Sasa Mochi with Sweet Kinako Flour (Kinako Mochi Recipe)
“Mochi (餅)” is a traditional Japanese plain rice cake made of “Mochi Gome (餅米)”, a type of glutinous rice.
In Japan, Mochi is available in various forms and the sweets made with the glutinous rice cake or with the texture like Mochi are generally called “Mochi Gashi (餅菓子)“.
Mochi is a food often eaten sweet or savory in soups during the winter months in Japan, but it can actually be enjoyed as Mochigashi throughout the year.
Quite a few regions in Japan have their own unique specialty Mochigashi and the representative example includes Niigata Prefecture’s “Sasa Dango (笹団子)” and Nagano and Gifu Prefectures’ specialty “Gohei Mochi (五平餅)“.
Sasa Dango is a grass-mixed Mochi rice cake pounded with a mugwort called “Yomogi (蓬)” and sweet Anko red bean paste is wrapped in the green rice dough.
Actually, “Sasa (笹)” in Sasa Dango refers to bamboo leaves which are used as a wrapper for the confection. The bamboo leaf has a bactericidal effect and the Sasa Dango dumpling was favored as a portable food in the old days.
Sasa Mochi (笹餅)
Today, I got this Sasa Mochi from my family. Sasa Mochi is a variant of Sasa Dango, just a steamed plain Mochi rice cake wrapped with a bamboo leaf, so I prepared “Kinako (きな粉)”, roasted soybean flour, for it.
Since the yellow roasted soybean flour usually comes in unseasoned, I added in some sugar for sweetness.
Sasa Mochi can be eaten as it is without additional cooking. Since the bamboo leaf prevents the Mochi inside from drying, the rice cake is fresh, chewy and sticky, and retains a moderate moisture content.
Coating the Mochi with the Kinako, I enjoyed the rice cake with the soybean powder coating “Kinako Mochi (きな粉餅)”.
Kinako Mochi Recipe
Kinako Mochi is a traditional yet simple Mochi dish that has long been loved by us Japanese. Nowadays, it is relatively easy to get Mochi and Kinako even in countries outside of Japan, so finally let me explain how Kinako Mochi is prepared.
How to Prepare Kinako
As mentioned above, the ready-made Kinako flour sold in the store is usually unsweetened, so add a proper amount of sugar and a pinch of salt to it for sweetness.
How to Prepare Mochi
The Mochi packs available on online shopping sites usually come in dried form. Therefore, first you need to tenderize the Mochi rice cake.
- Bring a pot of plenty of water to a boil
- Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add in and entirely immerse a few pieces of the rice cake in the water until soft, about a few minutes
- When they become soft enough, take them out from the pot and coat with the sweet Kinako flour
- Enjoy Kinako Mochi!
- Note that the cooked Mochi rice cake is very sticky and chewy, so please be cautious not to choke on it