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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Konashi- Japanese sweets

Konashi is a kneaded sweet bean paste made by mixing
koshian (smooth red
bean paste) with flour. It is steamed and kneaded allowing it to be formed into
various shapes.

white koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) 300gm (10.6oz) (a little harder than for the centers)
flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
mitsu (sugar water syrup)
white koshian (sweet bean paste) 200gm (7oz) for centers
food colorings

For the mitsu - (This sugar water syrup can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator.)
Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.
When the sugar is melted transfer to a glass container and let it cool.

For the konashi - Knead the flour and mochiko into the koshian until it is completely incorporated.

Place the mixture in a cloth lined steamer and steam over medium/high heat for approximately 15 minutes
or until all of the raw flour taste is gone.

Remove the cloth, and bean paste, from the steamer and knead further using clean damp cotton towels.
As you knead the bean paste, slowly incorporate the sugar.
(If the bean paste gets too sticky it can be kneaded using plastic film like Saran Wrap.)

Once the sugar has been completely incorporated, and the bean paste has cooled slightly,
the mitsu can be added. Continuing to use a damp towel knead in a small amount of the mitsu (approx. 1 to 2tsp).
Coat the outside of the konashi with some mitsu and place in a glass bowl to cool completely for several hours.
The bowl can be covered with plastic wrap after it cools to prevent it from drying out.
When ready to use, knead further using a little mitsu on your hands to prevent sticking.

NOTE - If coloring or flavoring is going to be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu.

To make aoume, green plum shaped sweets,
prepare green konashi using green and yellow color.

Wrap about 25gm (.88oz) green konashi around a 15gm (.5oz) ball of white an (sweet bean paste).
Using a small piece of wood with sharp edges (like a kamaboko [fish cake] board),
press the pointed edge into the end of the konashi.
Rotate the sharp edge of the board to opposite side creating an indented line.

One recipe makes approximately 10 to 12 sweets.

To make chrysanthemum shaped sweets,
prepare light yellow, or other suitable colored, konashi.

Wrap about 30gm (1oz) konashi around a 15gm (0.5oz) ball of white an (sweet bean paste).
The finished shape should be slightly flattened and not round like a ball.
Using a small piece of wood with a sharp edge (like a kamaboko [fish cake] board),
press the pointed edge into the center of the konashi.
Rotate the sharp edge of the board to the far outside surface creating an indented line.
Do this many times around the sweet so you create the shape of a chrysanthemum.
A little white an that has been pressed through a fine sieve can be placed in the center of the finished sweet.
(You can make a little indentation in the center of the sweet with your finger before placing the an in.)

One recipe makes approximately 10 to 12 sweets.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kudzu Mochi

Kudzumochi are chewy cakes made of kudzuko. Kuzuko is the starch powder made from kuzu or kudzu plant root. It's used for thickening sauce or making cool desserts in Japanese cooking. Kudzumochi are semi transparent and often served with kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and kinako (soy bean flour).

Macha Kudzu Mochi -
25g Hon-Kudzu - Real Kudzu Powder (0.88 oz)
15g Granulated Sugar (0.53 oz)

1/2 tsp Matcha - Powdered Green Tea
125cc Water (0.53 u.s. cup)

Anko - Red Bean Paste
Dairy Cream

** If you use Katakuriko (Potato Starch), try the following recipe.
200ml Water (0.845 u.s. cup)
4 tbsp Katakuriko - Potato Starch
3 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Matcha - Powdered Green Tea

- Regular Kudzu Mochi -
25g Hon-Kudzu - Real Kudzu Powder (0.88 oz)
10g Kibi Sugar - Similar to Brown Sugar but Less Bitterness (0.35 oz)
125cc Water (0.53 u.s. cup)

Kinako - Toasted Soybean Flour
Kuromitsu - Brown Sugar Syrup

** If you use Katakuriko (Potato Starch), try the following recipe.
200ml Water (0.845 u.s. cup)
4 tbsp Katakuriko - Potato Starch
2 tbsp Sugar


In a mixing bowl,add Kudzu powder,
sift mocha powder into the bowl
Add granulated sugar,and 1/3 of the water
Mix well until combined before stirring
in the remaining water.

Tranfer the mixture to a heating pot
by straining it through a sift.

