Sasamaki (Bamboo Leaf Wrapped Sweets)
Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
- kuzu (Eng. kudzu [Pueraria lobata] 100gm (3.5oz)
- white sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
- brown sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
- kurosato (black sugar) 100gm (3.5oz)
- water 400cc (1.6c)
- sasa (bamboo leaves)
- Pick small sized leaves (available dried in Asian markets). Wash well in cold water and soak in fresh cold water overnight. Scrub both sides well with a soft brush or sponge and rinse again. Have a pot of boiling water ready and place the leaves in the hot water for approximately 15 seconds (4 or 5 at a time is fine). Cool in cold water and keep in fresh cold water until ready to use. When ready to make the sweets wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove excess moisture. (Note – If the leaves are too wide they may have to be narrowed to 3 1/2″ or so. It’s easy to do by just tearing lengthwise and scissors will also come in handy to shorten the length if needed.)
- If the black sugar pieces are too large you can cut into small pieces with a heavy knife or genty crush with a mallet. Mix with some of the 400cc of water from the recipe and in a heavy bottom pan dissolve over low heat. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Dissolve the kuzu in the remaining water and mix until all of the lumps are gone.
- Place the kuzu/water mixture in a heavy bottom pot and add all of the sugar, including the dissolved black sugar that has been cooled. Over low/medium heat stir the kuzu mixture continuously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will begin to thicken in big “clumps” but don’t worry. (If the mixture gets too hot and thickens too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir.) Place it back on the heat and continue to stir and cook until the mixture is very thick and somewhat clears. Place the pan in a larger pan of hot water to keep the mixture from hardening.
- Using a couple of spoons, place some of the hot kuzu mixture (40 to 45gm) into a bamboo leaf and wrap the leaf around the kuzu to form a package. Tuck one end into the package and let it come out the other end. Pull the end that you just stuck through the other side and gently pull. Trim any extra folded leaf that is sticking out. Place the packages into a cloth lined steamer and steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool. When the sweets are cool they can be placed in a lidded plastic container that has a damp cloth on the bottom. Another damp cloth can be placed on top of the sweets. One recipe makes approximately 10-12 sweets.
NOTE: If you plan to serve these sweets cold they should be placed in the refrigerator for no more than 1 to 1 1/2 hours before serving. They can also be served on top of a bowl of ice. If left in the refrigerator too long they will become hard and rubbery.