Tag Archives: 和菓子

Japanese Cakes-Wagashi 15: Daifuku

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Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

The traditional daifuku, like all Wagashi are vegan in concept.

But Daifuku comes in many varieties.
The most common is white, pale green or pale pink colored mochi filled with anko.
These come in two sizes, one approximately the diameter of a half-dollar coin, the other palm-sized.
Some versions contain whole pieces of fruit, mixtures of fruit and anko or crushed melon paste.
Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Some are covered with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa.

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HISTORY:
Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (大腹餅) (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions

VATIETIES:

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Yomogi daifuku (蓬大福)
A version made with kusa mochi (草餅), which is mochi flavored with mugwort.

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Ichigo daifuku (イチゴ大福)
A variation containing strawberry and sweet filling, most commonly anko, inside a small round mochi. Creams are sometimes used for sweet filling. Because it contains strawberry, it is usually eaten during the spring time. It was invented in the 1980s. Many patisseries claim to have invented the confection, so its exact origin is vague.

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Mame daifuku (豆大福)
Another variation made of mochi mixed with red peas or soy beans.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 14: Satsuma Imo/Sweet Potato

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Satsuma Imo or Sweet Potatoes are often used in Japanese cakes/Wagashi.
The great advantage is that it makes for completely vegan cakes with an almost endless source of variations.

Here is the basice recipe from you will be able to improvise!

INGREDIENTS:

-Satsuma/Sweet Potato: 400g (peeled)
-Sugar: 75 g
-Agar agar powder: 3 g
-Salt: a pinch
-Water: 20 ml

RECIPE:

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-Cut the sweet potato into small pieces and wash under clear cold water to take off astringency.
Boil in a pan with 20 ml of water until soft.

-Just before the potatoes are completely cooked, add sugar agar agar and salt. Bring to boil and swith off fire. Bear in mind there will is very little water. Do not burn the poatoes!

-Transfer potatoes into a frying pan and fry until they get smooth..

-Return to boiling pan and heat to get all excess water out.

-Pass through a sieve, or process.

-Wet the inside of a refrigerator recipient before spreading cellophane paper inside. Pour the potato puree into the recipient and fold the cellophane paer on top, leaving no air between cellophane paper and potato. Chill inside refrigerator.

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Before eating unwrap cellophane paper and cut into preferred shape.
This is where the fun begins!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 13: Kabotcha/Pumpkins

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Just found this recipe to please vegans (and others) with a sweet tooth:
Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Pumpkin/Kabotcha Wagashi!

INGREDIENTS: For 5 cakes
-Pumkin paste: 20 g
-Rice flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 12 g
-Water: 50 ml
-Sweetmeats/Anko (See Recipe here)
-Cornstarch: enough for operation
-Pumpkin seeds or pine nuts: 5 (for decoration)

RECIPE:

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-Peel skin from pumkin and heat pulp inside microwave oven until soft enough to make paste. Let cool down completely.

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-In an oven bowl mix well punpkin paste, rice flour, sugar and water until it becomes bubbly. Cover with cellophane paper and heat for 40 seconds at 700W inside microwave oven.

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-Work the paste until smooth.

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-Using cornstarch to work paste more easily as it will easily stick to yor fingers, divide the paste into 5 identical portions.

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-Divide sweetmeats/anko into 5 identical parts and fashion them into small balls.
Coat your fingers with a little cornstarch and completely wrap sweetmeat/anko ball with pumpkin paste as shown in picture.

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-Make indents around the ball with a wooden sticks to shape the ball into a small pumpkin.

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-As soon as the ball is finished, gently brush away whatever cornstarch is left on the surface.

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-On top of each pumpkin cake place a seed for decoration and effect!

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-That is how your “pumpkin” will look when you cut it!

NOTE:
You can sieve the pumpkin pulp first for a finer texture.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 12: Recipe-Dango/Sweet Dumplings

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(Mitarashi Dango)

This simple recipe is particularly dedicated to my friends at Bouchonfor2, Bread + Butter, Eeyoreblues 27 and The Sophisticated Gourmet!

Japanese dango are not complicated, although it might be better to make a lot at a time!

INGREDIENTS:
-Rice (“Uruchi Kome”/normal Japnese round rice): 200g
-Water (for dango): 130cc
-Water (for sauce): 60cc
-Cornstarch: 1 teaspoon
-Sugar: 1 teaspoon
-Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons

RECIPE:

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Wash rice thoroughly.
If rice is no-wash type, skip 3 first steps.

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Once the rice washing water is coming out clean, drain rice and spread ontowel. Take off all excess humidity.

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Let the rice dry for two hours.

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Pour rice in Blender/mixer. First work the blender for only a few seconds at a time until all the rice has been broken completeley. Then blend three times 15 seconds at a time.

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If the rice does not turn into powder easily, sift rice as many times as necessary until all rice has been reduced to powder.

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Finish the job with mortar and pestle.

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Once the rice has been reduced completely topowder, work the pestle in for 5 more minutes.

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Add water and mix well with spoon.

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Divide into small portions and steam for 15 minutes.

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In a pan add cornstarch to water (for the sauce). keep stirring over a low fire. once the water has been become transparent add sugar and soy sauce and mix well until you obtain a smooth syrup. take off fire.