In a seperate mixing bowl,add Kudzu powder,
Add kibi sugar,and 1/3 of the water
Mix well until combined before stirring
in the remaining water.

Tranfer the mixture to a bowl
by straining it through a sift.

Wet the sides of two baking pans
by rinsing with warm water.

Heat the Matcha Kudzu mochi mixture
by stirring it over meduim heat.
Bring it down to low heat,when bottom
starts to thickens.

Turn down the heat when mixture becomes
translucent,and continue to stir for 2 more

Pour mixture into one of the
baking tray.Cover with plastic wrap
Let cool.

Repeat the same for
the Regular Kudzu mochi mixture
from * onwards.

Cut the Matcha and Regular mochi into squares,
serve with Red Bean Paste and Dairy Cream &s
Toasted Soybean Flour and Brown Sugar Syrup.

Ichigo Daifuku

Mochi is a after meal desserts for the japanese,Ichigo daifuku is basically strawberry in a mochi.
Daifuku was originally called Harabuto mochi(腹太餅), which means one can fill up his stomach by eating it, (hmm, probably because of the generous amount of filling and the glutinous rice dough?).
Later, the name was changed to Daifuku mochi(大腹餅, big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku(腹, belly) and Fuku(福, fortune) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi(大福餅), and eventually it is known as Daifuku(大福, big fortune).

For the standard mochi skin you need

100g Shiratamako/Mochiko - Glutinous Rice Flour (3.53 oz)
2 tbsp Sugar
95-100ml Water (3.21-3.38 u.s. fl oz)

For the fillings you need

Katakuriko -Potato/ Katakuri Starch (for dusting)
150g Anko - Sweet Red Bean Paste (5.29 oz)
6 Strawberries (15g/0.53 oz per piece)

First remove leaves from strawberries.

Divide Red Bean Paste into 6 equal portions
Rolling them into balls.

Place strawberry in the center of Red Bean paste,
by pressing down the red bean paste
encasing the strawberry.
(place on a plate,cover with plastic wrap and set aside)

Dust baking dish with corn starch.

In a bowl, mix Glutinous Rice Flour & sugar with water.
Place into steamer,steam for 15 mins.

Scrap the mixture, onto the baking dish.
Knead to form dough of sixs,make into balls flatten.

Wrap the fillings in the center of the dough.
Ida takimasu!
Mochi made with mochi-ko are more sticky and less elastic, they dissolve more quickly on eating and do not have such a "rubbery" consistency, on comparisons mochi from Shiratama-ko are more elastic and subtle in flavor.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Barley with Ginko Nuts

This is one of my favourite Chinese desserts of all time. Also known as fu chok (foo chuk), this dessert tastes light, refreshing and nourishing.
It is also really easy to make, i typically likes my mums version with quail eggs.

Be sure to buy the soft type of bean curd skin sheets to make this dessert. The other type, which looks alike but is harder and oilier, is more suitable for making Chinese style meat stews
The pheasant eggs gives a extra kick to it.

Using prepared ginko nuts makes it easier to prepare this desserts. In chinese medicine
, ginko nuts is used in treating chronic coughing and asthma. Promotes the functions of the lungs and kidneys and helps strengthen the vascular system and reduces clots to improve hearing. It improves blood circulation in the eye,preventing macular degeneration.

Ginkgo side effects and cautions include: possible increased risk of bleeding, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness. It should be consumed in moderation. Pregnant women should avoid using them.
For now, let's get your stove up, and gather the things and stuff needed.


150g pearl barley

150g prepared gingko nuts

50g dried beancurd skin

150g rock sugar

2.5 litres water

3 pandan leaves, knotted

2 egg whites

2o quail eggs


1. Soak dried beancurd skin in water with 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda for about 20 mins until soft. Rinse and tear into smaller pieces.
Hardboil pheasant eggs in a pot of boiling water. Let cool, unshell and set aside.

2. Rinse barley in several changes of water and place in a pot with the water, pandan leaves and beancurd skin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until barley grains are tender.

3. Add the gingko nuts and and rock sugar and simmer for another 10 to 15 mins.

4. Beat egg whites lightly until well mixed. Slowly drizzle into pot to form thin strands. Stir well to mix with barley mixture. Throw in the quail eggs. Serve hot or cold.


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