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Mochi is a Japanese treat that is made from glutinous rice flour and is usually slightly chewy and soft with an assortment of fillings inside. In most offerings, red bean paste is used. Although more commonly known as a Japanese food, it is known to be popular in other Asian countries with their own twists or variances.

What goes best with red bean? Grean Tea.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Belachan2 and have made my usual  changes to the recipe to suit my own tastes.

Green Tea Mochi with Red Bean Filling
Ingredients
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 tsp. green tea powder (for baking)
150ml water
1 tbs sugar

Red bean paste for filling (Recipe below)
Black sesame paste for filling (Recipe below)

Cornstarch for dusting (microwave cornstarch for 2 mins, let it cool completely before using) – Or you can light heat up the glutinous rice flour in a pan for a couple of minutes (don’t burn) and let it cool to room temperature.

Method

1. In a glass bowl, combine flour, green tea powder and water. Stir to mix well. Then add in the sugar, stir til sugar dissolved.

2. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir-well and check for doneness. If not, put it back for another 30 seconds, be careful not to burn it.

3. Flour the working surface with cornstarch and use a spoon to drop a ball of mochi on top and quickly cover it with starch. Divide into 8 or 10 pieces. Wrap the filling inside and cover with more cornstarch. Shape into balls and ready to serve.
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Red Bean Paste (From JustHungry)

Ingredients
2 cups washed azuki beans
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt

Method
1. Soak the beans in cold water to cover for 24 hours.

2. Drain the beans and put them in a pot with water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, boil for a minute then drain the beans. Rinse the beans briefly under cold running water and drain again. Put the beans back in the pot with fresh cold water, bring to a boil, then drain and rinse again. This twice-boiling gets rid of much of the surface impurities and makes the an taste cleaner.

3. Put the beans back in the rinsed pot, and add enough water so that it comes up to about 2cm/1 inch above the beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a low simmer. Add water if it boils away. Skim off any scum on the surface. Cook until the beans are completely cooked and falling apart. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

4. Put the pot of beans back on medium-low heat. Add the sugar and salt in 3-4 batches, while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula to distribute the sugar and salt evenly. When the sugar melts, it will exude moisture, but if it seems a bit too dry or sticking to the pot, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid back in. Continue cooking while stirring occasiontaly, until the sugar is completely melted and absorbed into the beans. This step takes 10-15 minutes.

5. At this point the beans should be soft enough to mash easily with the side of your spatula. You can also use a potato mssher. Turn out onto a plate to let cool.

Rice Cooker Method (not exact)

1. Add around 250g washed azuki beans into a rice cooker
2. Fill the bowl with water until it covers all the beans
3. Let it cook in there for a couple of hours or until the beans start to soften
4. In the middle of cooking in the rice cooker, add sugar (up to you) and add a a couple of pandan leaves for flavour.
5. Once the beans are soft, you can either mash them together with a cooking utensil until smooth. If you want a really fine paste, you’ll probably need to put it through a sieve a couple of items or try a food processor.

Black Sesame Paste (Not exact)
Ingredients
100 g Black Sesame Powder
2 tbs Icing Sugar
1 tbs Butter/Margarine (Soft)

Method

1. Add all the ingredients together, you can use a whisk or a fork to mix until it forms a paste.
2. If it doesn’t mix properly, add slightly more margarine/butter and mix. Similarly, if it isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add more until it suits you.

Impressions

This recipe is fantastic if you like soft and slightly chewy Mochi but my first warning is if you cannot eat them all in the day (how can you not?) then it usually hardens overnight. There are a few recipes that won’t do this but I find them to be more dense and tougher to eat.

My second warning is that, the rice ball after heated up is extremely sticky. So add the flour to your hands, and on the plate/table. You’ll get the hang of it after a couple of tries but flour up each time as otherwise it can be a total disaster when you try putting in the filling. You can always eat the disasters so that’s a plus anyway. This is always my go to recipe and although I said it was tricky, it is a very simple process.

Mochi’s are like the Macarons of the East. The filling and the rice ball is all up to you! Enjoy!

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