I love mochi, especially the sweet stuffed kind known as daifuku. When I taught Montessori school in a small Korean neighborhood, some of the mother's of the children in my class would bring me batches stuffed with anko (a sweet red bean paste made from aduki beans and sugar) or toasted coconut. I've always wanted to taste ichigo daifuku (mochi stuffed with anko and fresh strawberries), and today I had my chance since my kitchen was temporarily transformed into a mean-mochi-machine. My daifuku didn't come out as perfect as the professional ones I buy in the market, but they're still super-delicious and chewy.
There's not too much mochi makin' info on the web--I've searched and searched. There are a few recipes here and there, a video or two on YouTube, but in general most of the info I've found hasn't offered too much direction. Since we bought a flat of gorgeous Ponchatoula strawberries at the Farmers' Market last weekend, I really wanted to dive in and give these a whirl.
1 cup Mochiko (glutinous rice flour--no other flour can be substituted)
1/4 unbleached granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
Katakuriko (potato starch)
food color (optional)
prepared anko (you can boil some aduki beans into a thick paste with sugar or google for recipes)
10 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- With wet hands, take a small ball of anko, press it into a thin disk and wrap around a strawberry. Repeat with remaining berries and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together well: Mochiko, sugar and water (add a bit of food color if you want tinted mochi).
- With a spatula, scrape the mixture into a microwave safe dish, I used a 8" wide plate with an inch high lip, but a pie plate would be perfect.
- Microwave for two minutes. Remove dough and stir quickly.
- Return to the microwave and cook for 2 more minutes. The dough will bubble up and inflate, but be careful not to overcook or the dough will be too tough.
- Sprinkle the katakuri on top of the dough and on any surface that is going to touch the dough, this includes utencils too.
- Cut off a small piece of warm dough and press it into a circle. I found it easiest to press into a circle on a well starched board, rather than using a rolling pin.
- Plunk an anko covered berry into the center of the mochi disk and carefully pull up two sides of the disk at 12 and 6 o'clock and pinch to seal. Repeat another pinch at 9 and 3 o'clock. Cut off any extra clumps of dough that might bunch up and pinch a again to firmly seal. Set aside and repeat.