Tag: Daifuku

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

There are many types of Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets and especially Mochi sweets are becoming more and more popular all over the world. But, if you are a beginner to Wagashi, what should you try first? Let me show you my recommendations. (☆Д☆)

 

1: Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi) is very popular Japanese sweets. It is a round Mochi ball that has red bean paste inside. You can enjoy chewy texture and rice flavor from Mochi and sweetness from red bean paste.

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

There are many other types of Daifuku such as one has beans on outside Mochi layer. But, if you are new to Daifuku, I recommend you try Ichigo Daifuku (aka Strawberry Mochi) that has a whole strawberry inside together.

 

 

2: Dango (団子)

Dango is skewered Mochi balls that come with various sauces. Mochi balls are usually grilled and very chewy. Sometimes you can find Dango as a street snack and can have a freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

Dango sauce can be anything from sweet to salty. But the most popular sauce is Mitarashi, which is thick sweet soy sauce similar to teriyaki sauce. It is sweet yet savory. I am sure you will love it!

 

 

3: Gyuhi (求肥)

Gyuhi is a very simple Mochi sweets, which is sweetened Mochi. To make Gyuhi, you just need to mix some sugar into plain Mochi and knead. By adding sugar, Mochi becomes even softer because sugar helps Mochi contain moisture. It is so soft, almost like melting in your mouth.

 

 

Gyuhi is delicious as it is but it is also used to make Nerikiri, which is a high-grade beautiful Japanese traditional sweet.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

 

4: Mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream is not a traditional Japanese sweet experience, but it has been getting more and more popular, so why not try it? Same as Daifuku, it is a round Mochi, but it has ice cream inside instead of red bean paste.

There is one very famous and popular Mochi ice cream in Japan, Yukimi Daifuku. The outside Mochi layer is so soft and there is vanilla ice cream inside. You can find this ice cream at convenience stores in Japan. If you have a chance, please try it!

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

The easiest and delicious CHOCOLATE MOCHI recipe in 5min using microwave!

The easiest and delicious CHOCOLATE MOCHI recipe in 5min using microwave!

You like Mochi and chocolate, yet haven’t made chocolate Mochi by yourself? Let me show you the easiest chocolate Mochi recipe that you can make in 5min with only microwave!Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ

The Mochi is soft and chewy, with rich melted chocolate filling inside…. It is absolutely delicious and you will be surprised how easy it is!

Preparation: 30min
Ready in: 5min

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

 

Ingredients

This recipe makes 6 small chocolate Mochi.

– 2 blocks (approx. 50g) of dried Mochi, aka Kirimochi (see below about what Kirimochi is)
– 1 chocolate bar of your choice (I use 50g)
– 1 tbsp milk
– 1 tbsp sugar (I use cane sugar)
– good amount of starch powder. Potato starch is the best but corn starch works too.
– (optional) cacao powder

chocolate mochi ingredients

 

Preparation

First, in a microwave-safe bowl, soak Mochi blocks in water for 30min. This helps Mochi to soften faster.
*I recommend you to cut the Mochi block in an inch cubes.

choco mochi preparation

 

Directions

1. Cut the chocolate bar into half. One is for the filling and the other is for Mochi. Chocolate for the filling, divide in 6 smaller pieces. Anothe half chocolate for the Mochi, chop finely as in the picture.

chocolate mochi direction1: cut chocolate

 

2. Drain the water and add the chocolate for Mochi (chopped), sugar and milk.

chocolate mochi direction2

 

3. Lightly cover the bowl with a plastic wrap, and put it in a microwave for 1min in 500W, then mix well smashing and mixing Mochi with other ingredients. At this step all ingredients are not well combined yet.

chocolate mochi direction3

 

4. Put it back to a microwave for another 30sec in 500W, then mix well again until all ingredients combined In one texture. Repeat it if the Mochi is still hard.

chocolate mochi direction4

 

5. Place the chocolate Mochi dough on some starch powder and cover the Mochi surface with starch powder. Then divide the Mochi into 6 equal pieces.
*starch powder is not for the taste. It keeps Mochi from sticking to your hand and tray.

chocolate mochi direction5

 

6. Take each Mochi piece, spread it, put the chocolate for filling in the center, then wrap it. When wrapping try to make it round while the Mochi is still warm.

chocolate mochi direction6

 

7. (optional) Sprinkle some cacao powder on the Mochi and done!

chocolate mochi

 

Enjoy chocolate Mochi!

