Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi)
This is the first time I’ve eaten an Ichigo Daifuku so I can say it the best I’ve ever eaten ?. This is the second time making mochi and I don’t think I’ve shared the method I found on the net that makes this so easy to prepare. Normally, the traditional Japanese method is to prepare glutinous rice and then pound it for hours and hours. OK I do NOT have time for that so there is a shortcut. Does the shortcut make exactly the same chewy texture we so love about mochi, not quite, but it is good enough for most of us except diehard mochi perfectionists (not me).
115 g glutinous rice flour
60 g sugar
125 mL water
8 tbsp anko
8 small strawberries
1 tbsp potato starch (preferred by Japanese) or cornstarch
- In a large bowl, mix together the 1 heaped cup of glutinous rice flour, 4 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 cup of water until combined.
- Loosely cover with cling wrap and microwave for 1 minute.
- With the spoon, give it a quick mix, re-cover and pop back in for another minute.
- Get a spatula, and wet it in water. Pull the mochi away from the sides and fold it in until it's a rough dough ball shape. It should be sticky and pliable, with the colour turning from bright white to a more translucent cream.
- Spread the cornstarch on a clean dry surface, and pop the mochi onto it using the wet spatula. Cover it with cornstarch until it's no longer sticky, molding it into a thick and flat disc, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- make 8 tbsp size balls of anko and place on a plate
- Clean and hull 8 small strawberries
- wrap each strawberry with the anko all around leaving just the tip of the strawberry exposed.
- Repeat until all the strawberries are wrapped in anko.
Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more cornstarch. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, ideally with a bench scraper (it can be easier to visualize if you cut the round into fourths and then divide each of those in half).
Dust your hands with a little cornstarch before handling the sticky dough (an excessive amount will dry out the dough too much and make forming the balls harder). Roll a piece into a ball, then flatten into a disc 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. The dough should be soft and malleable. Place the anko covered strawberry in the center of your disk of mochi with the exposed tip of the strawberry pointing down. Then gradually and careful fold the disk of mochi over the anko covered strawberry twisting to seal the dough.
It can help to flip the round seam side down to form it into a neater ball. Roll the mochi in the cornstarch pressing a little to help it adhere, reshaping the ball as needed. If your hands are feeling sticky, just dust again with cornstarch. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling (you may have some filling left over, which can be stirred into yogurt or oatmeal). Work as quickly and confidently as you can so the dough doesn’t get too cold.