Today I met my friend Kathy in Takatsuki. We get together about once a month for lunch and shopping. We always have fun talking about different things that we find while living in Japan.
On our way home, we went past a fruit stand and he had baskets of strawberries for only 200yen (about $2) a basket. You might think that that is expensive, but in the supermarket, the price is nearly double. These precious jewels were very ripe and made the train ride home very pleasant with their sweet aroma.
When I got home, I tried making ichigo daifuku (strawberry rice cakes with sweet bean paste), I made them earlier this week and decided to make the mochi (rice cake) from scratch.
It is really easy to make, but kind of messy.
Ichigo Daifuku makes about 12
150 g mochiko (rice flour)
12 small strawberries, washed and tops cut off
koshian (smooth sweet bean paste)
Cut the tops off and wash the strawberries, drying them with a paper towel. Leave aside.
Mix water with mochiko and zap in microwave at 500W for 5 minutes.
When it comes out, be careful, it is very hot.
Sprinkle some katakuriko onto a board or in a pan and pour hot mochi out onto it.
Knead a bit to get mochi soft.
Break into 12 pieces (about 20-30g each).
Flatten a piece add some koshian and then invert the strawberry into the koshian.
Bring up the mochi sides and seal in the center.
Round between your palms, adding katakuriko as needed.
Repeat until all mochi and strawberries are gone.
NOTES: If the koshian that you use is a bit stiff then you can "pre-wrap" your strawberries in them. My koshian was a bit wet, so I scooped it onto the mochi as I made the daifuku. I only zapped the mochi for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Be careful, you need to work with the mochi while it is still hot. Sprinkle katakuriko onto your hands so the mochi won't stick too much. I only put about a teaspoon of koshian, but you can put more if you'd like. Just don't too much that you won't be able to seal up the daifuku at the bottom or rip the mochi. Goes well with hot green tea or cold mugicha (barley tea).