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Fill a glass with water and keep within arm’s reach.
Drop all the steamed dango paste into mortar.
Work dango paste with a wet wooden pestle.
Once the paste ahas been become sticky and elastic, form small balls (the operation should not last more than 10 minutes).
Wet them to prevent them from sticking to each other.

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Push a wet (important!) stick through the balls (4 or 5 at the most).
Grill the balls (or not) for better effect.
Serve them smeared with syrup.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 11: Dango/Sweet Dumplings

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(Mitarashi Dango)

Dango (団子) is a Japanese dumpling made from mochi-ko (rice flour), related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.
In Edo times, they were very popular at tea stands along the country roads.

Dango are eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten in given seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. One variety of dango from Hokkaidō is made from potato flour and baked with shoyu (soy sauce).

Types of dango:

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it.

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Chadango: Green-tea flavored Dango.

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Dango served covered with anko

Actually, if you want to write all about Dango, you’d need to publish a whole book!

Chichi dango: Slightly-sweet light treats usually eaten as a dessert.

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Hanami dango: Also has three colors, Hanami dango is traditionally
made during Sakura-viewing season. Hence the name Hanami (Hanami means “flower viewing”; hana meaning “flower”, and mi meaning “to see”).

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Kushi dango: Dango held by a skewer

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Mitarashi: Covered with a syrup made from shouyu (soy sauce), sugar and starch.

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Japanese Dessert: Kakigoori/Shaved Ice with Syrup

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Kakigōri (かき氷) is a very popular Japanese dessert made from shaved ice flavored with syrup.
It was served for the first time in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1869!

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Popular flavors include: strawberry, cherry, lemon, green tea, grape, melon, “blue-Hawaii” sweet plum, and colorless syrup. Some shops provide colorful varieties by using two or more different syrups. To sweeten Kakigōri, condensed milk is often poured on top of it.

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It is nearly identical to a snow cone but can have a slightly rougher consistency and a spoon is almost always used. The traditional way of making kakigōri involves using a hand cranked machine to spin a block of ice over an ice shaving blade. However, electric ice shavers are most often used, though street vendors can still be seen hand-shaving ice blocks in the summer.

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In addition to the streets, kakigōri is also sold in festivals, convenience stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. During the hot summer months, kakigōri is sold virtually everywhere in Japan. Some coffee shops serve it with ice cream and sweet bean paste. Convenience stores may also sell it already flavored and packaged similar to ice cream.

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In other countries in East Asia, similar varieties can be seen.

Halo halo: Filipino shaved ice topped with sweetened beans, nata de coco and ice cream. “Halo-Halo” literally means “mix-mix” in the Tagalog language. Some shops in Japan also sell these sweets.
Bingsu (빙수) Korean shaved ice. The most popular kind is patbingsu. It is topped with sweetened red beans, canned fruits, and soybean powder. Many other varieties can be found throughout the country.
Bàobīng (刨冰) in Mandarin Pinyin or Chhoah-peng (剉冰) in Taiwanese POJ: Taiwanese shaved ice. There are many varieties in Taiwan. Some of them are topped with fresh fruits, fruits syrup and condensed milk. Some of them are topped with sweetened beans, glutinous rice balls and brown sugar syrup, while others will even use seafood. Some vendors use milk ice to make finer shaved ice, and some vendors may sometimes use a hand blade to shave block ice in order to produce rough crushed ice.
Ice kacang: Malaysia and Singapore Shaved ice topped with sweetened syrup of various colours and flavours, condensed and evaporated milk, and sometimes also durian pulp or vanilla ice cream. Beneath the ice sweetened red beans, canned fruit, attap seeds and grass jelly are usually added. Electric ice shavers are often used; though some vendors may use a hand blade to shave the ice in order to produce a rough texture. A variation of this would be Cendol which is shaved ice with sweet green coloured glutinous rice noodles drizzled with palm sugar it is usually accompanied with kidney beans and canned sweetcorn.
Nam Kang Sai: Thai Shaved Ice. In Thailand, this kind of cold dessert is very popular as well. The differences from other countries’ shaved ice is that in the Thai version the toppings (mixings) are in the bottom and the shaved ice is on top. There are between 20-30 varieties of mixings that can be mixed in. Among them are young coconut that have been soaked in coconut milk, black sticky rice, chestnuts,sweetened taro, red beans, sarim (thin strands of cooked flour that is very chewy and slippery) and many more.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 10: Youkan: Easy Recipe-Mizu Youkan

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Youkan come in many guises. Here is an easy and ver basic recipe for “Mizu Youkan” that you will be able to adapt into many creations of yours! For vegans, vegetarians and omnivores!

INGREDIENTS:
-Boiled azuki beans: 1 can (430 g)
-Brown sugar: 60 g
-Salt: a pinch
-Agar agar Powder (“kanten” in Japanese): 4 g
-Water: 300 ml + 300 ml

RECIPE:

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Blend beans and 300 ml of water until smooth.

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Pass mixture through fine sieve.

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In 300 ml of water drop agara agar. Bring to boil, stirring at the same time. Then keep stirring vern medium fire for 1 minute.

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Switch off fire. Pour sugar and salt. Mix well. Add bean paste. Mix well.

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Pour in recipients of your choice (that is when the fun starts!) and let cool completely. Keep in fridge (not too cold, please). Take out of recipient and serve!

More recipes to come!

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