Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
- The name of this sweet means "flower viewing dumplings"
eaten during the cherry blossom season. The brown represents
the tree trunk and branches, the green the leaves and the pink
3 batches of konashi (one with pink colored bean paste,
one with azuki(adzuki) bean paste and one white bean paste
flavored/colored with yomogi [mugwort]). You can either
use fresh yomogi that has been washed, blanched and chopped, or
the dried variety available in Japanese and Asian markets. If
using the dried variety, soften in a little cold water before
using. (note - If yomogi is not available a nice
flavor and color can be achieved by using matcha, powdered
each of the 3 batches into 15gm (1/2oz) pieces and roll into smooth
balls in the palms of you hands using a little mitsu if needed.
Using a bamboo skewer, first thread the brown ball, then the
green one and finally the pink. If serving in a traditional dangobako
(dumpling box) leave a little space between the green and pink
ball so that the skewer can rest on the box divider. It is also
a good idea to place the pink ball so that it covers the tip of
koshian (sweet smooth bean paste)
300gm (10.6oz) (a little harder than usual)
white all purpose flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
mitsu (sugar water syrup)
For the mitsu - (This sugar
water syrup can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator.)
Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan over low
heat. When the sugar is melted transfer to a glass container and
let it cool.
For the konashi - Knead the flour and mochiko
into the koshian until it is completely incorporated. Place
the mixture in a cloth lined steamer and steam over medium/high
heat for approximately 15 minutes or until all of the raw flour
taste is gone.
Remove the cloth, and bean paste, from the steamer
and knead further using clean damp cotton towels. As you knead
the bean paste, slowly incorporate the sugar. (If the bean paste
gets too sticky it can be kneaded using plastic film like Saran
Wrap [other brands may leave a plastic taste].) Once the sugar
has been completely incorporated, and the bean paste has cooled
slightly, the mitsu can be added. Continuing to use a damp
towel knead in a small amount of the mitsu (approx. 1 to
2tsp). Coat the outside of the konashi with some mitsu and place
in a glass bowl to cool completely for several hours. The bowl
can be covered with plastic wrap after it cools to prevent it
from drying out. When ready to use, knead further using a little
mitsu on your hands to prevent sticking.
NOTE - If coloring or flavoring is going to be used
it can be kneaded in after the mitsu.
One recipe makes approximately 20 dango (dumplings).
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