Categories
Recipes

Sakura Mochi

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • cooked mochi rice
  • azuki koshian (smooth bean paste)
  • salted cherry leaves
  • kanten (agar agar) 1/4 stick
  • water 500cc (2c)
  • sugar 100gm (3.5oz)

PREPARATION

  • Wash the kanten and tear it into small pieces. Soak in cold water until it softens a bit.
  • Cook the kanten and water over low heat until it is dissolved and then add the sugar. Cook until everything is dissolved and then let cool. Use this liquid to moisten your hands when working with the mochi rice. (If small pieces of kanten remain, the mixture can be strained.)
  • Quickly rinse the cherry leaves in fresh cold water and gently pat dry.
  • Use approximately 20gm (0.7oz) koshian and 25gm (0.9oz) to 30gm (1.2oz) rice. Flatten out the rice and wrap it around an an ball. Roll between the palms of the hands to make even shapes. Wrap a cherry leaf around the mochi ball. (The dull side of the leaf is on the outside.)
  • If you don’t have salted cherry leaves, you can put the rice ball between two camellia leaves and you have tsubaki mochi.

for mochi

  • mochi (sweet) rice 400cc (1.6c)
  • boiling water 400cc (1.6c)
  • sugar 150gm (5.28oz)
  • red food color

PREPARATION

  • Remove any small rocks, etc. from the rice. Wash it well in fresh cold water and soak it overnight in ample cold water.
  • Drain the rice and place it in a cloth-lined steamer (remember to place a towel under the lid). Steam over high heat for 30 to 45-minutes or until the rice is cooked and is soft.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and add red color (approx. 3 drops) to achieve desired pink color.
  • Remove the cooked rice to a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Using a wooden spoon, mix the rice and hot water well.
  • Cover the rice with a damp cloth and then the entire bowl in foil (to help keep it warm). Let the rice sit for 1-hour, uncover and mix again and it is then ready to use for the sakura mochi sweets.
  • When you mix the rice you can push it a bit to break down some of the grains to make it slightly more sticky. (Makes approx. 30 sweets.)

for salted cherry leaves

Salted cherry leaves can be purchased at some markets in Japan. You can also find an excellent array of sakura products online at Anything From Japan.

PREPARATION

  • Pick fresh cherry leaves from the yaezakura (double cherry tree) just after the blossoms fall from the tree and the leaves are the right size. The longer you wait the harder the leaves will be.
  • Wash the leaves well in fresh cold water, drain and blanch in boilng water quickly (in and out).
  • Separate the leaves in a cloth lined steamer and gently steam for a minute or two. Remove from the steamer and place in fresh cold water to cool. Drain. Layer the leaves in a glass (or non corrosive) container sprinkling salt between each layer. Salt the top layer as well. Place a weight over the top and remove the weight after a day. The leaves will keep well in the refrigerator (or they may be frozen).

for tsubaki mochi (camellia mochi)

  • Prepare mochi rice as for sakura mochi. The red food coloring can also be omitted.
  • Wash fresh camellia leaves well in cold water and pat dry. Cut off both pointed ends to square off.
  • Wrap the mochi rice around an an ball as for sakura mochi. Place between two camellia leaves (the shinny side of the leaves are on the inside).
  • NOTE : The leaves are removed before eating the sweet
Categories
Recipes

Hanamidango

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

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 the blossoms.

Make 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. If yomogi is not available a nice flavor and color can be achieved by using matcha, powdered green tea.

Divide 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 the skewer.

INGREDIENTS

konashi

  • 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)

PREPARATION

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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].)
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. NOTE – If coloring or flavoring is going to be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu.
  7. One recipe makes approximately 20 dango (dumplings).
Categories
Recipes

Aoume konashi – green plum

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) 300gm (10.6oz)
  • flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
  • mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
  • granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
  • mitsu (sugar water syrup)
  • shiro-an (sweet white bean paste) 200gm (7oz)
  • green & yellow coloring

PREPARATION

  • mitsu is sugar water syrup that can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. To make mitsu , 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.) 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 To be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu .
  • To make aoume , green plum shaped sweets, prepare green konashi using green and yellow color.
  • Wrap about 25gm (.88oz) green konashi around a 15gm (.5oz) ball of white an (sweet bean paste). Using a small piece of wood with sharp edges (like a kamaboko fish-cake board), press the pointed edge into the end of the konashi. Rotate the sharp edge of the board to opposite side creating an indented line.
Categories
Recipes

Ajisasi Kinton (hydrangea kinton)

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kanten (agar agar) 3.5gm or 1/2 stick
  • water 225cc (0.9c.)
  • sugar 75gm (2.64oz)
  • mizuame or light corn syrup 1.5 tsp
  • yellow food color (approx 1 small drop)

PREPARATION

  • Wash the kanten well in cold water and remove any black/brown specks. Soak in fresh cold water to cover for a couple of hours. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear into small pieces. Place the kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low heat until the kanten is dissolved stirring now and again. Be careful that the mixture doesn’t boil too high as it will become too thick.
  • Add the sugar and mizuame, or light corn syrup, after the kanten is completely dissolved. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.) Turn off the heat and mix in a small amount of yellow food color, to achieve a golden color. Stir in well.
  • Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a nagashikan, lined mold, that is approximately 7″ X 7″ and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. Once cool unmold and cut into approximately 1/8″ squares. (note – Any container of the same approximate size can be substituted for the nagashikan.)
  • Make small balls of an (bean paste) approx. 15gm (1/2oz) for the center.
  • Press the prepared an through a sieve forming strands. (Coarser or finer mesh will create different finished effects.)
  • Use damp pointed bamboo chopsticks to gather a small pile of strands. Place a small ball of an on top of the gathered strands. Continue to place strands around the an ball, pressing lightly so they stick together, until desired shape is created. A good size finished sweet is about 40gm to 45gm (approx. 1 1/2oz).
  • Using pointed chopsticks place some of the kanten jewels around the top of the sweet.