Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子6: Creation 2-Sakura Mochi (& Recipe!)

WAGASHI-SAKURA-MOCHI-2

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 with 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”.

WAGASHI-SAKURA-MOCHI
Anko is folded inside a mochi sheet and again inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

WAGASHI-SAKURA-MOCHI-3

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 colored mochi contains anko and is presented inside an edible cherry tree leaf.

WAGASHI-SAKURA-MOCHI-5

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.
Flaten 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.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Beer Tasting: Bayern Meister Bier, Edel Weiss First Class Premium Beer

Stephan Rager in Fujinomiya City is the only German national who is both the owner and the master brewer of a brewery in Japan!
The German Embassy in Tokyo is fully aware of it and regularly orders his beer for special occasions!

Stephan fluently speaks English and Japanese on top of his own native language, and if you cannot read Japanese you might have to call him for more information!

At least the cap is overwritten in plain German!
I did actually conducted a tasting of the same brand two years ago with my good friend Patrick, but I certainly needed some refreshing!

Product name: Edelweiss First Class Premium Beer
Contents volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5.5%
Ingredients: barley malt, hops and live yeast all imported from Southern Germany.

Clarity: smoky and clean
Colour: Dark orange-apricot color
Foam: Fine bubbles, disappearing quickly. Soapy head.
Aroma: Strong, sweetish and fruity. Bread, yeast, faint oranges
Taste: Dry deep and refreshing attack. Complex and sophisticated. Fruity, yeasty, tangy, moreish (British expression), looking forward to drinking more. Bread and faint oranges, Lingers on palate for quite a while.
Very solid. Marries well with food, especially pork, potatoes and Izakaya fare.
Varies little with food and stays very dry and deep all the time.

Overall: Refreshing and reassuringly solid. Nice long aromatic aftertaste. Can’t wait for the second glass.

Bayern Meister Beer Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Prefecture, Fujinomiya City, Kami-Ideji, Kawaharatan, 1254-1
Tel.: 0544-443311

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Izu Peninsula Hot Springs Resort: Hotel Isaba in Heda!

Service: A bit stiff but friendly and attentive
Facilities: A bit old-fashioned but clean. Excellent hotspring bathroom
Prices: Expensive
Strong points: Excellent private hotspring bathroom and open-air hotspring bath with great view on the sea. Excellent breakfast
Overall: 72/100

The best time to check in a hotel in Heda is at sunset when you can admire the sinking sun over the horizon from your windows!

It is the more striking when you squid fishing boat cutting the sea under a sinking flaming orb!

Hotel Isaba is one of the most popular hotspring resort hotels in Heda, Izu Peninsula, thanks to its location overlooking the great sea expanses.
One can choose a room Japanese-style or Western-style.

The hotel is a bit kitsch and definitely from another age but comfortable with all amenities.

The better rooms have a nice, if small, kind of terrace opened onto a great sea landscape.

Cozy place to enjoy a drink or a book in summer!

The private hotspring bath, small by Western standards is big and deep enough for two adults!

Like the terrace it opens onto a sea landscape particularly striking at dusk and dawn!

The dinner served inside your room over a table large enough for 4 adults is a big affair!

Complimentary home-made blueberry aperitif.

Live abalone you grill by yourself after listening to the maid’s instructions!

It’s dancing over the fire!

Chyawanmushi/Japanese hot salted pudding and Japanese pickles.

Mishima Pork shabu shabu.

Varied appetizers.

Sashimi plate from Suruga Bay!

Italian-style lobster.

Simmered “Medai” seabream and taro.

“Menuke” fish Sautee.

Plenty of rice and miso soup!

And dessert!

The specialty of the house: Suruga Bay sea-salt sorbet!

Wake up early enough in the morning to enjoy a great ocean view!

And catch the sight of the returning squid fishing boats!

And then first pay a visit to the large hotspring bath on top of the hotel!

Don’t forget to scrub yourself before taking a dip!

Large bay windows will allow you to enjoy a great view again at the same time.

But your hotspring experience will not be complete with another body-relaxing dip in the “rotenburo/open-air bath” outside the main bathroom whatever the season or weather!

A great souvenir picture!

Breakfast is simply enormous and should last you half a day!

And very healthy too with local ingredients!

Seaweed soup.

Horse mackerel from Suruga Bay.

All kinds of tidbits to accompany the rice, and a little dessert.

Tamagoyaki, Sweet and sour tofu, pickles and crab miso soup.

And plenty of rice, the traditional way!

HOTEL ISABA
400-3402, Shizuoka Ken, Numazu Shi, Heda, Bihama Kaigan, 3878-20
Tel.: 0558-94-3048
Fax: 558-94^4270
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery