I’m a huge fan of mochi, a Japanese sweet made with rice flour that’s mixed with water and heated to become glutinous and sticky. It’s often filled with sweet red bean paste to make daifuku. This strawberry version is really popular during Spring in Japan.
When I was staying with my Japanese friend’s family in Saitama, just outside of Tokyo, they bought some strawberry (ichigo) daifuku for me to try. My goodness were they delicious?! Who knew that putting a strawberry inside would make such a difference?
My friend’s sister taught me how to make daifuku and wrote the recipe for me to bring home.
They are pretty tricky and fiddly to make because the mochi, once heated, is so sticky and will stick to anything it comes into contact with. I used cornflour to flour the surfaces and my hands, but I still ended up getting sticky mochi everywhere. I promise it’s worth it though!
- 12-14 fresh strawberries
- 400g red bean/adzuki bean paste*
- 180g rice/mochi flour*
- 260ml water
- 4-5tbsp cornflour or potato starch*
- Wash and dry the strawberries before chopping off the green tops.
- Separate the bean paste into 12-14 pieces depending on whether your strawberries are mostly large or mostly small-medium.
- Wrap each amount around a strawberry.
- Mix together the rice flour and water in a microwaveable bowl.
- Cover and heat in a microwave for two minutes. Stir part way through and add 1tsp water if it feels too stiff.
- Separate the sticky mochi into chunks, roll out on a flat surface covered with some cornflour and wrap around each of the strawberries. The mochi will spring back after you stretch it so twist it all together at the bottom to make sure it has joined.
- These daifuku are best eaten fresh, but will keep for a day or so in the fridge.
*These might not be readily available in your supermarket, but you might be able to find them in a local Asian grocery store. Alternatively, you can buy them online from the Japan Centre at https://www.japancentre.com/.