I picked up a phone at probably 3 am in the morning with a news that my dad had passed away!! I thought it was a dream! I really wished it was a dream. But it wasn’t!! If I may step back to March 2011. When the tsunami hit Japan. I quickly packed the best I could. Hubby was still in Canada on business trip. I was home alone packing things with tears streaming down my face and a crying 3-month old baby asking for my boobs!! The baby needed milk and comfort. I wished I could get that kind of comfort, but no matter what..I know there’s no such comfort in a situation I’m in ! “Dad just passed away” and that’s all that kept ringing inside my head!!
Mr. G. got home that early morning and we sped to the airport and the three of us got on the plane. I couldn’t stop thinking how my mom was doing. How she was coping with the loss! I wasn’t coping with the loss yet. I was still trying to process the bad news that seemed very unreal!! We were stranded in Japan for 2 days. Inside the plan for 48 hours with my 3-month old first-born. I was grateful we were breastfeeding because I couldn’t imagine mixing formula when the plane has no clean supply of water, out of cups, out of food. People literally gave me their food because they knew I was breastfeeding and needed to eat more. Yes..there are kind people on planet earth still ! We were out of diapers too. I didn’t pack enough for our carry-on and never thought would be stranded inside the plane for that long (lesson learned). After released from the plan, we couldn’t go outside of the airport because there was no transportation functioning. We slept on the floor at the airport. Narita looked like a refugee camp. By the time I reached Indonesia, I’ve missed my dad’s funeral. Which to this date, I still have trouble accepting that fact, but I know I need to move on!!! Sorry if I bore you with the story. It just that the thought of anything Japanese brings up memory of the tsunami and of course my dad. One day I will meet him again. Just not yet 🙂
Regardless, Japan is still on my list of country to visit. I love the food, the country, the culture, the people. Japanese home-cooking is also one of my favorites. Mochi is one of my favorite Japanese sweets. You see them being packaged so adorably in stores. Not only in Japan, but in other Asian countries, for example Singapore. I love going to Japanese food store to see all the food. Their packaging are hands down attractive. That is one thing about the Japanese. The appearance of everything is of paramount importance.
Anyway, back to daifuku mochi. What is daifuku ? it is basically an Anko (azuki bean paste) wrapped with mochi on the outside. Mochi itself is made of sweet rice flour or in Southeast Asia, we call it glutinous rice flour. It’s not intensely sweet (at least not the one I made) and my daughter loves daifuku mochi. In fact, for her upcoming birthday, she told me she would love her some mochi ice cream. I bought some from Trader’s Joe before and she got hooked every since. Guess I will be making mochi ice cream soon lol !
Daifuku mochi is a very simple dessert but yet very elegant and can be wrapped attractively as gifts. They need to be freshly made though as they don’t do well after refrigeration. You will be surprised by how easy it is to actually make your own daifuku mochi !!
How to make Daifuku Mochi (12-14 pieces)
- 1 cup mochiko sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour
- 1 tsp of matcha powder optional
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups anko azuki bean paste
- Generous amount of corn starch for dusting
Refer to recipe on how to make anko (see notes). The beans need to be soak for at least 8 hours. So, plan ahead. You can always use store-bought anko as well
Preheat your steamer. In a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Mix the mochiko with matcha powder, and sugar. Stir to mix. Add in water and stir until they are very well combined
When steamer is hot enough, place in the bowl and steam on high heat for 15 minutes. The mochi is pretty translucent at this point
Cover your work area with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with generous amount of corn starch. Turn the cooked mochi on top and sprinkle with more starch. Use a rolling pin and start rolling the mochi out into about 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer the whole thing into the refrigerator and let it chill for about 15 minutes
Remove from refrigerator and use a cookie cutter or a round jar with a diameter of 3 to 4-inch and start cutting out the dough. You can probably get around 12-14 pieces
Scoop about 1 heaping Tbsp of anko into the middle of the dough. Gather the edge to center and pinch to seal. Dust with some corn starch and shake off any excess and continue with the rest. Place the daifuku mochi seamed side down
I gather the leftover cut-out pieces and form them into a ball and roll them out flat again with rolling pin. You probably can get an extra 1 or 2 if you do so 🙂 (You don't have to)
Store them in an air-tight container. This can last for 3 days without refrigeration. I do not recommend refrigerating them because it somehow changes the texture of the mochi. They lose that elasticity and become tougher
Recipe NotesAnko recipe: http://whattocooktoday.com/red-bean-paste.html
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