Try This Japanese Dessert at Home

During the Lunar New Year, especially in the lantern festival, we often eat Tangyuan (glutinous rice balls), filled with sweet stuff such as sesame paste or peanut paste, cooked in the soup, served as a dessert. It’s a homophone for reunion in Chinese language “Tuanyuan”(团圆). The store-bought Tangyuan are usually filled with too much sugar. Let’s make something similar but healthier this year!
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Mochi is a Japanese word for rice cake. A popular way to eat Mochi is known as “Daifuku”. It means the cooked dough is stretched around a filling, usually of red bean paste, strawberries, or even ice cream. Making Mochi at home is completely manageable. The homemade ones are so much more delicate and delicious. You can enjoy the fresh soft and chewy textural pleasure the most.

For the filling, feel happy to wrap any ingredients that you prefer or handy. I made my own red bean paste with less sugar and oil. You can find ready-made paste in the store to save some time. Strawberries and cooked sweet potatoes are also my choice. Or think about other fruits, chestnuts, matcha cream, chocolate…

I used coconut cream and coconut oil in the dough, to make it dairy-free, also to add another layer of flavor. Other alternatives like milk and butter would also do the job if coconut is not your cup of tea.
(makes 9 Mochi balls)
For the wrapper:
120g glutinous rice flour
30g corn starch
25g sugar
200g coconut cream
15g coconut oil
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1. Mix well all the ingredients in a bowl. Put the bowl in a steamer on medium-high heat. Cook for 20 minutes, stir roughly and set aside.

2. Bring a pan on medium-low heat, put in 50g glutinous rice flour, shake the pan to allow the flour to get heat evenly. Keep heating for 3 minutes and let it cool down.

3. Weigh 45g dough on a piece of food plastic wrap. It’s extremely sticky at this point, use the wrap to press the dough into a round flat shape. Place the filling in the center. Pinch the dough and wrap it all around the filling to enclose it completely. Roughly roll the Mochi to a ball shape.

4. Roll the Mochi on the pan with cooked rice flour. Now it should be easy to pick up by hand.

5. Enjoy them cold or at room temperature. Keep them in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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