Many people who love Japanese cuisine are familliar with Mochi. They're served up at many Japanese restaurants for dessert, they're a popular festival food and you can even buy them from supermarkets who have a larger range of food.
Mochi are dumpling shaped desserts made mainly from beaten sticky rice that becomes a glutenous paste - they are then filled with a variety of fillings, but most often with traditional sweet red bean paste.
Mochi can be a strange experience the first time you try them - they have a consistency unlike anything in British cuisine! They are somewhere between a very sticky paste and a dough, they are gooey and squishy, making them very delicate.
Traditionally Mochi are made by placing sticky, glutenous rice in a large pot, then pounding it with a large beater - a bit like the action used when traditionally churning butter! Luckily you don't need to make it like that to get your own homemade mochi - just follow this recipe and you'll be fine!
You will need:
100g Sweet Rice Flour (Also Known as Glutenous Rice Flour)
5-6 Large, Destemmed Strawberries
150g Red Bean Paste
2 Tbsp Sugar
Corn Flour for Rolling
Image Via GeishaBot on Flickr
How to Make Strawberry Mochi
Take the sticky red bean paste and divide it into as many portions as you have strawberries. This should be enough to cover each on completely. Red bean paste can put some people off by the idea of eating a bean for dessert, but it's a much loved Japanese classic! However, if you're still unsure you could definitely try wrapping your strawberries in something like nutella instead!
Press the red bean paste around the strawberries until they are fully covered. This can be a very sticky and messy job, so keep a small bowl of water to hand to dampen your fingers. This will also help you get a smooth finish!
Prepare your work surface by dusting it with a good layer of corn flour. This is where you will be rolling out your mochi dough.
Mix together the rice flour, sugar and water until you have a very smooth paste, use a ceramic or glass bowl, then cover the mix with pierced plastic wrap or a plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute. After this is up, use a rubber spatula to mix the mixture and cook it evenly, then place back in the microwave for a further 30 seconds.
Mix again and return to the microwave again, for 30 seconds. The mochi paste should be cooked and translucent at this point, but if you're not quite there, go for another 30 seconds. If yours is ready, transfer the dough from the bowl to your prepared surface.
Roll the dough in the flour to coat, the quickly divide the mix into the number of strawberries you have. You might need to flour your hands with all the stickiness!
Press each red bean paste strawberry into a ball of mochi dough, and work the dough round to cover the entire strawberry.
And you're done! dust with icing sugar or serve with fresh fruit for a great treat after a bowl of ramen. Just make sure you eat them the same day you make them - but they can be refrigerated during the day. For an extra special treat you can even roll your mochi in matcha powder!