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

DANGO-1a
(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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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 9: Youkan

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Here is another popular type of Japanese Wagashi fit for Vegans and Vegetarians: Youkan!

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Mizu Youkan

Yōkan (羊羹) is a thick jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar (寒天/”kanten” in Japanese, and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices.

There are two main types: neri yōkan and mizu yōkan. “Mizu” means “water”, and indicates that it is made with more water than usual. Mizu yōkan is often chilled and eaten in summer.
Although most yōkan found in Japan and abroad are typically made with red bean paste, yōkan made from white kidney bean paste (しろあん, 白餡, shiro an in Japanese) are also relatively common. This type of yōkan is milky and translucent with a much milder flavour than that made of red bean paste.

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Tea Youkan

As such, they can be effectively flavoured and coloured by using green tea powder.

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MizuyōkanYōkan may also contain chopped chestnuts, persimmons, whole sweetened azuki beans, figs, and sweet potato, among other additions. Sugar can be also be substituted with honey, dark brown sugar, or molasses to alter the taste of the yōkan produced. There is also shio yōkan, which uses small amounts of salt as a sweetener.

Other Pictures of Youkan:

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YOUKAN-CHERRY

YOUKAN-PINK

I will introduce an easy recipe soon!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 8: Recipe-Beni Mochi

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Here is a simple Japanese Cake/Wagashi Recipe that can be adapted to all shapes by vegans and vegetarians! Beni Mochi.
Beni Mochi, or 紅餅 in Japanese, means “Red Mochi”.

INGREDIENTS: 16 pieces

-Rice flour: 250 g
-White sugar: 80 g
-Water: 100 ml/half a cup (for white mochi)
-Brown sugar (take care in choosing the colour): 80 g
-Water: 100 ml/half a cup (for red mochi)

RECIPE:

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Divide rice flour into two equal parts (125 g) and pour into two different bowls.

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In a deep pan, drop red sugar and add water. Heat over fire until completed melted. Switch off fire. Add rice flour and mix well.
Repeat same procedure with white sugar.

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In a steamer, put mochi pastes (take care no to mix them) on a steaming paper and steam for 10 minutes.

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Take out. Let cool. Make two balls and keep in different bowls.

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Shape the mochi as above or according to your preference. Put them back inside the steamer on steming paper and steam for 10 more minutes.

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Let cool and serve!
Are best enjoyed with Japanese tea, hot or cold!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 7: Creation 3-Hanabira Mochi

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Here is another traditional Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Hanabira Mochi (菱葩餅 in Japanese)!
Hanabiramochi is a Japanese sweet usually eaten at the beginning of the year. Hanabiramochi is also served at the first tea ceremony of the New Year.

The name “hanabiramochi” literally means “flower petal mochi”. The original form of Hanabiramochi is Hishihanabira, a dessert that was eaten by the Imperial family at special events coinciding with the beginning of the year.

Hanabiramochi was first made in the Meiji Era (8 September 1868 – 30 July 1912), but it is now a familiar New Year wagashi.

The exact shape of hanabiramochi is strictly defined by tradition. The white mochi covering is flat and round, folded over to form a semicircular shape, and must have a pink color showing through in the center of the confection, fading to a white at the edge. Unlike a daifuku the mochi must not completely seal the insides.

In the center of a hanabiramochi is a layer of anko, a sweet bean paste, commonly the white kind made from sweetened mung beans. In the very center is a thin strip of sweetly flavoured gobo (burdock root) which protrudes from the mochi on both sides.

Each element of the hanabiramochi is significant.

The red colour showing through the white mochi is not only appropriate to the celebration of the new year but also evokes the Japanese apricot/plum (ume) blossom, which in turn represents the purity, perseverance, and renewal associated with the New Year.

The gobo represents pressed ayu, a fish exclusive to East Asia, and a prayer for a long life.

A vegan way to celebrate the New Year!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 6: Creation 2/Sakura Mochi

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Sakura Mochi (桜餅) is a variety of wagashi, or Japanese confectionery consisting of a sweet pink mochi (rice cake) and red bean paste, covered with a leaf of sakura (cherry blossom).

