Disclosure: I received free products from the brand Happycall in exchange for writing this Sakura Mochi recipe post on the blog. Although the products were a gift, all opinions in this post remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
I am going to share Sakura Mochi recipes that I made with leftover salted sakura cherry blossom flowers to celebrate full sakura blossom in Japan right now.
Sakura mochi is often made and eaten at this time of the year to celebrate girls’ day,”Hinamatsuri” and cherry blossom season. It is a type of Japanese sweets made from pink coloured mochi, that resembles a pink sakura flower, filled with sweet red bean paste called An. And they are usually wrapped with salted sakura leaves. I have managed to buy pretty pink sakura flower online but did not think to buy sakura leaves as well. When you are outside of Japan, you need to be creative to just make Japanese things with the available ingredients. So instead of making it pink coloured and wrapped with sakura leaves, I just used the flower. In order to make this sakura mochi pretty and cute, I did not colour the rice so it would have a nice contrast with the pretty pink sakura flower.
In fact, Sakura mochi differs by the region of Japan. I am from Kansai region and this is the type of Sakura mochi which I grew up with, it is also called “Domyouji Mochi”. In the Kanto region, however, sweet red bean paste is wrapped with something a little bit like a crepe. To make the Kansai version Sakura Mochi, you need rice flour called Domyoujiko. Domyoujiko is steamed glutinous rice that is dried and made into coarsely crushed flour. Because that special Domyojiko flour is not available in Australia, I made a similar version by myself.
The glutinous rice was soaked in a bowl of water overnight. I drain the water and then pulse a few times in a food processor to crush the rice grain coarsely. Then steamed the rice in the Happycall ceramic pot and steamer. I really liked this ceramic pot and steamer set because it is pink, easy to steam, and very light. Just be careful when you handle the pot. The handles become very hot and you will burn yourself if you forget to use mittens. And I also used a smaller saucepan to make An.
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- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 200 g Sweet red bean paste (anko)
- 100 g water
- 50 g sugar
- 15 g salted sakura flower
Sugar syrup for shaping mochi
- 1/2 gelatine leaf 3cm x 3cm
- 100 g water
- 50 g sugar
- Soak the rice in water overnight.
- Soak the sakura flower in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- Scoop the flower onto a paper towel and tap dry with paper towel and set aside.
- Drain the rice and pulse the rice a few times in a food processor.
- Steam the rice for 20 minutes.
- Divide the an (red bean paste) into 10 balls (20g each) and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to boil to dissolve the sugar. Transfer the sugar water to a large bowl.
- Add the steamed rice to the large bowl. Stir the rice with a wooden spatula to let the rice absorb the sugar water.
- Make the sugar syrup for shaping by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to simmer. When the gelatine has dissolved, turn the heat off.
- 10. Brush some cling wrap sheet with the sugar syrup and place about 50 g of steamed rice and flatten the rice.
- 11. Place a red bean paste ball in the centre. Wrap it with cling wrap to shape it and cover the red bean paste ball with rice.
- 12. Repeat the same for the rest and decorate with the sakura flowers on top.