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!
微信图片_20200316135422 微信图片_20200316135430
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
微信图片_20200316135437 微信图片_20200316135444

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.
微信图片_20200316135448 微信图片_20200316135453

Banana Pancakes

After several previous recipes, I realised that we missed something sweet. You are a dessert-lover and an oven is too complicated for you? No problem! Let’s make pancakes with a pan!

American-style pancakes are thick, fluffy and tasty. You can combine with fruits, yogurt, jam or just eat them plain. The ingredients are easy to prepare. Basically you only need flour, eggs, sugar, milk and baking powder.

In this recipe, I’m gonna use wholemeal flour, add mashed banana into the batter and fry some bananas with butter and cinnamon, sprinkle some honey and chocolate for decoration. You may need a non-stick pan to give your pancakes a beautiful even color without using oil, also a big and deep spoon to drop a large dollop of the batter per pancake into the pan. A scale is not that necessary; you can adjust with more flour or milk to make the batter’s consistency like thick yogurt. With the amount in this recipe, you can make at least fifteen pancakes. It’s perfect for sharing, and you’ll be happy to see the excited faces of your friends when they stare at the super tall stack.


300g wholemeal flour
5 medium sized eggs
350ml milk
60g sugar
4 medium sized bananas
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt and cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon butter
Honey/jam/yogurt/chocolate for decoration


  1. Whisk 5 eggs in a big bowl for several minutes until they become fluffy. Add sugar and milk. Mix evenly.
  2. Smash 2 bananas in another bowl/cup with a fork/spoon. Mix the mashed banana into the egg bowl.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt slowly into the bowl. Mix evenly until the batter becomes as thick as yogurt.
  4. Heat (medium) the pan, and use a deep spoon or ladle to put the batter into the pan. Move the pan around slowly to let the batter flow a little bit like a circle. Cook for less than 1 minute until bubbles start to form on the surface, then turn the pancake and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and place onto a large plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, and put the new pancake on top of the last one.
  5. Randomly cut 2 bananas into slices. Heat the pan again and add a pat of butter. Fry the bananas on medium heat, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon powder. When the bananas become golden brown, move them to the plate. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chopped chocolate, and you’re ready to serve!