Sasa Mochi with Sweet Kinako (Kinako Mochi Recipe)
As you may know, the traditional Japanese food, Mochi (餅), is a plain rice cake made of glutinous rice called Mochi Gome (餅米).
Mochi is available in various forms, and the sweets made with the cake or with a texture like Mochi are generally called Mochi Gashi (餅菓子).
Mochi is a staple in the winter in Japan, commonly eaten in soup dishes, plus we enjoy it as Mochigashi throughout the year.
Sasa Dango is a grass-mixed Mochi cake, pounded with mugwort called Yomogi (蓬), and wrapped with sweet red bean paste called Anko (餡子).
In its name, Sasa (笹) stands for the bamboo leaves used as a wrapper for the confection, which has a bactericidal effect, and people favored the dumpling as a portable food in the old days.
Sasa Mochi (笹餅)
Moving on to the main topic, I got this piece of Sasa Mochi (笹餅) from my family today.
Sasa Mochi is a variant of Sasa Dango. It is a plain steamed Mochi wrapped with a bamboo leaf, so I prepared Kinako (きな粉) roasted soy flour for the rice cake.
The white cake is edible as is, but since the yellow flour Kinako usually comes in unseasoned, I added some sugar to it for sweetness.
As the bamboo leaf wrapper prevents the Mochi from drying, the rice cake inside retains its moisture and is fresh.
I made Kinako Mochi (きな粉餅) by coating the Mochi with the Kinako and deliciously enjoyed it!
Kinako Mochi Recipe
For the unfamiliar, Kinako Mochi is a traditional Mochi dish that’s long been a favorite of us Japanese.
Nowadays, even if you are not in Japan, it is relatively easy to get Mochi and Kinako on the net, so last, let me explain how we prepare Kinako Mochi.
How to Prepare Kinako
As mentioned above, store-bought Kinako is usually unsweetened, so first, add your desired amount of sugar and a pinch of salt to it.
How to Prepare Mochi
Plus, Mochi packs sold online usually come dried, so let’s tenderize it first. Then coat it with the sweetened Kinako, like this.
- Bring a pot of (plenty of) water to a boil.
- Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add a few pieces of Mochi.
- Let the rice cakes cook in the water until soft, about a few minutes.
- Once soft enough, take them out of the pot and coat them with the prepared Kinako.
- Transfer the Mochi to a plate and enjoy!
- Note: the cooked Mochi is sticky and stretchy, so please be cautious not to choke on it.
(Reference Page: Kotobank 笹餅 )