Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
(long mountain yam) 85gm (3oz)
granulated sugar 140gm (4.9oz)
joshinko [komenoko] rice flour 100gm (3.5oz)
water - approx. 2T - 4T
baking powder 3/4tsp
dried yomogi (mugwort) approx. 1/2 loose Tbl.
optional flavor or color
the long mountain yam and remove any brown spots that remain.
Grate the yam into a large bowl using a fine grater. Using your
fingers, mix the sugar into the grated yam in small increments,
blending well until the sugar is dissolved and no lumps remain.
Mix in 1T of the water that has been mixed with the dried yomogi
and allowed to reconstitute for a couple of minutes. Add 1T more
water then add the sifted rice flour and baking powder, mixing
until the flour is well blended and no lumps remain. Mix until
the mixture is like a smooth pancake batter. More water can
be added if necessary. (The amount of water may vary depending
on the temperature, location, etc. Be careful that the batter
doesn't become too thin or watery.
If using flavor or color they can be added at this
point. Various colors such as pink in the spring and green in
the summer can be used to evoke a feeling of the season. Japanese
matcha, powdered green tea, can be used for a natural green
color (For this recipe 1 1/2tsp matcha can be mixed with the rice
flour before mixing with the yam). Japanese umeshu, plum
wine, can be used as a flavoring during the spring and summer.
Daitokuji natto, salty fermented black beans, can be cut
into small pieces and mixed in the batter. Lightly roasted white
or black sesame seeds can also be mixed in the batter. Finely
chopped crystalized ginger or grated orange zest can also be used.
Prepare a steamer placing a damp cotton cloth on the
Pour the batter into a 12cm X 15cm (5" X 6")
parchment paper lined nagashikan, stainless steel lined
mold, (with the liner removed) or another suitable parchment lined
container. Place the mold in the steamer and place a cotton towel
under the lid to absorb excess moisture. Steam over medium high
heat for approx. 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted
in the center of the cake comes out fairly dry. Keep the lid ajar
for the first 5 mintues, or so, to prevent cracking. (The steaming
time may also vary depending on the size and thickness of the
mold.) Remove the mold from the steamer. Wring excess moisture
from the cloth that is in the steamer and return it to the steamer
surface. Carefully remove the cake from the mold by lifting it
with the parchment paper. Without removing the parchment paper
return the cake to the steamer and steam over medium high heat
for about 10 minutes longer. When ready, remove from the steamer
and let the cake cool on a wire rack. When cool, carefully remove
the parchment paper and cut into serving size pieces. For cutting,
either a taut piece of wire or thick nylon fishing line, works
best. (A knife tends to pull and smash the cake. If using a knife
the finished sweet can be turned upside down and cut from the
bottom side for a nicer look on the top.) This recipe makes about
8 - 10 smaller Chanoyu sweets. This recipe can be doubled and
a larger nagashikan can also be used.
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