Because you wrap the chocolate filling while the Mochi is still warm, the chocolate inside will be melted. The Mochi will be more squishy and harder eventually so if you like soft Mochi, I recommend you to put it in a microwave for 5-10sec before eating.

Of course it is good if you use Anko (red bean paste) filling instead of chocolate filling. This makes Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi)!

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

 

What is Kirimochi?

I used Kirimochi in this recipe instead of making Mochi from Mochi flour (aka Mochiko) to make it easier. Kirimochi is a ready-to-be-cooked Mochi block that you can eat just by grilling or warming. I am sure you can buy Kirimochi at your local Asian grocery stores. Also you can purchase it from Amazon. (an affiliate link below)

 
 

Please let me know if you want to know other easy recipes!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

What is Daifuku? Perfect combination of Mochi and red bean jam (Anko)

What is Daifuku? Perfect combination of Mochi and red bean jam (Anko)

Daifuku is one of the most popular Japanese traditional sweets. It is my absolute favorite too!

Related post: top 10 popular japanese sweets (wagashi) that japanese like the most!

 

What is Daifuku?

The Japanese sweets called ‘Daifuku’ are small balls of Mochi filled with sweet bean paste. The combination of fluffy, gooey Mochi and sweet red bean jam (Anko) is just too perfect.

The bean filling is either red or white and can be rough with whole beans in it or a smooth paste. Each Daifuku maker has done years of R&D to create the perfect combination of sweetness, taste and texture, so Daifuku lovers should try as many versions as they can!

Related post:  what is japanese red bean paste, anko? types and how to eat at home

Daifuku is a very simple sweets, and there are many types of Daifuku made with multiple ingredients. Let me introduce you 4 popular Daifuku!ヽ(・∀・)ノ

 

Mame (bean) Daifuku

Mame Daifuku is the most popular traditional Daifuku among Japanese people. Mame (bean) Daifuku is a type that has boiled peas mixed in with the Mochi. The crunchy beans make a perfect accent to the chewy Mochi texture.

The filling typically consists of red bean jam, either “chunky” style sweet bean jam called Tsubu-An, or a smooth jam made only from the inside parts of the bean, called Koshi-An.

There are many makers specialized in Mame Daifuku in Japan. Depending on a maker, the thickness of Mochi, the sweetness of Anko and the amount of beans are different.

 

 

Ichigo Daifuku (aka Strawberry Mochi)

Ichigo (strawberry) Daifuku has an entire strawberry inside. The sourness and fresh flavor from strawberry, the sweetness from sweet bean paste and the chewy Mochi make for the perfect flavor combination!

Typical Ichigo Daifuku has red bean jam inside but there are ones that have white bean jam instead. You can find many Ichigo Daifuku sold during strawberry season, which is winter ~ spring in Japan.

 

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Yomogi (mugwort) Daifuku

Yomogi (Japanese mugwort) Daifuku has mugwort leaves mixed into the Mochi, giving it a green color. People also call it ‘Kusa Mochi’ (grass Mochi). Its refreshing herb-like taste gives a good accent to Mochi.

 

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Cream Daifuku

Cream Daifuku is a more modern twist on an old classic. Instead of just bean paste, they fill it with cream (and sometimes bean paste as well).

There are many more types of Cream Daifuku, like one has coffee-flavor in Mochi, or fruity one that has fruits such as grape and orange inside together with cream.

 

 

 

Daifuku is a very simple sweet as it consists of Mochi and red bean jam, yet there are many types of Daifuku.

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Japanese response to wine and cheese, Wagashi and Sake?!

Japanese response to wine and cheese, Wagashi and Sake?!

Japanese traditional sweets (Wagashi) are designed to match traditional Japanese teas, such as Matcha. In fact, the combination of Wagashi and Matcha has been polished through ages as a part of Japanese culture, Sado (茶道), Japanese tea ceremony.

 

Related post: wagashi and matcha – combination polished through ages!

 

Wagashi and Sake?! – It’s a new trend in Japan.

Recently a new trend concerning Wagashi started in Japan. That is to pair Wagashi with Sake (aka Japanese rice wine) just like wine and cheese!Σ(゜ロ゜;)

This trend seems getting bigger and more widespread; many Sake bars now offer Wagashi as a side snack with your favorite sake, new restaurants that specializes in pairing Wagashi and Sake opened, many workshops are held where you can try different combinations to find your favorite pair. Surprisingly Wagashi and Sake go well together as the sweetness from Anko (Japanese red bean jam, used for most of Wagashi) matches flavors of Sake.

