12 Jan 2010

大福の大冒険 - daifuku adventures

Daifuku is a type of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) and the kanji 大福 stands for "great fortune/luck". It is made from mochi (glutinous rice cake) and has a sweet filling inside. Usually there is anko but there are some that have whole pieces of fruit, like the いちご大福 (ichigo daifuku) which is shown in Obachan's blog. Daifuku is also covered in a thin layer of starch to prevent the skin from sticking to other daifuku and also to your hands.

Nowadays, commercial daifuku contain fillings such as melon, blueberry and cream etc. There are even daifuku with ice cream as fillings (LOTTE 雪見だいふく) which I have ate before. We bought a whole box with 24 packs which was at wholeseller's price since it was on an order form for restaurant use (it's cheaper that way).

Because commercial daifuku and ice cream daifuku is so expensive to buy in Australia, I decided to make my own. I made a small bucket full of anko (see photo here, I edited an old post) the other day because I wanted to make some snacks which use anko as a main ingredient. Daifuku is just one of the few I intend to make in the next few days.

Mixing the ingredients in a microwavable container

The recipe I used was posted up by Obachan. I didn't have some of the ingredients, so I edited the recipe by a bit. The following ingredients are the ones I used:

  • 150 grams glutinous rice flour
  • 170 mL water
  • 1/2 tsp maccha (ground green tea) powder
  • 1 Tb of anko for each mochi
  • potato starch for dusting

After mixing

Obachan's recipe was very detailed in the instructions and even had step by step photographs. For that reason, I'm not going to post a recipe up. Instead, a commentary of my experience in making daifuku.

Just came out of the microwave - 2 minutes in an 1000W microwave

Is this what elastic means?

Obachan was right, stirring the mochi requires a strong arm. It was very hard to stir, plus it's stickiness didn't really help.

Gave up! HAHA

If you think stirring the skin was tough, wait till you try to take it out of the container! I gave up using the wooden stick and used my hands. The above photo was how much I left in the container, because I gave up. Next time I'll use a ceramic bowl, since it's shallower.

Wrapping the daifuku

I ended up with 11 pieces of skin. I wrapped the mochi with 1 Tb of anko.

Cleaning up the container was a pain. The mochi was so sticky so I left it there to soak in warm water for a few hours and it still was sticky. Somewhat easier to clean though.

Ready to eat! いただきます♪ Best eaten fresh :) Do not refridgerate...the daifuku becomes hard.

Daifuku reminds me of the game Harvest Moon. At the end of the year, there is an "End of Year Festival" where all the villagers gather to make mochi (rice cake). The elderly avoid eating mochi as it can get stuck in their throat.

This actually happens in real life as well! Because of it's sticky and chewy texture, the mochi gets stuck in people's throat (especially the elderly) and they don't have the strength to cough it out. So it gets stuck and they end up choking to death. Scary huh?

I also happened to choke on daifuku on the very day I made it...