Sakura Mochi (桜餅) or Cherry Blossom Mochi has been popular all over Japan since the beginning of gastronomy in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The style of Sakura Mochi differs from the regions in Japan.
Basically, the east of Japan such as Tokyo uses shiratama-ko (白玉粉/ rice flour) and the west side such as Kansai uses dōmyōji-ko (道明寺粉/glutinous rice flour) for “batter”.

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Anko is folded inside a mochi sheet and again inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

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Here the anko is inside white mochi, then folded in cherry tree leaf and topped with an edible cherry flower.

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A smaller, very cute Sakura Mochi: the coloure mochi contains anko and is presented inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

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Sakura mochi as sold over the counter in the Kansai/West Japan Region.
They are also called Sakura Dango/Cherry Balls (no comment, please!LOL)

SIMPLE RECIPE
This recipe is for making Western-style sakuramochi. Serves 8.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup red bean paste
red food coloring (optional)
8 sakura leaves pickled in salted water

PREPARATION:
Wash pickled sakura leaves and dry.
Boil water in a pan.
Mix glutinous flour in the water.
Cover the pan with a lid and leave it for 5 minutes.
Place a wet cloth in a steamer and put the dough on the cloth.
Steam the dough for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
Remove the steamed dough to a bowl.
Mash the dough slightly with a wooden pestle, mixing sugar into the dough.
Dissolve a little bit of red food color in some water.
Add some of the red water in the dough and mix well.
Divide the pink mochi into 8 balls.
Flat each mochi ball by hands and place red bean paste filling on the dough.
Wrap the filling with mochi and rounds by hands.
Wrap each mochi with a sakura leaf.

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 6: Creation 1

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Here is an example of what could be done by a Japanese chef as Wagashi/Japanese Cake!
This particular Birthday Cake creation is the work of Chef Maeda at Kouseido in Osaka City!
Will look around and post other creations whenever I can!

Here is a breakdown of the above:

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MOMO

“Momo”/Peach

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MIKAN

“MIkan”/Orange

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-TSUBAKI

“Tsubaki”/Camelia

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-SAKURA

“Sakura”/Cherry Blossom

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-ICHIGO

“Ichigo”/Strawberry

WAGASHI-VARIETIES-MELON

“Meron”/Melon

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 5: Recipe-Kinako/Roasted Soy Beans Powder

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Abekawa Mochi from Shizuoka, one served pasted inside red sweetmeats/anko and the others with kinako powder.

As promised here is a simple recipe for kinako/黄な粉, roasted soy beans powder, so often used with Japanese cakes/Wagashi!

MOCHI-KINAKO

Kinako (黄粉 or きなこ), also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. In order to create the soybean flour, soybeans are toasted and ground into powder. Its flavor is commonly compared to that of peanut butter.

INGREDIENTS:
Soy beans: 1 cup (200cc)

RECIPE:

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Discard beans showing broken skin or with an unusual colour.

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To make sure of any taking away any humidity, put them inside a clean cloth sack and roll them inside your hands/fingers.

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Use a pan with as thick a bottom as possible. Roast for 12 minutes above medium fire. Stir around with wooden spatula. The soy beans will emit their smell making small “noises” at the same time.

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Transfer to a bamboo basket/zaru or a reipient with small holes to cool off.

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Start slowly processing them inside a food processor/mixer, working 15 seconds at a time, 3 or 4 times. All the beans will probably not be reduced to powder. Transfer powder into earthenware mortar little by little until all the beans are reduced into powder.

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Make sure you get an even powder by crushing it around with a wooden pestle.

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Sieve powder through a fine strainer.

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The powder obtained should be fragrant and almost sweet.

You can turn into a drink if you want to!
Milk: 1 glass, kinako, 2 tablespoons, sugar, 1 tablespoon.

