Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Bean & Matcha Daifuku Mochi 小豆と抹茶大福餅

I have loved mochi since I was a little kid.  The flavour and texture always appeals to me.  However, I prefer the Japanese ones to the Taiwaneses/Chinese ones.  Not because I love everything that is Japanese (okay, yes), but because the Taiwanese ones are usually coated in dry shredded coconut or other gritty coverings; the Japanese ones are usually just dusted with starches.

I had been putting off of making mochi for quite some time, only because I know of a family friend who also makes this stuff and she claims that you have to basically work with a "boiling dough" in order for the mochi to stick back to itself, or something of the like.  Meow doesn't like burning her hand, see my incident on Not Nouget.  After reading a few recipes and blogs, mochi will still stick when it's warm, and to a certain extent, when cooled.  So, I have bean paste, I have mochi powder...trouble begins :D

Daifuku Mochi 大福餅
Adapted from Wagashi Maniac

70 g koshi-an 漉し餡, smooth red bean paste
30 g matcha-an, matcha flavoured white bean paste

100 g mochiko 糯粉, Japanese glutinous/sweet rice flour
100 g cane sugar
50 g granulated sugar
200 ml water
Matcha for sprinkling
Katakuriko 片栗粉, potato starch, for dusting

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, set a steamer rack down

2. Weigh out the mochiko, add water and stir with a whisk, then add sugar.  You can use a granulated sugar entirely for extra white mochi

3. Cover bowl with foil and set it on the steamer rack

4. Steam mochiko for 20 minutes, stir twice in between

5. Prepare a dish with plenty of potato starch in it

6. Once the mochi dough is cooked, it will become translucent, scrape the dough onto the potato starched plate

7. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more potato starch and allow to cool

8. How cool?  Cool enough that you can tolerate handling it, but not cold.

9. Prepare a small plate with potato starch in it

10. Portion out your bean paste to about 10 g a piece, roll to form balls.  You can dust it with potato starch to keep from sticking

11. Use a wet knife or a pizza cutter if you have, cut the dough into approximately 3"x3" pieces

12. Dust your hands with potato starch and take a piece of mochi dough in your hand.  Stick and reshape if necessary by massaging it between your palms.  If it is sticky, dust with more starch

13. Flatten the dough somewhat in your palms and place a piece of filling in the center

14. Gather the edges and pinch the seams to close, massage the mochi between your palms to smooth and shape.  Dust with more potato starch if sticky and brush off excess with a pastry brush

15. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift a tiny bit of matcha on top of the mochi if desired

Yield: 10 mochi

I personally find these mochi to be very soft, as in, it spreads a bit when you set it down.  But on the upside, it doesn't get dry and hard after spending a night in the fridge.  The texture is also very soft and fluffy.  The  more I eat, the more I find I just the like mochi dough and can have less of the filling, but that's just me because visually and even the texture, the dough to filling ratio is good.

Match mochi 抹茶餅
top dusted with matcha powder as a marker
But dust less matcha as having this much made it a bit dry and bitter

Mr. Meow had been looking forward to me making mochi.  Though he seemed a bit...disappointed (?) at the result.  I must admit, red bean is underwhelming at best, kinda "meh".  It's good, but it is what it is, it has no "wow" factor to it.  The matcha one, I like, however, Mr. Meow has not acquired a taste for matcha yet and ranks it below the red bean.  The half and half one is also equally good, yet underwhelming.

Red bean

Mr. Meow was actually hoping for peanut or black sesame filling.  Well then.

 Meow also made a couple of tabletop softboxes to increase the amount of light for photographing the food.  It did bring a bit more of the true colours of the food out and there are no bits hiding in the shadows.  The softboxes also took out a lot of the yellow tint in the soft white lighting that's in the house.  It made editing photos afterwards almost non-existent!

Did you know that this dish is a 1920's Noritake antique dish?
I didn't either until a week ago!

My half-and-half matcha-red bean mochi

I bought some roasted black sesame, so maybe Meow will make some black sesame ones at some point.  I don't wanna make peanut ones really as it doesn't seem too traditionally Japanese.

*Edit: This recipe of flour and water ratio still gives the best texture of mochi dough.  With the addition of light corn syrup (15 g), it is even softer and more pliable.  There is also no taste, texture, or handling difference in this case between mochiko and shiratama-ko as some recipes will call for.

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