Fruitti Daifuku

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Strawberry daifuku mochis

Mochis flavored with macha (green tea powder), red bean and custard I have eaten but not fruit mochis. I first read about ichiko daifuku mochis (strawberry glutinous rice sweets) on Bento's blog and then Guambat's blog. Remember the strawberries Yolanda brought back from LA? They made delightful mochis, especially when chilled, wrapped in a layer of koshi-an or red bean paste followed by another layer of glutinous rice dough. A couple of days ago I made more daifukus, filling them with mangoes, kiwis and even red dragonfruit. Surprisingly, they didn't taste as good as strawberry daifukus. I had made the glu wrapper too soft but the real problem I think was fruits like mangoes and kiwis go mushy easily. Next time, I'll stick to red bean filling or firm fruits like strawberries.

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My friend Tina insists that to make good mochis, you must use Japanese glutinous rice flour which is not available here. Since I can't tell the difference if I don't have anything to compare with, I just used our local glu rice flour. Although making the mochi dough is easy (it is like making Chinese che fa bun, those glu balls with a filling of sugar and ground peanuts), wrapping the mochi isn't because the dough is very sticky and to get an equally thick layer of glu dough around the piece of fruit is not easy. You can see I've had some struggle with my mochis because they don't have a smooth skin.

I have reduced the sugar to as minimal as it can get because there's enough sweetness from the red bean paste. I recommend that you reduce or increase the amount of water to get the texture you like, but remember the mochis taste better chilled and they do get firmer in the fridge. Also. do experiment with different fillings, including peanut butter and chocolate.

Daifuku Mochis

The filling:
firm fruits
red bean paste

For dusting: 1 cup cornstarch

The mochi skin/wrapper:
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 to 2 T fine sugar
3 /4 cup water (or 1 cup if you like your mochi soft)

1. Mix the above mochi wrapper ingredients into a smooth batter. For green tea mochis, add 1 t macha (green tea powder) to the batter. You can either microwave the batter for 3 min, take out and give it a stir and microwave another 2 min, or you can steam it in a shallow dish for 15 min. The cooked dough will be tranlucent-white.

2. While the batter is being cooked, get ready your filling and the plate of cornstarch which is necessary to keep the mochis from sticking to each other. If using fruits, cut the fruits into small thumb-sized pieces and wrap them in red bean paste or chilled peanut butter, rolling them as round as you can. You can also use plain red bean paste.

3. When cooked dough is still hot, use a tablespoon to scoop and another spoon to help scrap the dough onto the plate of cornflour until all dough is portioned into small tablespoon lumps on the cornstarch. Don't make the glu dough too big if your filling is small; you don't want to eat too much glu dough. Now dust your fingers and palms and flatten a piece of dough (will be still quite hot so be careful) and put in the filling, then wrap dough up and seal the opening with a tight pinch. Repeat until all dough is used up. Chill the mochis before serving.