Kinako should be eaten as soon as possible!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 4: Recipe-Mochi

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Wagashi/Sakura Mochi

Here is a simple way to make mochi.
Bear in mind that mochi can be eaten fresh as it is especially with wagashi cakes and that it can be mixed with other ingredients for colouring. It can be aslo dried and grilled and also included in soups and other recipes such as mochi pizza!

INGREDIENTS:
Glutinous rice: 3 go (Japanese measure): 540 cc (2.8 cups)
Kinako (to taste)

Notes on kinako and glutinous rice:

MOCHI-KINAKO

Kinako (黄粉 or きなこ), also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. In order to create the soybean flour, soybeans are toasted and ground into powder. Its flavor is commonly compared to that of peanut butter.

Kinako, being composed of soybeans, is a healthy topping and flavoring which contains B vitamins and protein. It can also be used as a drink;. For example, warabi mochi is a famous kinako-covered sweet

I will introduce a recipe soon!

MOCHI-TRADITIONAL

Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous (Latin glūtinōsus) in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.

RECIPE:

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Wash the rice and let it soak in water overnight.

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Pour water in steamer. Bring to boil. Set a clean cloth inside. Drain rice. Pour rice inside cloth. Dig a “well” in the middle for better cooking.

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Steam over a medium fire for 20~25 minutes.

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Pour hot water inside pestle bowl and leave the wooden sticks inside water for long enough to have all of them well impregnated with water. Throw water away just before next step. This will insure a better mochi!

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Check rice for an even cooking. No water should be left or the mochi will be runny. If you make a small quantity, softer rice than usual is better as it will tend to dry faster than a large quantity.

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Now this is the hard part!
You will need three adults to press hard on the rice with the wooden sticks at the same time to crush the rice completely. It might take as long as 10 minutes.

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Now that the rice has been softened, One can continue on his own or work in shifts. Pound the rice in the middle 10 times. Turn over the rice from outside to inside and continue always around the clock.
Important: always pound in the middle, never on the sides or you will break the bowl!

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That is how it should look. Make balls by twisting rice out.

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Roll mochi in kinako mixed with sugar to taste. They are ready to be eaten!

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This is how are served in Japan for children (and adults!)

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If you want to preserve them for a while before eating, roll them in rice powder. Rice powder will come in useful if you want to fashion the mochi into thin sheets or else.

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That is they look grilled!

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Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 3: Recipe-Shiro Anko/White Sweetmeats

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In my previous article, I introduced the recipe for “red sweetmeats” or just “anko” in Japanese, an improtant ingredients in Wagashi.
But the red/violet colour is not always wanted.
Another popular way to make anko is to use “ingen mame”/kidney beans (US), or string/French beans (Europe).
Note that soy beans/”daizu” are not used in this recipe!
The advantage are multiple, as the “white” (actually beige) colour can be modified by adding green peas (green), pumpkin (yellow or orange), fruit pulp from papaya and mago. Variations are practically unlimited!

INGREDIENTS:
Kidney beans: 500g
Sugar: 400g
Salt: three small pinches

RECIPE:

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Put beans in 3 times their volume of water in a large pan. Let soak for two nights. Change water twice a day.

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Beans should have lost their “wrinkles” by then.

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Bring water to boil over strong fire then simmer for 5 minutes on medium fire.

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Drain water, making sure beans don’t dry up. The skin of the beans should peel off easily. Take skins and dark spots away.

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Simmer again peeled beans until they soft and start breaking up. Start on a strong fire to bring to boil, then lower to medium fire.

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Heat until most of the water has evaporated. Beans will pass through sieve more easily.

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Pass all the beans through the sieve. Wash and dry the pan.

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Add sugar and stir/mix over low fire.

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Sugar becoming liquid upon heating will give a watery aspect to the mixture. Heat over low fire, stirring all the time for 25 minutes.

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Once satisfied with the paste consistency, add salt, mix and stop fire.

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Transfer to another dish for preserving until use. Do it at once while it is still hot.
Make sure it does not dry up.
Cover with a lid.
If lid does not close well enough, wrap the whole into cellophane paper.

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