Category Archives: Japanese

Sakura Mochi

Sakuramochi3/3 was Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) in Japan, and we’ve been doing this get-together potluck party at my friend’s house since a couple of years ago to, again, get back to the roots and tell ourselves to remember where we come from (and of course to enjoy yummy stuff). I made some sakura mochi, which is pink mochi rice + azuki + pickled cherry blossom leaf, and not-so-traditional hishimochi-colored layered cake. It’s pretty simple to make and everybody loves it. Here is a brief recipe if you wanna try.

  • 4 cups mochi rice
  • 1 package (17.6oz/500g) red bean paste
  • 12-15 pickled sakura leaves
  • tiny bit of red food color

Cook the mochi rice with colored water in a rice cooker. While you wait, make 1.5” balls of azuki. Once the rice is done, mix and mush the rice a little. Spread the rice on a plastic wrap about 6” wide and a little less than 1/2” thickness. Place the azuki ball, grab the whole thing with plastic, roll into a nice round shape. Wrap the mochi with 1 pickled leaf. If you don’t know how to make the pickled leaf or can’t find it anywhere, just sprinkle a little salt for the taste. Still taste good.

Looking forward to the day I make this with my dear daughter (maybe in 2 years?).

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Kagami Biraki

A happy new year, everyone. 2013 started great for the Arios Family here in Oahu. I’ve been thinking what to post, then I thought of sharing this Japanese tradition of “opening”  the Good Luck Mochi generally done on January 11th. It’s not cutting, breaking it open. Like breaking through. Cutting using a knife is considered bad luck originating back to the samurai era, so we just use our hands or mullets.

Traditionally the mochi will be displayed on a shelf or a counter from the end of December to after the New Year’s. Since Hawai‘i doesn’t get cold that much, the mochi would be covered with those green/black/yellow fluffy yucky things called mold pretty fast if you leave it outside, so I’ve been “displaying” in my fridge. As you can see, the mochi is nice and dry, no mold, and even cracked for easy breaking. Traditional ways of eating this mochi are making ozoni (with vegetables in broth) or ozenzai (with azuki soup), but I like frying ‘em! It makes nice light arare. Let’s see if Aura likes it:)