I had this wonderful daifuku from the Japanese food store months ago. They probably brought this from Japan. The rice dough is really soft like a pillow which is a cross between a marshmallow and a gummy bear. The red beans are just perfectly sweetened. But they cost P80.00 per piece. I’ve wanted to make this for such a long time but I keep on putting if off but I’ve finally made it. When I first post a photo of daifuku on My Serendipitous Notes, I mentioned that I wasn’t satisfied. I think I’m satisfied with the result but not with the process. I was and still using local glutinous rice flour which is normally used for native desserts. So, if I use the Japanese rice flour, I think the result would have been better. But today it was really good.
Daifuku which literary means “great luck” is also called daifukumochi. Most people are quite confused between mochi and daifuku. But in Japanese preparations, daifuku is consist of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with anko, sweetened adzuki bean paste, which is the most common filling. So, daifuku is a type of mochi, while mochi is the glutinous rice dough which can be can be grilled, deep-fried, boiled or steamed serve in various ways. In the old days, mochi is made by pounding freshly cooked rice in a large wooden mortar and pestle.
Another type of daifuku is called ichigo daifuku which is stuffed with whole strawberry and covered with anko before wrapping it with mochi. This would be great when strawberries are in season. The gooey texture of the cooked glutinous rice, the velvety adzuki bean paste and the naturally fresh strawberry is such a great combination to try. There are a few versions of daifuku but for this post, I want to make a plain mochi with adzuki bean paste.
Anko- Sweet Adzuki Bean Paste
Anko (adzuki bean paste) is easy and simple to make. I don’t why I had such a fuss about it these past few days. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many ways on how to make the proper anko. There are some anko recipes that are quite elaborate, probably the more traditional ones. I even received advice from Kristy ( @mylittlespace ) and Mary ( @keeplearningkeepsmiling ) on what to do with the paste. They are both quite skillful in these kinds of preparation. After not being satisfied with the right consistency, I combined Kristy and Mary’s advice, dropped the recipes and allowed my cooking sensuality to direct my senses. Besides, anko can be smooth (koshian) or chunky (tsubuan). The addition of the oil helps create a smoother and silkier paste. I'm using rice bran oil because they're neutral in flavor and high in monunsaturated fat
Mochi can be cooked in the microwave, the rice cooker or the steamer. I tried cooking them in the microwave and the steamer. I don’t really use the microwave. This is probably the first time I’m using the microwave again after such a long time. I prefer to use the microwave for the rice dough because the cooked dough was less sticky to the hands and it was easier to work with. When dealing with this hot dough, mise en place should already be in place so everything goes on smoothly. It does help if you dust everything with flour/starch.
Daifuku is usually served as a snack with green tea. They also taste best on the day they’re made, so make only what you can eat within the day. But if you have company coming, just double the recipe.