Moshi Moshi

*mochi mochi.
*ichigo matcha daifuku mochi.
These mochi are ugly.
So let’s talk about why they look bad but taste so, so good.
They are lopsided.
The bottoms, where I pinched them together, are too thick.
They do not have a smooth, round exterior.
The ratio of mochi to bean to strawberry isn’t correct- there is too much mochi.
I had to make my own anko, which is softer and less easily molded than storebought. (I do not recommend this! Go to an Asian market and buy some anko!)
And now I’ve said bean, and half of you are like… say what?  Beans?  In my dessert? No thanks.  
I mean, beans in dessert almost sounds worse than tomatoes or celery or beets.
BUT these are sweet beans!  Adzuki beans!
If you’ve had red bean buns, or anko daifuku mochi or a plethora of other asian desserts, you will appreciate how delicious they are.
Sweet and umami actually pair very well together.
So yes, when you bite into these lopsided, kind of ugly mochi, you are rewarded with a veritable lexicon of different flavors and textures.
The exterior mochi is bitter and bouncy, soft, and chewy.
The anko paste is sweet, earthy, and silky.
The strawberry, that jewel in the center, is crisp, fresh, tart, and juicy.
It all comes together beautifully.
The six mochi that this recipe makes didn’t make it 15 minutes out of the photo shoot.
I ate three.  Oops.
Ichigo Matcha Daifuku Mochi
adapted from Cooking with Dog
makes 6
100 grams glutinous rice flour (mochiko)
25 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
2 teaspoons matcha powder
100 grams (100 mL) water 
cornstarch for dusting
150 grams anko (red bean paste)
6 15-gram strawberries, leaves and stem removed
Stir the rice flour, sugar, water, and matcha powder together extremely well until no lumps remain.
Separate the anko into 6 even pieces and press it up and around the strawberries, starting at the pointy tip of each strawberry, then place on a plate; lightly saran-wrap the plate.
Cover the bowl with the rice flour mixture tightly with saran wrap (see this recipe for more how-to) and microwave on medium power for about 4 minutes.  
Stir the mochi well and turn out onto a cornstarch dusted sheet pan. 
Cut into 6 pieces. 
Working one at a time, flatten and roll each piece out thinly, then place the anko-covered strawberry into the mochi and pinch the end shut.

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