 

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But I wonder… What Wagashi go well with Sake?! Here, I introduce you 4 Wagashi that I recommend you to try to pair to Sake! Here we go!

 

4 Wagashi that go well with Sake

 

Yo-kan (羊羹)

Yo-kan is a Japanese type of jelly, made of Anko, sugar and ager. Its texture is like a hard jelly. To pair to Sake, I recommend Yo-kan that is made of Koshi-An (smooth Anko) as this is more smooth and melts in your mouth together with Sake. Want to try Yo-kan with fruity Sake?

 

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Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi) is another popular Wagashi made of round Anko covered with Mochi (sticky and chewy rice cake). You can taste strong flavor of rice from Mochi. Sake is also made from rice. No wonder they go well together. I recommend you to try Nigori-Sake (unfiltered Sake, also called as Cloudy Sake) with Daifuku as Nigori-Sake has strong and mellow flavor.

 

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Very popular Daifuku, Ichigo-Daifuku (aka Strawberry Mochi) also goes well with Sake!

 

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Dango (団子)

Dango is small Mochi balls skewered on a bamboo stick and served with many kinds of sauce. Dango is made of Mochi and has a strong rich rice flavor. There are many sauces for Dango but especially Mitarashi-Dango matches with Sake. Mitarashi is a Japanese rich sauce made of sugar and soy sauce. Since it tastes sweet and savory, it goes really good with Sake which has rich and smooth flavor.

 

 

Monaka (最中)

Monaka is Anko that is sandwiched with 2 crispy wafers made of Mochi. Because wafers are very thin and has freshly roasted aroma, you can taste nice and strong flavor from Anko. Please try Monaka with dry Sake.

Related post: what is monaka? crispy japanese traditional sweets

 

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Will you try? Let’s find your favorite combination.

Are you interested to try Japanese response to classic wine and cheese pair? There are hundreds of different flavors that Wagashi have. This allows you to easily enjoy many different taste combinations of Wagashi and Sake.

Related post: top 10 japanese sweets (wagashi) that japanese like the most!

 

Wagashi and Sake might be a surprising combination but I encourage you to give it a shot. And let me know your favorite combination! (*´∇`)ノ

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Top 10 popular Japanese sweets (Wagashi) that Japanese like the most!

Top 10 popular Japanese sweets (Wagashi) that Japanese like the most!

Wagashi (和菓子) are traditional Japanese sweets, that have more than 300 years of history (to learn more about Wagashi’s history, click here). In the present days, in Japan you see more Western sweets such as chocolate and cookies than Wagashi. However, according to the survey, 80% of Japanese people respond that they love and eat Wagashi regularly. And there are many different types of Wagashi out there. I wonder… what Wagashi does Japanese really like?! Here are TOP 10 Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) that Japanese likes the most!

 

No.10: Sakura-Mochi (桜餅)

Sakura-Mochi is the representative sweet of spring in Japan. Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese, so you see this sweet belongs to the “season of Sakura” (typically March and April). Mochi is colored in pink just like Sakura, filled with Anko (red bean jam), and covered with salted Sakura leaves. By the way, you can eat leaves together with pink Mochi. This way, you can taste the perfect combination of sweetness from Anko and saltiness from leaves with a hint of Sakura aroma.

 

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No.9: Kusa-Mochi(草餅)

Kusa-Mochi is also known as a sweet of spring, and usually enjoyed between March and May, the season when fresh veggies and greens come in Japan. Mochi is mixed with Japanese mugwort (a type of herb) and with Anko inside. It has nice and herby aroma to it and you can also taste a hint of bitterness from mugwort. Have you ever tried?

 

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No.8: Warabi-Mochi(わらび餅)

Warabi-Mochi is made with bracken starch, sugar and water. It has jelly-like and a little chewy texture to it. It doesn’t consist of rice but since it has chewy texture it is called Mochi. (Typical Mochi is made from sticky rice and very sticky and chewy). Usually it comes with roasted soybean flour which is called Kinako or brown sugar syrup.

 

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No.7: Dorayaki(どら焼き)

Dorayaki consists of two round pancakes that sandwich Anko. This sweet is popular regardless of season and you can find at grocery or convenience stores in Japan. It is a very simple sweet, but very soft and delicious sweet. Let’s find your favorite Dorayaki!

