Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ichigo Daifuku - a tutorial

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This is my friend and her two Japanese neighbors who taught us how to make mochi.  They were so sweet and their English is amazing, left me wishing my Japanese was better!

My latest Japanese favorite wagashi (Japanese confection made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruit) is Ichigo Daifuku.  This is a strawberry stuffed mochi, and it is so yummy.

The first time I had Mochi (Rice Cake) I didn't really love it, it has a strange texture and flavor.  Too much of a good thing, maybe.  A rice cake is about the size of you palm and made entirely of mochi and might be flavored.  Mochi has the consistency of a dough.  However, when stuffed with sweet beans and strawberry it is super yummy.

There are lots of tutorials available on how to make Mochi, this is how I was taught.  A friend arranged for her neighbors to teach a couple of us Mochi addicts how to make Ichigo Daifuku.  We made about 30 that day.  We made the mochi in 2 batches because if it cools you can't shape it or get it to stick around the strawberry.

Ingredients:  Makes 6 (I think a few more, these were a little big)
Shiratamako (glutinous rice flour)  100g
Sugar  20g
Water  150cc
Strawberry  6+
Anko (sweet red bean paste)  30g/each  *****I think 15g/each is better*****
Katakuriko (potato starch) or Corn Starch for dusting

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On the left is a bag of Shiratamako.  On the right is a bag of Anko,  you can also get it in a can.  I was told that the Anko in a can is wetter and harder to work with for mochi.

1.  Preparation:
Remove stem from strawberries.  Wrap strawberry with Anko and round to make ball (you want the tip of the strawberry to peak through).  Have some water in a bowl to use for your hands to keep things from being so sticky.  If your hands are a bit damp the Anko doesn't stick to you as much.

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2.  Measure out dry ingredients. Put Shiratamako and Sugar in a heat resistant bowl and mix.

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3.  Pour water into the bowl, gradually.  Mix until smooth.

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4.  Loosely cover with saran wrap.  Put the bowl in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes and stir the dough.  Heat the dough in microwave until the dough becomes clear (2 min - 1 min each time).  Stir the mochi quickly.  If you dip your spatula in water the mochi will not stick to it as much.

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This is the early stage of cooking, you can see how white the dough is.
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This is when the dough is done, you can see that is clearish compared to the previous picture.  It does not turn completely clear.

5.  Dust a flat pan, plate or table with some Katakuriko.

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6.  Remove the hot mochi from the bowl to the dusted surface.  The mochi is hot and sticky so be careful!!  Dust the top of the mochi.

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7.  Dust hands with more Katakuriko and divide the mochi into 6 or more pieces.  You can use a pastry scraper, they work great.

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8.  Make 6 flat and round mochi.  Grab a piece and pat it out.   Be sure to not get it too thin, especially in the center.  
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9.  Wrap anko/strawberry in the mochi.  Place the point of the strawberry down.  Pinch closed and use Katakuriko to keep the mochi from sticking to you and to the container you are going to store it in.  When you have it all wrapped up you kind of roll the mochi in your hands to smooth the outside and shape it nice.

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I have made mochi several times now and I will tell you that volume measurements don't work as well. You can also use Mochiko flour - the recipe is a little different as is the flavor and texture.  The differences are subtle, so most people wouldn't know the difference unless they have them side by side. Use good strawberries!  You want to see a bit of pink peaking through the top of Ichigo Daifuku.

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1 comment:

KT said...

I was Gagging the whole time I read this post :) but I'm glad you finally figured out how to make your nasty treat.