Last summer, I was visiting my foster daughter, Yuriko that I learned many Japanese dishes which I hardly cook except a few simple and easy ones. She is a very lovable person and has many talents which include making Japanese traditional sweets and pastries. While I was there for two and half weeks, I learned many sweets and savory dishes which I might not be able to make them because of its ingredients are unavailable here easily. I had a great time and absorbing as much as I could from her teaching. What I love about her is that she actually made me worked on the actual product. I was very proud of myself for being about to make them with my own hand from starting to finish. This is one of the dishes which she taught me.
Why I said she is talented. She knew that I was coming in the summer and I would not be able to experience the taste of wagashi (Japanese confectionery). Before the season was over, she got some pickled sakura leaves and keep until I arrived to teach me this traditional Japanese sweet. I am so thankful for her kind thought.
This is the result of the Sakuramochi I had learned from her in her professional kitchen.
225g domyoji-ko (Japanese coarse rice flour – available in a well-stock Japanese grocery store), rinse with water and drained
425g Anko red bean paste, you may use Koshi’an/Tsubushi’an
225g fine granulated sugar
Food color – Pink (I used Wilton Brand) – amount according to your desire color
225g warm water
Place the domyoji-ko, fine sugar and warm water in shallow stainless steel bowl. Stir with a fork until well sugar dissolved. You will notice that the domyoji-ko will begin to reconstitute due to the water and starts to clumpy and sticky. Just add a tiny drop of food coloring and stir to mix thoroughly into a very light pink state.
Meanwhile, heat a steamer with water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Also start prepping the red bean paste by dividing into equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Set aside.
Line a steamer rack with a tea towel and spread out the domyoki-ko mixture on the tea towel; and transfer to the steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes until the mixture is completely soften, periodically stir the domyoki-ko mixture with a fork. Once it is softened, set aside to cool down completely.
Meanwhile, soak the pickled Sakura leaves with water to remove some of the brine and salt. When the time comes to use the leaves, pat dry with kitchen paper towels/cotton kitchen towel. Reserve the soaking water for later use.
Divide the domyoji-ko mixture into 15-18 even portions and roll into a ball. Set aside.
Moist your fingers and palms with the reserved soaking water and then flatten each domyoji-ko ball with your fingers or palms. Gently place one red bean paste ball in the center of the domyoji-ko disc and carefully bring the edges up to seal the bean paste. Place the finished domyoji-ko each on the center of the sakura leaf. Fold the end of the leaf over to the pointed end. Remember to moist your fingers and palms as you needed. Continue the same procedure until all the ingredients are use up.
Serve immediately. Japanese green tea goes well with these Sakuramochi.