Sakura mochi is a delicately flavored treat we enjoy during the cherry blossom season in the early spring. Tokyo style sakura mochi is bean paste wrapped in a rice dough crepe which is lightly colored with a hint of pink to mimic the cherry blossom’s color then wrapped in a “preserved” cherry leaf.
The cherry blossom’s pink color is beautiful and the fragrance of the leaf is lovely. This combination is what makes this treat so appealing and nostalgic.
We cherish celebration the seasons in Japan and we always express this in our Japanese cuisine, like we do here with sakura mochi.
Tokyo Style Sakura Mochi
· ½ cup of cake flour
· 1 tablespoon of sugar
· 1 teaspoon of rice flour (Shiratamako)
· ½ cup of water
· 10 tablespoons of bean paste
· 10 preserved cherry leaves
· a hint of red food color
· vegetable oil
1. Soak preserved cherry leaves in water for 10 minutes to remove the extra salt, then pat them dry.
2. Form bean paste, make 10 small balls (1 tablespoon each). If the bean paste is too runny you may need to evaporate the excess liquid in a pot on the stove over low heat. You will need to cool it down at least to room temperature before you work with it.
3. In a bowl, sift cake flour, sugar, and rice flour together. Add the water then mix well. Strain the mixture to make it smoother.
4. Add a hint of red food color to make it slightly a pink color, like the cherry blossoms.
5. On a non-stick pan with just a drop of vegetable oil spread around with a paper towel, pour 1 tablespoon of batter then shape it with a ladle or tablespoon into an oval shape. Cool the mochi crepe until the top surface looks dry then flip it over and cook for another minute. Remove and cool on a rack.
6. Put the bean paste ball on top of the cooked mochi crepe then roll it in the crepe. Wrap the sakura mochi with the cherry leaf.
7. You can enjoy the sakura mochi with the leaf or without.