These are amazing. Strawberries, wrapped in red bean paste (azuki bean paste), wrapped in mochi. It sounds hard, but its like super duper duper easy. Its like wrapping presents, strawberry presents resembling pretty little snowballs. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 medium sized strawberries
- 180g Cooked red beans and 2 Tbsp Canola oil OR 150g red bean paste
- 100g glutinous rice flour OR 95g Mochiko rice flour and 5g corn starch
- 20g sugar (preferably caster sugar)
- 150ml water
- 25g corn starch for dusting
- Fine sieve
- Rubber spatula
- Large bowl
- Shallow pan
Okay, I started by turning my cooked red beans into red bean paste. I asked my local Taiwanese tea shop for some cooked red beans because I didn’t want to bother cooking them myself. By the time I decide I need red beans or red bean paste, I have no patience to soak and cook a batch of red beans. So I got about some in a to-go cup. Yay for shortcuts.
I poured the red beans into a fine sieve and smashing the red beans through with the back of a spoon. I wanted to keep the red bean skins out of the paste so I’d get a smooth paste. I used the same spoon to scrape the paste off the back of the sieve and collected it in a small bowl.
This paste comes out too liquidy to use for wrapping strawberries, so to create true red bean paste, fried up the paste in a pan using canola oil. This helps evaporate the liquid and works some fat into paste to help it solidify.
I fried it up until the red bean resembled a runny-ish paste. Since its super hot, it won’t solidfy quite yet but it will look more paste-y than before frying. I transferred the hot paste back into the bowl, covered it in plastic wrap, and let it sit in the freezer to cool.
While the red bean paste was chilling in the freezer, I prepped the strawberries. I washed and cut off the leafy stuff off the tops of the strawberries. I just cut it off with a knife to get a flat base. I also patted them as dry as possible with a paper towel.
These kinda made me want to eat them. I held out for something better. I pulled the red bean paste out of the freezer after about 45 minutes, mixed it up, and divided it into 6 equal blobs about 20g each.
Next, I took one blog and put it in my hand and smashed it into a round pancake about the size of my hand.
I placed the strawberry in the center and wrapped the red bean up around the sides of the strawberry, making sure to leave the tip of the strawberry uncovered.
It takes some finagling but just work the paste around the strawberry with the palms of your hands to try and get even coverage around the strawberry.
I set these aside (don’t they kinda look like chocolate dipped strawberries?) and began working on the mochi. This is way less daunting than you think and its done in the microwave. Its crazy how easy this is.
I didn’t have glutinous rice flour, but I had rice flour (Mochiko) on hand. After some Googling, I found out that you can add some corn starch to make it glutinous rice flour, but had no instructions on what the ratio should be. How annoying. I guessed and went with 5g of cornstarch to 95g of rice flour. It worked. Lucky me.
Okay, to this mixture, I added 20g of caster sugar. I opted for caster sugar or baking sugar because I wanted to make sure the mochi wouldn’t be grainy from regular granulated sugar. I used a fork (because I have no whisk) and mixed up all the ingredients.
Tip: I do this on my scale (zero-ing out the scale between ingredients) and I love doing it this way. WAY less measuring cups and its so easy to just pour ingredients in. Also, you get WAY more accurate measurements.
Next, I added the water in three parts. Usually I’m pretty impatient about this and end up dumping all the liquid in at once, but for some reason I did it in three parts like the recipe said and I’m glad I did. Why? Because you get tons of lumpies and this helps you work in the liquid and minimizing lumpies. Here’s a series of water additions:
Mix thoroughly between additions. Look! No lumpies!
This next part was super weird to me when I read the instructions. Trust me. It works. Just go with it.
I took a wet paper towel (wrung out for extra water) and placed it over the bowl. I popped it into the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
I uncovered the mixture, and mixed it up thoroughly with a spatula I dipped in water. Its significantly gooey-er so the wet spatula keep sit from sticking.
After thoroughly mixing, I recovered it with the wet paper towel and put it back into the microwave for another 60 seconds on high.
It comes out even gooey-er than before.
Again, dip the spatula in water and mix it up. I had to re-wet my paper towel this time around. I covered the bowl and popped it back into the microwave, only for 30 seconds on high this time.
I transferred the mochi from the bowl onto a plate dusted with corn starch and rolled the ball in it to make it unsticky. Sticky mochi is SUPER hard to work with. You will see. I also divided the big blob up into 6 pieces. I eyeballed this.
I covered my hand with corn starch and picked up a blog. You might need to re-dust your hand with cornstarch. I did. This stuff is SOOOO sticky. I stretched the mochi out into a circle-ish shape and placed the red bean paste covered strawberry in the center.
I picked up one side of the mochi and stretched it over the tip of the strawberry.
Repeat until the strawberry is covered in mochi. I pinched all the pieces together at the top. This takes some practice, but it gets easier.
Tip: Keep your hands and everything dusted in cornstarch at all times. Sticky mochi leads to disaster.
Here’s what it looks like cut open.
It was SO good. Om nom nom nom.