Irresistible Red Bean Mochi: A Sweet Treat You Can Make At Home

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Mochi, those delightful little Japanese rice cakes, have captured hearts (and stomachs) worldwide. Their soft, chewy texture and subtle sweetness make them a perfect treat. But have you ever tried making mochi at home? It’s surprisingly simple and incredibly rewarding! This recipe focuses on the classic red bean filling, offering a delightful contrast to the pillowy mochi exterior.

What You’ll Need:

Red Bean Mochi
Red Bean Mochi

For the Mochi Dough:

  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour (also called mochiko flour)
  • 1 ⅓ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • For the Red Bean Paste:

  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (slurry)

  • Step-by-Step Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Red Bean Paste:

  • Rinse the dried red beans thoroughly under running water. Pick out any debris or discolored beans.
  • In a medium pot, combine rinsed red beans with the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until the beans are very soft and easily mashed.
  • Drain the cooked beans, reserving about ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mash the cooked red beans with a potato masher or food processor until mostly smooth. You can leave some texture if desired.
  • In a clean pot, combine the mashed red beans, reserved cooking liquid, and granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Once the sugar dissolves, bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  • To achieve a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender at this point.
  • Slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry while stirring continuously. Cook for another minute or two, until the filling thickens and becomes translucent. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

  • 2. Make the Mochi Dough:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the glutinous rice flour, granulated sugar, and vegetable oil.
  • Gradually add the water, a little at a time, while mixing with a dough whisk or spatula. The dough will be sticky at first.
  • Once all the water is incorporated, continue kneading the dough with your hands for 5-7 minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough should become smooth and elastic.
  • Tip: If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more glutinous rice flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it becomes manageable.

  • 3. Assemble and Cook the Mochi:

  • Divide the cooled red bean paste into 12-15 equal portions.
  • Divide the mochi dough into 12-15 equal portions as well. Roll each portion into a ball.
  • On a lightly floured surface, flatten each dough ball into a thin disc. Place a red bean paste portion in the center of the disc.
  • Carefully gather the dough around the filling, pinching the edges to seal completely. Shape the filled dough back into a smooth ball. Repeat with all remaining dough and filling.

  • 4. Cooking Options:

  • Steaming: This is the traditional method. Place the mochi balls in a steamer basket lined with parchment paper. Steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the mochi becomes translucent and slightly puffed.
  • Microwaving: In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1 inch of water and place a steamer basket on top. Arrange the mochi balls on the steamer basket and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook, as the mochi can become tough.

  • 5. Serving:

  • Let the cooked mochi cool slightly before serving. You can dust with a little kinako (roasted soybean flour) or cocoa powder for extra flavor.
  • Mochi is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving, based on 12 servings):

    Calories: 180

  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 30mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 15g