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Recipes

Sasamaki – bamboo leaf wrapped sweets

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 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)

PREPARATION

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Dissolve the kuzu in the remaining water and mix until all of the lumps are gone.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Tamasudare – jeweled reed blinds

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kanten (agar agar) 14gm (0.5oz) or 2 sticks
  • water 900cc (3.6c.)
  • sugar 300gm (10.5oz)
  • mizuame (or light corn syrup) 2T
  • koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) approx. 30gm (1oz) per sweet
  • yellow food color – approx. 2 drops
  • umeshu (plum wine) 1T

PREPARATION

  1. 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.
  2. Add the sugar and mizuame, or corn syrup. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Strain through a fine strainer and return to the pot and cook a little longer. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.)
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in umeshu and a small amount of yellow food color to achieve a golden color. Stir well.
  5. Pour into a parchment-lined nagashikan mold, that is approximately 6″ X 7″ X 2″ (1000cc [4c.]) and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. (Note: Any similar size glass or plastic container may be used.)
  6. Form the bean paste into tawara (bale) shapes.
  7. Using a serrated tofu knife, cut the kanten into long, thin strips. The strips should be long enough to wrap completely around the formed bean paste. Carefully wrap the kanten around the bean paste. The sweets can be chilled before serving. Place on a towel to blot any excess moisture before serving

NOTE: Any non acidic flavoring can also be added when adding the color. Acid will cause the kanten not to gel properly.

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Mizubotan – water peony

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kuzu (kudzu) 1 part / 50gm (1.75oz)
  • sugar 2 parts / 100gm (3.5oz)
  • water 4 parts / 200cc (0.8c.)
  • pink koshian (smooth bean paste) approx. 20gm (3/4oz) per sweet

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare approximately 20gm (3/4oz) pink koshian balls that will be the center of the sweet.
  2. Dissolve the kuzu in the water until all of the lumps are dissolved.
  3. Place the kuzu/water in a heavy bottom pot (enameled cast iron is best) and mix in the sugar. Cook over low/medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and begins to clear. *If the heat is too high, and the mixture thickens too quickly, remove the pot from the heat and continue to stir. When it cools a bit, return the pot to the heat.
  4. When clear, remove the pot from the heat and place in a pan of hot water to keep the mixture from hardening. Using a wooden spoon, take some of the hot kuzu (approximately 25gm [1oz]) and place on your finger tips (have a pan of cold water ready to cool your fingers). Place the an ball on top of the kuzu, turn upside down and form the kuzu around the an ball. Pinch the kuzu to enclose the an ball completely.
    *You can also wrap the formed sweet in plastic wrap, twisting the top closed, for a nice even shape.
  5. Place in a preheated cloth lined steamer and steam over med/high heat for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool. Makes approximately 10-12 sweets.
  6. NOTE: mizubotan can be served chilled but should not be kept in the refrigerator too long or they will become “rubbery.”
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Midori no Hoshi – green stars

Glenn A. Sorei Pereira
GAPereira@aol.com

Named by Hounsai Daisosho みどりの星 midori no hoshi (green stars),this sweet was designed by Midorikai alum Glenn A. Sorei Pereira of Boston, MA, for the 40th Midorikai Reunion tea in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 19, 2010.

INGREDIENTS

  • Powered kanten 12g
  • Water 600 cc (2.4c)
  • Granulated sugar 700g (25oz)
  • Light corn syrup 80g (3oz)
  • Limoncello 4 tbs
  • Blue food coloring 3 drops
  • Nagashikan (lined mold) 5 ½” x 6″
  • Kinpaku (gold leaf) a few sprinkles on each sweet

PREPARATION

  1. Place kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low/medium heat until it reaches a light boil. It is important to stir continuously.
  2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved and once again bring to a light boil. Add corn syrup and continue to stir. Once again bring to a light boil. Turn off heat and add limoncello and coloring.
  3. Ladle hot mixture into nagashikan that has been rinsed in cold water. Bubbles or residue that form on top can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the top. Let cool at room temperature until solid.
  4. Remove from nagashikan and cut length into thirds. Cut each third into fifths with serrated tofu knife. Refrigerate to chill and sprinkle with kinpaku before serving.
  5. Makes 15 sweets.
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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.