Daifuku Mochi is rice cake with Anko, sweet red bean paste, inside. Daifuku Mochi is one of the most traditional but very popular Japanese sweets. It was first made almost 700 years ago, but not as a sweet dessert. Then, sugar was rare, but Daifuku became more like today’s when sugar was more readily available to people (even though it was still very precious) 200 years ago. Today, you can buy Daifuku Mochi everywhere in Japan, from Japanese sweet shops to convenience stores. People like us living outside Japan may not have such access to this delicious dessert, however, once again, we can make it at home! Homemade Daifuku is so soft and yummy, and surprisingly easy to make if you follow the steps. Once you taste it, you may not want store-bought ones any more anyway. Mochi is Japanese sticky rice cake used both in savory and sweet dishes. Mochi is usually made from sweet rice (also called Mochi rice) cooked and pounded until it becomes a paste that is very sticky and smooth. The paste is then formed into cakes or blocks. Although Mochi rice is called “sweet” rice, it is not sweet at all, but it is super sticky. Mochi is often eaten in New Year’s Ozoni soup or baked with soy sauce. Mochi made from cooked sweet rice doesn’t stay fresh and soft too long, and usually needs to be cooked to be able to be eaten again. And that’s the reason why here we made Sweet Mochi using Mochiko (sweet rice flour) and sugar. It is much more pliable and soft for an extended time, but the taste is not compromised. It is crucial to use Mochiko, sweet rice flour, in this recipe to make the chewy texture of Mochi we’re looking for. Regular rice flour would not do the job. Mochiko is basically powdered sweet rice. It becomes Mochi by adding water and steaming. Because it is a powder, it is easier to have Mochiko in your pantry longer, and it is much simpler to use it to make Mochi than pounding steamed sweet rice. Mochiko is often available in regular supermarkets in the US (Mochiko can also be used as a thickening agent), Japanese markets, of course, and also online stores. Anko can be bought at Japanese supermarkets if they are near by you, however, we have a great recipe for it. Make it ahead to cool completely. If you like Mochi sweets, you will love this. It is tasty, and also fun to make!
- 1 cup Mochiko (sweet rice flour) (160g)
- 3/4 cup water (180ml)
- 3/4 cup sugar (150g)
- Katakuriko (potato starch) or cornstarch
- Anko (half the recipe)
- Mix Mochiko and water in a glass (or other heat proof) bowl and mix well.
- Add some more water if it's too dry, 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Steam the Mochiko dough (leaving the dough in the bowl) in a steamer for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the steamed Mochi into a pot and cook at medium to medium low heat with 1/3 of the sugar (1/4 cup). When the sugar is completely dissolved, add another 1/3 of the sugar and mix well. Add the last part of the sugar and cook some more until the sugar is dissolved. Take the time to melt the sugar, but be careful not to burn it.
- Take the hot Mochi out from the pot onto a sheet pan liberally dusted with Katakuriko or cornstarch.
- Cut some Mochi out, and wrap the Mochi around a ball of Anko (size of a heaping tablespoon). Pinch the end of Mochi to seal. Serve it with the seam side down.