Strawberry Mochi is a Japanese sweet and it is also known as Ichigo daifuku or strawberry daifuku. This eye-catching Japanese dessert is a cute strawberry wrapped with sweet bean paste and mochi. Surprisingly it is actually easy to make. Keep reading for I am going to show you how.
What is Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry mochi is known as Ichigo Daifuku in Japan and is very popular. It appeared about 30 years ago in Japan while I was still living in Ise city. There isn’t a clear indication of who invented it or where it began.
However I believe it started from a little Japanese sweet shop in Tsu city in Mie prefecture. I lived in Ise city, famous for the Ise Shrine, right next to Tsu city. I remember driving for about one hour to Tsu city to buy these sweets. It was sensational!
Hero Ingredient: strawberry
Whoever placed the strawberry in the centre of Daifuku sweet(大福餅) is genius. Strawberry’s tangy sweetness match perfectly with sweet bean paste and mochi. So pick fresh strawberries which are in season and also choose small round ones, because they are easy to handle and look cute when wrapped with bean paste and mochi.
Red bean paste or White bean paste
You have seen strawberry mochi wrapped with sweet red bean paste or sweet white bean paste. Both delicious of course, so it comes to your preference. I prefer white bean paste because that’s what I used to buy and eat in Japan. You can buy Sweetened Red Beans from Asian grocery shops or Japanese grocery stores or online. Also, you can make red bean paste and white bean paste from scratch.
How to make mochi?
Mochi is made by pounding steamed mochigome rice which is short-grain Japonica glutinous rice. But to make this sweet treat, there is a way to make mochi easily, using rice flour called “Shiratamako”. Same way as to make mochi ice cream.
Two different ways to wrap the strawberry mochi
The classic ichigo daifu that I used to buy had the strawberry is in the centre of mochi. The strawberry is completely wrapped inside the sweet bean paste and mochi.
2. Ichigo daifuku in Tokyo
I went back to Japan last year and visited Tsukiji fish market and strolled along where street food stalls are packed with tourists. The appearance of ichigo daifuku was different from the classic one. The strawberry was stuck between the snipped top of daifuku mochi.
If you are going to make this type, skip step 3 and 4 in the recipe below. Instead, divide the sweet bean paste into 6, shape them to round ball shape and set aside. Make mochi by following the direction in the recipe, wrap the bean paste ball. Then snip the top of the daifuku with clean kitchen scissors and stick a strawberry into the cut.
In terms of taste, both are delicious because they use the same ingredients. It’s just a different way to present. I found the Tokyo style is easier to make. Because when you wrap up with mochi, the filling is smaller without the strawberry is easier to handle. Then cut up the top of daifuku in order to stick a strawberry in.
What to serve with the strawberry mochi?
Japanese sweets are very … sweet. They are great served with Japanese tea, such as matcha green tea, matcha latte, green tea, and hojicha. Of course English tea and coffee are good too, but I think Japanese tea is more suited to balance the sweetness.
Tips to make Strawberry mochi
- Choose fresh and smaller strawberries if you are going to make the classic one. If the strawberry is out of season but you still want to make daifuku, you can choose different fruit such as kiwifruit and pineapple pieces.
- If you are going to prepare sweet bean paste from scratch, make it a day before.
- Use a generous amount of potato starch to handle the mochi. It is very sticky. For this recipe, you need about 1/2 cup of potato starch. Once the mochi is shaped, you can brush off excess potato starch.
I hope you enjoy making Strawberry mochi. Please rate and comment below. I’m happy to hear from you, so any comments and questions are appreciated to help improve Chopstick Chronicles. Thank you for reading.
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- 180 g Shiratamako
- 30 g sugar
- 200 ml water
- Katakuriko potato starch *1
- 180 g sweet white bean paste *2
- 6 medium sized strawberry
- wash the strawberries and cut off stems.
- Divide the white bean paste into 30g balls.
- Flatten the white bean paste and place a strawberry (pointy end down) on the center.
- wrap the strawberry with white bean paste and shape it back into a round ball. Set aside
- Place Shiratamako and sugar in a large heat proof bowl and add water.
- Stir and mix well
- Cover with cling wrap and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the microwave. It should look partly floury and partly should be starting to resemble mocha texture.
- Take the bowl out of the microwave, stir well with a wooden spatula and microwave further for 1 minute. The mochi should look translucent.
- Scatter enough Karakuriko (potato starch) on the rolling mat and empty the mochi from the bowl onto the starch
- Divide the mochi into 6 pieces and roll out flat till each circle is around 10 cm in diameter.
- Place the white bean paste wrapped strawberry (strawberry tip facing down) on the rolled out mochi.
- Gather the edge of mochi wrapping and wrap the strawberry with mochi using well dusted hands.
- Close the mochi ends at the top with your well dusted finger and shape it into a nice round shaped daifuku mochi.
- Repeat the above process for the remaining mochi and strawberries.