Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Japanese Wagashi is something I wanted to learn to make for a long time. Mochi, Daifuku and Anpan are the usual ones that we normally see in Asian markets but the types that are made in Japan are ridiculously beautiful and a feast to the eyes. There are rigid rules in the making process and etiquettes in eating every piece. I am very drawn to Japanese ways of things as they really make an effort to maintain their standards and artisanal quality in everything they do, which such total observance of rules and practice is rarely seen these days, especially when all things are mass produced.

I attempted something similar to this last year using all the ingredients I had in hand then and this time, I went all out to get the right ingredients from the Japanese store. I used the recommended Japanese sweet rice flour, made my own red bean paste, used store bought crushed peanut coating and added genuine green tea powder.
The end result was very good, so much better than the green tea glutinous balls I made last time. Perhaps it is the flour quality that makes all the difference. The flour was first mixed with some sugar and green tea powder. Lukewarm water was added to create a soft dough. The dough was then torn into smaller pieces and steamed on high heat for 15 mins and the red bean paste was divided into portions of 30gm each and rolled into balls. I find that working with refrigerated and overnight red bean paste is easier than working with freshly cooked one as it doesn't disintegrate easily and made it so much easier when rolling it into the cooked glutinous rice dough.

After the steaming, the dough was given a thorough stir and this was the hard part as the dough was now sticky and lumpy. Vegetable shortening was added to give a gloss to the cooked dough and made it easier to handle with hands. The dough is best divided and rolled into individual balls when it is still hot as it becomes less malleable as it cools. Each dough was then flattened and stretched to contain one red bean paste ball. I coated the outside with peanut coating instead of additional glutinous flour for extra taste. After a few hours sitting at room temperature, the Daifuku still tasted good and the gooey part of the dough did not hardened nor softened. The filling remained moist but not runny nor wet.


Plain Jane said...

looks so good, J! excellent!

Anonymous said...

Wow, how did you manage to roll them so smoothly? The last time i tried them, they were so sticky and the balls looked so ugly and lumpy....I gave up!