sweet half pounded ( hangoroshi ) Mochi rice with an anko filling and rolled in various toppings like kinako and ground sesame. You can also do a reverse one where the rice is the filling and the anko is on the outside. You can either buy chunky bean paste called Tsubuan in packets at Asian grocery store or make your own.

The above shows Mochi rice and bought and homemade tsubuan.

You will need 1 rice cooker cup of sushi rice and 1 cup Mochi rice (Mochimai). First give the rice a good rinse changing the water until in runs clean. Soak your rice in four cups of water over night and then cook in your rice cooker or pan. This does make a lot of ohagi so you can either freeze them or just use half the amounts 1/2 cup sushi rice 1/2 cup Mochi rice and two cups of water. Through experience if your rolling your ohagi in toppings do this after you have defrosted them.

When the rice is done mash your rice but not fully so you still have some grain and leave to cool covered with a cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Divide into balls and flatten out. It is advisable to use plastic wrap but if you don’t want to just have damp hands and a wet clean cloth to hand. In the middle of each flattened ball add a ball of anko and then fold the rice over the anko to make a sealed ball. Carry on making until all are done.

If you want to make inverted ohagi make small balls of rice and add this to the middle of larger flattened balls of tsubuan.

Now choose what you would like to roll your ohagi in . Powdered black sesame ( kurogoma ), kinako ( soybean flour ), sesame seeds mixed with sugar or maybe matcha.

How about making Kurumi which is powdered walnuts with sugar. The balls of sticky rice become easier to mould into balls after they have been rolled in the topping.

They make lovely gifts and are perfect with a green tea.

I know I will be making them to enjoy with a tea while looking out onto my already changing colours of maples in my garden. In Japan they won’t be changing just yet people in Japan will have to wait until late October, November to do what’s called momijigari or autumn leaf hunting which is as much a custom as hanami flower viewing in the spring.

Kyoto

Inokashira park Tokyo

Blog

Otsukimi ( moon viewing festival )

Tsukimi or otsukimi お月見 is the Japanese autumn moon viewing festival . The moons round shape is the symbol for fertility and at this time people pray for a good harvest. The date varies each year 2018  will be on September 24th. Japanese people display pampas grass known as susuki in their homes as a symbol of good luck and  make Tsukimi dango, rice-flour dumplings, because it looks similar to a full moon. After offering them to the moon, Japanese people eat the Tsukimi dango in order to obtain good health and happiness. Other foods which are associated with Tsukimi include chestnuts, known as “kuri” in Japanese, and taro, known as “sato imo”, in Japanese, as well as kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) and persimmons ( kaki ).

You will often see the rabbit depicted at this time as Japanese people see a rabbit in the moon pounding Mochi rice not a man in the moon. 

Why not celebrate the autumn moon festival and make some dango search mitarashi dango. 

 

Blog, Spring Food

Botamochi

The bi-annual days of the vernal equinox are 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 Botamochi. 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 different toppings matcha,kinako and black sesame . I also made a reverse one with the rice on the inside . Spring is nearly here, let’s celebrate and make Botamochi.
This is how you make your very own. It takes a little time but is well worth the effort!

ingredients
1 cup of Japanese rice

1cup of mochi rice

plastic wrap

tsubu-an ( bean paste )

toppings  matcha powder,kinako ground black sesame powder

Method

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 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

Ogura Toast

Good morning
Ogura toast with home made anko,coconut yogurt ( instead of the normal cream) and strawberry flowers . A latte and some grapefruit and orange segments on the side .
Nagoya specialty dish with warm toasted bread, topped with red bean paste is my Japanese-theme breakfast to day.
Have a wonderful day everyone.
Ogura Toast 小倉トースト
自家製のあんこ、イチゴ、ココナッツヨーグルト

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.
???