Ichigo Daifuku いちご大福

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Sweet, sticky rice balls filled with fresh strawberries and red-bean paste (anko)!

It’s much easier than you think to make mochi :)

While I’ve outlined how to make anko below, you can very easily buy it at a Chinese, Korean or Japanese grocery for very very cheap!

INGREDIENTS

makes 6 daifukus

RED BEAN PASTE (ANKO)
1 cup dried red adzuki beans
1 cup sugar (brown or white is fine)
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional

MOCHI DOUGH
3/4 cup glutinous rice flour (100g)
2 tbsp white sugar
3/4 cup water (200ml)

OTHER
6 strawberries
Cornstarch, for dusting

OPTIONAL FLAVOURINGS
1 tsp matcha powder OR
1 tsp strawberry essence + 1/4 tsp pink food colouring

METHOD

ANKO PREPARATION
Soak the beans overnight in about 6 cups of of cold water. The next morning, bring the beans and water to boil in a medium size pot, and let boil for 5 minutes. This removes any bitterness from the beans. Strain, return beans to the pot, fill with fresh water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and let simmer for 1-1.5 hours. The beans are ready when you can easily mash a bean between your fingers. Strain the beans and return to the pot with the sugar, salt and vanila. Turn to a medium heat, stirring often until the mixture thickens. The anko is done when you can push all the mixture to one half and it stays there. It might still look soggy, but will firm up once cooled. Spread anko onto a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool down.

STRAWBERRY PREPARATION
Wash, dry and cut the tops off your strawberries. Divide 150g of cold anko into 6 equal pieces (1 tbsp each), roll into balls. Flatten a ball of anko in the palm of your hand. Place a strawberry on the anko and use your hands to cover the strawberry completely in anko. refrigerate while you make the mochi.

MATCHA PREPARATION
If you are using matcha to flavour your mochi, in a small bowl, mix 1 tsp of matcha powder with just enough water to form a smooth matcha paste (2-3tsp). Set aside. Skip this step if you are not using matcha.

MOCHI TIME

STEAMING METHOD
Sift cornflour generously over a small baking tray. Set aside.

In a non-stick bowl: Mix the glutinous rice flour, sugar and water. You need to mix until there are no lumps - this is the most important step, so be patient!! Steam the mixture over boiling water for 13 minutes.

Once cooked, if you are adding flaovuring: add matcha paste or strawberry flavouring + colouring if you desire. Otherwise skip this step.

Dip a wooden mixing spoon in water. Mix the mochi dough vigorously until even, sticky and smooth. Empty the dough straight out onto the prepared cornstarch baking tray. While the mixture is still hot, carefully cover the whole piece of mochi in cornstarch and form into a log. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Take your anko-strawberries out of the fridge and get a pastry brush ready.

Take one piece of mochi and form into a circular shape and use your pastry brush to dust any excess cornstarch off. Now we will wrap the strawberries! Place one anko-strawberry, tip down, into the centre of the mochi and draw the other corners together to meet at the base, sealing the strawberry inside. Be sure to seal all holes by pinching and avoid sticking by using your pastry brush to brush extra cornflour on. This can take some getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it! Repeat for all the pieces of mochi and strawberries and VOILA! You have made enough Ichigo Daifuku to share with all your frands!!!!

EASY MICROWAVE METHOD
In a microwave-safe bowl: Mix the glutinous rice flour, sugar and water. You need to mix until there are no lumps - this is the most important step, so be patient!! Microwave for 2 minutes. Mix vigorously until the batter is as even as possible. Microwave for a further 1 minute. Mix vigorously until even and not lumpy. If your batter is still watery, your microwave may not be that strong so microwave for a further minute.

Once cooked, if you are adding flaovuring: add matcha paste or strawberry flavouring + colouring if you desire. Otherwise skip this step.

Dip a wooden mixing spoon in water. Mix the mochi dough vigorously until even, sticky and smooth. Empty the dough straight out onto the prepared cornstarch baking tray. While the mixture is still hot, carefully cover the whole piece of mochi in cornstarch and form into a log. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Take your anko-strawberries out of the fridge and get a pastry brush ready.

Take one piece of mochi and form into a circular shape and use your pastry brush to dust any excess cornstarch off. Now we will wrap the strawberries! Place one anko-strawberry, tip down, into the centre of the mochi and draw the other corners together to meet at the base, sealing the strawberry inside. Be sure to seal all holes by pinching and avoid sticking by using your pastry brush to brush extra cornflour on. This can take some getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it! Repeat for all the pieces of mochi and strawberries and VOILA! You have made enough Ichigo Daifuku to share with all your frands!!!!

Elizabeth MiuComment