Daifuku, 大福, are extremely popular in Japan. They come in a variety of flavours, but the most common is filled with anko, which is a sweet bean paste made from adzuki beans. If you’ve never had one, the taste and texture is so unique that it is difficult to describe. The texture of the outer layer is somewhere in between a gummy bear and a marshmallow. The anko is slightly sweet and nutty. I can assure you that they are delicious and are available in Asian supermarkets around the world, but why not try to make them.
For the Mochi (outside layer):
- 1 cup glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
For the anko (sweet red bean paste):
- 1 cup adzuki beans (these are always available at Asian grocery stores, but check your local supermarket first. They are sometimes available there.)
- 1.5 cups sugar
Start by making the anko. This needs time to cool before you can start making your delicious daifuku.
- Place the beans in 2-3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Drain the beans into a colander and rinse under warm water.
- Place the beans back in the pot with 3 cups of clean water.
- Allow the beans to simmer on low heat for roughly two hours. You may have to top up the water as they simmer so ensure that you check on them sporadically.
- You will know when the beans are done because they should be soft and crush easily between your fingers.
- Drain out the water and place the beans back in the pot.
- Add the sugar and place on low heat.
- Stir the mixture constantly for 10 minutes until a paste forms.
- Transfer to a container and allow to cool to room temperature. .
Now to make the mochi.
- Place the glutinous rice flour into a heat resistant bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Slowly add the water/ sugar mixture to the rice flour.
- Stir well.
- Place the bowl in a microwave for 2 minutes.
- Bring the bowl out and stir quickly.
- Place the bowl bag into the microwave until the dough starts to inflate. Roughly 30 seconds.
- Be very careful when handling the dough as it will be very hot, but if you let it cool to much, it will be difficult to work with.
- Coat your hands with corn or potato starch. The dough is extremely sticky and if you forget to coat your hands, it will be quite difficult.
- Divide the dough into about 6-8 pieces.
- Flatten each piece out until it looks like a mini pancake.
- Place a small teaspoon of the anko filling into the centre of each mochi. Be careful not to overfill.
- Fold the dough back in on itself and roll into a ball.
- Allow the daifuku to come to room temperature.