The Fresh Loaf

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Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi)

Benito's picture

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.

    Serve immediately.


justkeepswimming's picture

Oh my!! These look amazing! That flavor combination sounds soooo good. Curious if "serve immediately" is code for "they are already gone", lol.

Nicely done!

Benito's picture

Mary very surprisingly only two have been eaten.  My partner had the first one because he was off to work and I of course had to try one for quality control purposes only of course.  So we have a few left.  I’ll bring a few to work, one of the doctors I work with would like one she is half Japanese so I guess I’ll hear how I did with making these for the first time.

I had made regular Daifuku mochi once before, I don’t think I posted that here for some reason.  They went very quickly.


alfanso's picture

You're starting to make everything look easy.  If I need an appendectomy, I'm coming to you because I know it will be a great job with a clean-stitched closure.

About 15 years ago we were in Maui and there is a Mochi store there Maui Specialty Chocolates? in Kahului that was well known to the taiko players in my wife's group.  We wound up taking a number requests from the group to bring back with us.

This was my favorite way to pound mochi, I'll use it on my next mix instead of French Folds, although I almost lost both hands to it long ago.

A while back we saw a Mochi mallet in some "antique" store, and actually gave it a quick thought but then passed on it. 

Benito's picture

Actually I love suturing lacerations, it was one of those things when I worked in the ER I always wanted to do all the lacerations that came in.  Then during my surgical rotation during clerkship (fourth year of medical school) the surgeons noticed how good I was a suturing they soon had me close up the skin on many of their cases.  Ultimately I didn’t go into surgery because I found it hard to stand in one place for so many hours at a time so figured if it was hard then when I was young what would it be like years later when I was not.

I love those videos of how those guys pound the mochi, it is so dangerous but of course they have practiced so many time. You’ll need a helper who can keep to your timing if you want to try that method of building gluten the next time you bake bread Alan, it won’t be me volunteering.

Kistida's picture

Very lovely creation Benny! ??

Benito's picture

Thanks so much, they’re surprisingly easy to put together if a bit messy because of all the corn starch.  Perfect snack or dessert for the spring.


HeiHei29er's picture

Benny, your bakes keep exposing me to things I never knew existed.  ?

They look delicious.  I don’t know what anko tastes like, but strawberries and blueberries are summertime favorites.

Benito's picture

Anko is actually very yummy and is in many Asian desserts.  As you may know it is made from the azuki bean, usually a small red bean although there are other versions such as a green bean which isn’t as popular.  It has a very mild bean flavor but when used in desserts I find the flavor more nutty than beany, it is of course, sweetened when made.  Making the anko from scratch in an instant pot makes it so easy and you can adjust the sweetness, but buying it from the store already made is possible as well.

I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to see these but since I made them I thought I’d share, they have nothing to do with bread and aren’t even baked.  The shaping is very much like shaping buns though!


Sugarowl's picture

I recently saw a blog where someone tried to recreate the pounding with their Kitchenaid dough hook. It seemed to work pretty well. Now I just need to find either sweet rice or the flour here. Do you have a favorite brand? I won't be able to drive over to the asian grocery store until things settle down here, it's almost 2 hours away. The closest I get to mochi is the strawberry mochi ice cream at Target. Our local "ethnic" section carries sushi rice, but no sweet rice unfortunately. I've seen Shiratama rice flour online, but it seems hard to get right now.

Which medical profession did you end up going into? My Dad retired a few years ago from being a pediatrician, he also worked in the ICU a lot back when beepers were a thing. His retirement consists of volunteering at a kids' medical camp as often as he can.

Benito's picture

2 hours from your nearest Asian grocer, I’m not sure I could handle that!  These are only the second set of mochi I’ve ever made, so I don’t have a favorite, but the one I purchased is Mochiko brand.  Mochiko is actually California grown and was quite inexpensive compared to the other brands that were on the shelves.  

I’m a Family Physician who specializes in HIV care.  I like caring for the whole person while also being able to provide specialized care as well.  When I started practice, most of our HIV + patients died.  It was a very sad and difficult time to be in HIV care.  I was providing so much palliative care at the time helping patients dying at home comfortable.  Now things are so much better and there is an expectation that patients who take their medications correctly and don’t smoke will live a normal life expectancy, practicing medicine now is so much better, well except for COVID-19 now of course.

MichaelLily's picture

I’ve done the kitchenaid way. I recall using the paddle. It worked great (it is very sticky!). I seem to recall just making plain sticky rice and then beating it for quite a while with the paddle.

Benito's picture

Yes I had read about doing it that way.  I may try that once I run out of my supply of Mochiko rice flour, however, this method is so fast and easy I would only switch if it would make the mochi much better.