July 29, 2008

Up until this summer...

I've always mistakenly written-off Japanese food as mediocre and mundane (I was so wrong). However, my recent trip to Japan has shed a wonderfully positive light on Japanese culture, food, and society. It's intricacies and delicacies are so unique down to the details. Not only have I gone out of my way to search for authentic Japanese treats (Cafe Zest, Kyotofu, Minamoto Kitchoan) in New York City, but I've trekked a new path in the kitchen aiming to make some sweet treats of my own.

Given the amount of time I have after work, class, and yoga, it's become difficult finding time to experiment in my little, stainless steel laboratory. But, sweating buckets in bikram yoga amplifies my growing hunger for Japanese tea sweets. I like to keep things simple, so these recipes for Milk Chocolate Tofu Pudding and Adzuki Bean Mochi are easy, quick, and perfect for the working person.

Chocolate Tofu Pudding

1 container of soft silken tofu

1 cup of milk chocolate chips
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the chocolate in a double boiler till completely melted. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract till smooth. Beat the silken tofu with an electric mixer to a smooth paste and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Chill and top with sesame seeds before serving.

*I like using honey because it gives it a nice, fragrant note and sweet aftertaste.

Okay, so I didn't have time to make my own red bean paste. But, this canned one is my favorite kind. It's in a sweet paste form but not completely mashed giving it some texture and chew.

The wrapping of my filling.

The skin of my mochi is stretched way thin, so you can see the filling tucked just inside.

An innard shot of a sliced mochi.

And, one last look!

Adzuki Bean Mochi

1 cup mochiko rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 can adzuki paste for filling
Sesame seeds

In a glass bowl, combine flour and sugar. Stir to mix well. Then add in the water and stir until a paste forms. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Flour the working surface with rice flour very generously making sure your hands are well floured too. Use a wooden spoon to drop the ball of rice flour dough on the surface and quickly cover it with starch. Divide into 8 or 10 pieces. Wrap the adzuki paste inside and cover with more flour. Shape into balls and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Place in refrigerator before serving.

How great would this be with a cup of hot tea and the city's night scape?


Unknown said...

This mochi looks delicious. Can I order? At least a dozen.

Love you.

Your secret friend

jenchoi said...

YAY i got to sample BOTH! :)

Anonymous said...

so delicious!

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