Tuesday, March 15, 2011

.the Land of the Rising Sun.

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Japan is a beautiful country, rich in culture, history, wonderful people and unique & delicious food. My family and I had the pleasure of visiting Japan in April of 2000 & in December of 2008 and we've been longing to go back since. In light of the recent events, I thought I'd dedicated a post Japan and showcase some traditional (and some non-traditional) dessert recipes.

{ Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi) }

Ichigo Daifuku are Japanese sweet cakes with strawberry and anko fillings. Aren't they pretty?

  • 1 cup shiratama-ko (rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
      *For filling
  • 1/3 cup water & 1/2 cup sugar & 1/4 cup dried anko powder or 1/2 cup premade anko (sweet red bean paste)
  • 6 strawberries
  • *katakuriko potato starch for dusting


Heat 1/3 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a pan.
Add 1/4 cup of anko powder in the pan and stir well. Set aside.
Wash strawberries and remove the calyxes.
Wrap a strawberry with about a spoonful of anko and rounds to make a ball. Make 6 balls.
Put 2/3 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a heat-resistant bowl and mix well.
Add shiratama-ko flour in the bowl and mix well.
Put the bowl in microwave and heat the dough for two minutes.
Stir the dough. Heat the dough in microwave until the dough inflates. Stir the mochi quickly.
Dust a flat pan with some katakuri-ko starch. Also, dust hands with some katakuri-ko.
Remove the hot mochi from the bowl to the pan by hands.
Dust hands with more katakuri-ko starch and divide the mochi into 6 pieces by hands.
---The mochi is hot and sticky, so be careful not to burn your hands.---
Make 6 flat and round mochi.
Put a piece of strawberry and anko filling on a mochi piece and wrap it by stretching mochi. Round the daifuku.
Repeat the process to make more daifuku cakes.
*Makes 6 daifuku cakes.
{recipe borrowed from here}


{ Dorayaki (Mini Pancakes filled with Bean Paste) }

Children of all ages love these sweet pancake sandwiches filled with sweet bean paste.
The name comes from the Japanese word for gong, which they resemble.

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • oil
  • 1 cup bean paste

 Beat the eggs, sugar and corn syrup until it turns almost white.
Cut the baking powder into the flour and stir in the flour gradually. Add the water as needed, until you have a smooth batter.
Heat a griddle and wipe with a paper towel dipped in oil.
Pour one tablespoon of batter at a time, carefully and slowly, so that you have mini pancakes about 3 inches in diameter.
Turn the pancakes only once, and cook them until they are golden in color. Let cool.
Assemble the dorayaki by filling the centers with room temperature bean paste, taking care to have the golden brown smooth sides facing outwards.
Put a heaping teaspoon of paste in the center of one pancake. Spread the paste out, so that it is thick in the middle and thin at the sides.
Cover with another pancake. They should look like pillows instead of ice cream sandwiches.
Dorayaki are delicious hot, but they are usually eaten at room temperature with tea.
They can be wrapped in wax paper to preserve their moisture.
Makes 6

{ recipe borrowed from here}


{ Japanese Cheesecake }

This cheesecake is proclaimed to be cottony-soft. mmmm...

  • 140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 50g/2 oz. butter
  • 250g/9 oz. cream cheese
  • 100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
  • 20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler.
Cool the mixture.
Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.
Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy.
Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.
Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and mix well.
Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper).
Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).
Makes 1 (8-inch) cheesecake, 12 servings.

{ recipe borrowed from here }

I hope you will try some! I'd love to hear how your baking/cooking experience went.
You could find the traditional ingredients (such as rice flour, sweet red bean paste & katakuriko potato starch) at an specialty/asian food store.


  1. woohoo!!! i can't wait to try these out! i love all this stuff but i never new how to make any of it! keep it up ilyn! this is great! ^_^

  2. you must know that i love those mini pancakes with beans in them... lululu-love! they are the best. your doing a fantastic job on your blog <3