8 Popular Types of Daifuku Mochi Rice Cake
Mochi (餅) is a traditional Japanese food customarily eaten during the winter season in Japan.
It is a sticky plain white rice cake made of glutinous rice Mochi-Gome (餅米) and prepared as the main ingredient in various winter dishes, such as Oshiruko (お汁粉) and these simple treats I introduced before.
Additionally, we often consume the Mochi rice cake as an ingredient for sweets and candies, and representative examples of such treats include Daifuku (大福).
Daifuku Mochi (大福餅)
By the way, have you ever eaten or heard of Daifuku? It is a quintessential Japanese Mochigashi (餅菓子) confection made with Mochi rice cake and also called Daifuku Mochi (大福餅).
Daifuku generally consists of a small round rice cake filled with Anko (餡子) sweetened red bean paste, whose surface typically has a cornstarch coating. Hence, the Mochi confection is not that sticky.
Since Daifuku Mochi is an inexpensive casual sweet commonly eaten in Japan as an afternoon snack with green tea, the treat is available at almost any supermarket and convenience store around the country.
Daifuku is one of the best-known or most popular Wagashi (和菓子) confections said to have its roots in Uzura Mochi (鶉餅), an ancient Mochi sweet shaped like a quail.
By miniaturizing Uzura Mochi, Daifuku Mochi was first made in 1771 by a widow named Otayo (おたよ), who lived in Edo (present-day Tokyo).
In addition to the regular white cake shown above, you can see various varieties of Daifuku Mochi today, and here, I will introduce eight representative types, four traditional and four modern.
4 Traditional Types of Daifuku Mochi
First, let me talk about four traditional types of Daifuku Mochi rice cake widely enjoyed in Japan for a long time.
Mame Daifuku (豆大福)
Since Mame (豆) means bean in Japanese, the outer rice dough of Mame Daifuku has black beans embedded throughout. As in the regular variety, this one usually has a filling of sweet red bean paste.
Kusa Daifuku (草大福)
As the word Kusa (草) means grass in Japanese, the dough of Kusa Daifuku uses Mochi-Gome mixed with mugwort or Yomogi (ヨモギ).
Shio Daifuku (塩大福)
Since Shio (塩) means salt in Japanese, the maker typically seasons Shio Daifuku with salt and sugar.
Shio-Mame Daifuku (塩豆大福)
As you can guess from the above, Shio-Mame Daifuku is salted and sweetened Mame Daifuku.
4 Modern Types of Daifuku Mochi
Lastly, these four types of Daifuku Mochi are popular in modern times.
Pudding Daifuku has a custard cream or custard pudding filling instead of Anko red bean paste. This one is a modern Daifuku Mochi first created by the confectionery shop Edoya Nagomi (江戸屋 和).
Shop Information: Edoya Nagomi (江戸屋 和)
Address: 6-3-28 Shimoteno, Himeji, Hyogo Pref. (Google Maps)
Open: 9:00 to 19:00
As the name suggests, Coffee Daifuku has a coffee-flavored Anko paste filling, sometimes accompanying fresh cream. The birthplace of Coffee Daifuku is the confectionery shop named Myochikurin (妙ちくりん).
Shop Information: Myochikurin (妙ちくりん)
Address: 3016-1 Tsunatori-machi, Isesaki, Gunma Pref. (Google Maps)
Open: (Weekdays) 10:00 to 18:00 (Saturday and Sunday) 9:00 to 18:00
Mont Blanc Daifuku
Mont Blanc Daifuku is a modern variety of Daifuku Mochi made with chestnut cream.
Ichigo Daifuku (いちご大福)
As the word Ichigo (いちご) means strawberry in Japanese, Ichigo Daifuku has a strawberry and Anko filling inside. In recent years, this one has been the top-selling variety.
Incidentally, you can see many variations of fruit Daifuku nowadays, which include Melon Daifuku, Grape Daifuku, and Peach Daifuku.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 大福 )