Hi guys! Long time no blogging. Being a junior catching up with painting studio in college is a lot more difficult than I thought, I'm working on my final project now and getting ready for a second gallery showing next month as well. But while the weather is getting a little better, I decided to have a little picnic with some friends for a mock-Hanami. Since we didn't have some nice cherry blossom trees to gaze at, we picked some nice magnolia trees nearby instead. We all made lunch and I made ichigo daifuku and dango. They may seem like hard desserts to make but rest assured it's easier and cheaper to makethan buying expensive pre-made ones. Here's a recipe for the ichigo daifuku translated to U.S.measurements for those without Japanese measuring cups (they are different from U.S. cups so watch out if you're using a Japanese recipe)
3/4 cups sweet rice flour (also called mochiko or sticky rice flour) <- make sure you don't use regular rice flour or else it wont turn out right!!
2.5 tbsp sugar
180 ml water
sweet red bean paste (usually comes in bags or small cans)
potato starch or corn starch to keep your cutting
board and hands clean
12-15 small strawberries
1. Wash and cut stem off of small strawberries
2. use a sheet of plastic wrap or a spoon/knife to spread a thin layer of red bean paste around the strawberries. It's easy to dab some red bean onto plastic wrap, put a strawberry on top, and wrap the plastic like a candy wrapper to cleanly cover the strawberry.
3. mix sweet rice flour, sugar and water in a microwavable container with a lid and microwave for 2 minutes
4. mix contents well, a portion of it should start turning transparent
5. microwave again for 2 minutes and the entire batter should turn semi-transparent. Mix well again. It should be very sticky and stretchy. Mine is slightly tan because I used half brown sugar, half granulated.
6. cover a large cutting board with potato starch like you're baking cookies and empty the sticky rice mixture onto the cutting board. Cut into 12-15 pieces.
7. Knead each piece of rice mixture into a thin sheet using starch to keep it from sticking to yourself.
8. Put the covered strawberry in the middle with the point of the berry at the center of the sticky rice and gather the edged at the bottom of the strawberry. Pinch the edges together to make them stick and hold together. Be careful not to tear any holes into the sticky rice!
Hint: the rice will start to stiffen when cooled so do all the wrapping while it is still hot! This can be kept overnight in the fridge and still taste good, but will only last a few days total.