Related Post: what is dorayaki? from classic dorayaki to unique modern dorayaki

 

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No.6: Senbei(煎餅)

Senbei is a Japanese type of cracker made from rice. Typically it is savory as it’s seasoned with soy sauce or salt, but you can find senbei in many tastes such as sugar or very unique one like Japanese plum. Also each Senbei has different texture, from very light one to very hard and crunchy one. It goes well with Japanese green tea, but also it is good with beer!

Related Post: what is senbei? super crunchy japanese rice cracker

 

 

No.5: Ohagi (aka Bota-Mochi)(おはぎ)

This Wagashi is typically eaten in Ohigan period that is related to a Buddhist event in spring and autumn. It is a chewy rice ball that made from regular rice and Mochi rice (aka a short-grain japonica glutinous rice) and covered with Anko, Kinako (soybean powder) or sweet black sesame. It is bigger than other Wagashi and quite filling so sometimes people eat it as lunch!

 

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No.4: Dango(団子)

Dango is small round Mochi balls that are skewered on bamboo sticks. One of the most popular Dango is definitely Mitarashi-Dango, which is Dango grilled and covered with gooey sweet soy sauce. Besides that, you can have Dango with Anko, soy sauce and seaweed or many other sauces, you also can find Matcha (green tea) Dango as well. We recommend you to try Mitarashi-Dango first if you have not tried any Dango!

Related Post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

 

 

No.3: Castella(カステラ)

Castella is a Japanese sponge cake made of sugar, flour, eggs, and starch syrup. The cake was brought to Japan from Portuguese in the 16th century and evolved independently in Japan from its original style. The top and bottom parts are brown and most parts are yellow. Japanese people love eating this with milk. Please try!

Related Post: what is castella? born in portugal and raised in japan

 

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No.2: Daifuku(大福)

Daifuku is Anko covered with Mochi. There are many types of Daifuku, such as Mame-Daifuku that has beans in Mochi, and very popular Ichigo-Daifuku (aka strawberry Mochi) that has strawberry inside. (also you can find ones that have grapes or oranges inside these days!) Daifuku makers has each own recipes so it is fun to try some Daifuku from different makers and find your favorite one.

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

 

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(Drum roll…) and… the TOP 1 Wagashi that Japanese like the most is…..

 

No.1: Tai-Yaki, Iamagawa-Yaki, Ningyo-Yaki (たい焼き、今川焼き、人形焼)

They can be considered almost the same type of Wagashi. These are the most popular traditional Wagashi among Japanese people. These are pancakes made from flour, sugar, eggs and water with Anko filling inside. It is also well known as street food in Japan! You can find them at food trucks or small shops at festivals or shopping streets in Japan.

 

Tai-Yaki is shaped as a Tai (鯛・sea bream) because Tai is considered as a lucky charm in Japan. There are thousands of Tai-Yaki makers across Japan with each having their own taste secrets. Some have thin pancakes, some have fluffy and some have thick and crispy on edges pancakes. Japanese always discuss which way they prefer to eat Tai-Yaki, from head or fishtail. (I like eating from fishtail! Usually fishtail is more crispy and head has more Anko!)

Related Post: what is taiyaki? the most popular japanese traditional sweets

 

 

Imagawa-Yaki is round shaped unlike Tai-Yaki. Compared Tai-Yaki, pancakes of Imagawa-Yaki is more fluffy and tender. Imagawa-Yaki that have custard cream inside instead of Anko are quite popular as well. These are popular among kids and those who don’t like Anko very much, but want to enjoy Wagashi.

 

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Ningyo-Yaki is smaller than Tai-Yaki and Imagawa-Yaki and its pancakes are made even more fluffy. Most common and traditional shapes of these bite-size treats are Japanese Seven Lucky Gods (七福神). However, these days you can find more fancy ones such as Hello Kitty. Ningyo-Yaki originated in Asakusa, which is one of the most popular town for sightseeing in Tokyo. There you can find many small stalls that make fresh Ningyo-Yaki on the shopping street. Please try when you come to Tokyo!

 

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Which one you want to try?

There are many other types of Wagashi such as Yo-kan (Japanese type of jelly) and Nerikiri (Anko mixed with Mochi in a beautiful artistic shape). What Wagashi you want to try? What Wagashi is your favorite? Please leave a comment below if you have anything you want to know about Wagashi, Matcha and Japanese culture!

 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)