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Sunday, 15 May 2011

いちごだいふく (ichigo daifuku)


Ichigo daifuku is a Japanese sweet consisting of mochi surrounding a filling of fresh strawberry and red bean paste.  This sweet is traditionally enjoyed during Spring on account of the fresh strawberry filling.  Mochi is prepared by pounding glutinous rice into a paste, and sweets made using mochi are generally known as wagashi.  There are many different types of wagashi available in Japan, however ichigo daifuku is my favourite, and I'm going to share my recipe for making them.  This recipe is by no means traditional, however it uses readily available ingredients, and will produce a great result that will impress your friends when they stop by for a cup of tea.

Ingredients:

1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sweet red bean paste
8 strawberries, hulled
corn starch


Method:


Wash and hull the strawberries, then pat dry with paper towel.  Divide the red bean paste into 8 pieces and roll into balls.  Take a strawberry and press the pointy end into one of the red bean paste balls.  Work the red bean paste down until the entire strawberry is covered.  Repeat with the remaining strawberries.  Set aside.

To make the mochi:
Put the water and sugar into a heat resistant bowl and mix well.  Add the glutinous rice flour and mix well.  Place the bowl into a microwave and heat for 2 minutes on high.  Stir the mixture rapidly with a metal spoon.  Heat the dough for a further 1 minute on high, during which time you should see the dough inflate.  Remove the bowl and stir the mochi quickly.  Cover a flat tray with baking paper and dust with corn starch.  Dust your hands with a liberal amount of corn starch.
CAUTION:  Be sure your hands are well covered with corn starch.  The mochi will be extremely hot, and its like napalm if it sticks to your hands ie. it burns and you won't be able to get it off your skin.
Turn the dough out onto the dusted tray, using your hands to remove the mochi.  Quickly separate the mochi into 8 pieces, roll each one into a rough ball.  Press one of the mochi balls flat with your hand, then push one of the read bean covered strawberries into the mochi, working the mochi around with your hands until the red bean is completely engulfed.  Seal by pressing the mochi together with your fingers.  Repeat for the other red bean covered strawberries.
When finished dust the ichigo daifuku with a little corn starch to prevent them sticking to the plate or to each other.  Store in an air tight container and enjoy the following day with a cup of jasmine tea.


So thats about it.  As I said, this is not a traditional method for making ichigo diafuku, but it is simple, uses readily available ingredients, and produces a great result.  Enjoy!


- harajuku32

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