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Sakura Mochi (Cherry Blossom Rice Cake)

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Level: Hard

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Description

My mom used to make this for me when I was a little girl growing up for Japanese Girl’s Day (March 3). This year, my mom and I made this sweet treat together.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MOCHI (PINK RICE CAKE):
  • 3 cups Sweet Rice
  • 3 drops Red Food Coloring To Turn Rice Pink
  • 6 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 18 whole Cherry Blossom Leaves Or Preserved Fig Leaves (They're Not The Same)
  • _____
  • FOR THE RED BEAN FILLING:
  • 1 cup Azuki Beans
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 cups Water

Preparation

Tsubushi An (red bean filling):

Wash beans in cold water. Bring beans to a boil in a saucepan (it’s faster if you cover it with a lid), then drain the water. Add 3 cups of water and bring beans to a simmer over medium heat and cook until soft, stirring every so often (again, covering pot with a lid). If the water evaporates before the beans are soft, add just a LITTLE bit of water (most of the liquid should be evaporated by the time it’s fully cooked). Once it’s cooked, add sugar, stirring the mixture, breaking up the beans so that most of the beans have been ground/mashed.

Mochi (pink rice cake):

Wash rice very thoroughly until clear. Soak rice in water, dropping a few drops of red food coloring until the rice looks pink. Let sit for 4 hours. You can either steam the rice until cooked or cook it with ample water in a rice cooker.

Add 6 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt to the rice and mix thoroughly, crushing the rice as you mix.

Pickling the cherry blossom leaves:

Soak 18 (young) cherry blossom leaves in briny water (3 tablespoons of salt to 1/2 cup of water).

Assembly:

My mom taught me to use plastic cling wrap to lay about 2 tablespoons of rice on, flattening out so that it’s an oval shape so that the rice doesn’t stick to my hands.

Place about 2 teaspoons of tsubushi an in the center.

Fold the rice in half sealing the ends together.

Wrap with a leaf and enjoy!

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