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what are these Japanese confections?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My husband just got back from a 10 day study trip in Japan. He brought back some of my favorite confections - yummy yummy trouble is, I don't know what they are called.
They are a bland sweet pasty gooey substance that holds together into ball like shapes. It seems to be tinted different colors, then rolled in cornstarch or sugar depending on the design. There are many different designs, but it all seems to be the same type of pastes. Some of it might be rice paste and some bean paste? I'm not sure.
Do you know what this stuff is called? It's a good thing I can't find it here in town or I'd be binging on it.
post #2 of 15

Is it mochi? Mochi is a sweet, sticky pasty treat made from rice. Sometimes there is a filling of sweet bean paste. Here, try this page!


Hope this helps!!
post #3 of 15
not a clue, but my dd orders stuff from jlist.com all the time- you might be able to find it there. good luck! suse
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. The first picture was definitely one of the sweets.

Suse, what is jlist? Oh maybe I shouldn't know. No one should let me have access to that stuff on a regular basis.
post #5 of 15
jlist is these expatriates that live in Japan...they have a email list/web site about all things japanese and will do some personal shopping for you...
post #6 of 15

Just look out!

This is just to say to really look out, because these candies were on the news about 6 months ago (give or take) and it turns out, a LOT of little kids are choking on them because they fit perfectly into the throat and once there begin to melt and basically turn into thick thick goo that's almost impossible to remove. This can also happen to adults, but obviously it is less likely. I know that the majority of us are mothers, and would hate to hear of a tragedy!
Always, Kelly
post #7 of 15
Manju are the best! They make different kinds in different parts of Japan - my favorite are the Kyoto style, they look kinda like wontons or ravioli (folded over squares). I will have to look up jlist - now I'm craving them!

Total simple carbs though - not a health food!
post #8 of 15
Kelly, that is not the candy they were talking about...they recalled a versy specific kind of candy...it was a soft gummy gelatin in plastic cups in bright candy colors. A processed candy, not a baked good. These are rice dough with bean paste. Not the same food item at all.

Kyoto cakes...YUMMY. I am so longing for kyoto cakes.
post #9 of 15

oh, we got some of that stuff as dessert when we told our sushi place that it was a birthday party- does it come wrapped in leaves? i think that was it... (altho' 'rice stuffed with bean paste' covers a lot of territory in japan)

(they also have the oh! mikey dvds- oh man, i wish our player would play them! that show looks so freaky!)

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Since you all gave me the right names, I was able to do a search and find some recipes and even a Japanese supermarket online.

mochi & red bean paste recipe
microwave mochi
Japanese online supermarket
Let me know if any of the links don't work.

When I get around to trying the recipes, I will post my results. I have a Japanese cookbook that talks about making the mochi with brown rice. I wonder whether it would be sticky enough. The traditional recipe also talks about pounding the rice. I think I'll try the food processor instead.
post #11 of 15
I have a white mochi recipe that uses Mochiko so you don't have to pound the rice. Want it?? And the recipe for bean paste.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
yes please. The microwave mochi uses the mochiko, but I'd like to see your recipe too. I don't plan to be pounding rice any time soon.
post #13 of 15
I know I shoulda just posted it, but I was too lazy to dig it out unless someone really wanted it.
This is from one of those awesome cookbooks compiled by a group of older Japanese ladies as a fundraiser. It is from the Nisei Womean's Society in Ontario, OR. It was printed in 1967!
If you want colored mochi, add food coloring before steaming. My neighbor used to serve plain mochi with no azuki-an to us kids with a dip made from sugar and soy sauce. Yum!
I must mention too, that if you find yourself addicted to mochi and wanting to make it often, my friends grandma has a mochi machine. In goes the rice and water, out comes the mochi!

1 1/3 c mochiko
1 c sugar
1 c lukewarm water
Mix together water and sugar. Pour into mochiko and stire until smooth. Line steam pan with cheese cloth and steam the mochi for 30 minutes or until smooth. Roughly knead or pound on the dough for a few minutes. Place on cornstarch and pinch off desired size mochi and wrap this dough around azuki-an

2 c red beans
2-3 sugar
2 tsp salt
Wash the beans, boil with water until the skins are broken and beans become quite soft. Strain the beans. Put beans in a course bag and sqeeze the water and pulp out. Add salt to the strained beans in the bag and boil down again, adding sugar little by little, stirring with ladle
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I tried the microwave mochi recipe and didn't like it at all, not sweet enough, too sticky. I might have done it wrong too....

Tomorrow I'm going to try Rasjane's recipe, like I should have in the first place. Have you made this before? Will the dough be very sticky? Will it be nice and sweet? It has more sugar (twice as much as the other), so I think it will be.

Before it is steamed, is it very watery? How many layers of cheesecloth do you use so all of the liquid does not just flow through the cheesecloth?

I already made some adzuki bean paste, which seems fine. I may food process it and add a bit more sugar.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
another update....

I processed the beans, added some more sugar and then cooked them again to cook off some of the liquid. They turned out perfect.

About the mochi : It's getting better. Making mochi with rice flour is basically just like polenta. I used Rasjane's recipe, but did it in a saucepan, because I couldn't figure out a good way to steam it with my kitchen equipment. It still seems a touch sticker/softer than I want it to be, but it tastes right. The texture is still off a bit. I'm thinking about making the white sticky rice in our rice cooker and then food processing it with sugar and seeing if that brings me closer to the texture I want. Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me?
I used brown rice flour, because it has a little iron content to it. Would that change the texture much? I know the Japanese love their pure white rice.
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