This food is called ‘Ohagi’ in Japan. There is an almost identical food called ‘Bota Mochi’. During the equinoctial weeks in Spring and Autumn, this food is traditionally prepared. It is basically a ball of slightly pounded glutenous rice covered with Sweet Azuki Paste. Kinako (finely ground Roasted Soy Beans) mixed with Sugar is another popular flavour. This food brings back memories of my mother’s kitchen.
2 cups (*180ml cup) Glutinous Short Grain Rice
*Note: You can replace 1/2 cup (90ml) of it with regular Short Grain Rice.
1 pinch Salt
Sweet Azuki Paste *Tsubu-an OR Koshi-an
Kinako (finely ground Roasted Soy Beans) & Sugar *See ‘Method 5’
- Wash Rice and place it in the rice cooker. Add water up to the 2-cups-marking. Allow to soak for 30 minutes if you have time.
- Add 1 pinch Salt and press ‘COOK’ button to start cooking.
- Transfer to a bowl. Using a pestle or something similar, pound the hot rice, wetting the pestle with Water frequently. Stop pounding when the texture is rubbery like Mochi yet you still see grains.
- Wet your hands with Water and make 3 x 4cm (or larger) balls, and cover with Sweet Azuki Paste or Kinako Sugar.
- How to make Kinako Sugar: Kinako is finely ground Roasted Soy Beans. Mix a same amount of Kinako and Caster Sugar with 1 pinch Salt.
- Easy method to cover with Azuki Paste: Spread Azuki Paste thinly on a sheet of plastic food wrap, about twice the size of the rice ball. Place the rice ball and wrap it and cover the rice ball with Azuki Paste evenly.
- *Note: Naturally you can do this process without the plastic wrap. Thinly spread Azuki Paste on your palm, place rice ball on it, then cover it around.