Apr 29

Park adventures and skipping dinner.

in Dessert, Japanese, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

Yesterday was a national holiday and so Mr. Fuji had the day off.

We took advantage of the beautiful weather and drove out to a large park called Inokashira Park.

This particular park is a wonderful place to be on the weekends or on a holiday, because there are always many street performers and musicians that come to entertain. My favorite was this quirky band. Their instruments were a little more unusual but they were surprisingly good.

We enjoyed some yummy treats while we were out. First some dango, a chewy dumpling made with rice flower.


Then there was a fun take on the hot dog–the naan dog.

But what day would be complete without ice cream? There were many flavors to choose from:

But what did I choose? Sakura of course!

I had some help . . . .

After we got home I opened up the refrigerator to start thinking about what to make for dinner. I saw a container of fresh strawberries that I bought the day before and decided to put them to good use. So why make dinner when you can make dessert?

I decided to make a type of Japanese dessert, little mochi cakes filled with strawberries and neri-an, however I gave it a bit of a western twist by replacing the neri-an (Japanese soft adzuki bean paste) with whipped cream.

Traditional Japanese desserts tend to not be as sweet as their western counterparts, but the whipped cream helps to sweeten the deal a bit more here.

The powder used, shiratama-ko powder, is not a traditional rice flour.

It is made up of larger granules:

Mochi Cakes with Strawberries (Ichigo Daifuku)

Makes 5

-100g/3.75 oz./scant 1/2 cup shiratama-ko powder (this is the rice flour, it is kind of in granules instead of being straight powder)

-15ml/1 tbsp granulated sugar

-200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup water

-cornstarch, for rolling out the dough

-10 strawberries

-whipped cream

1. In a microwave proof bowl, mix the shiratama-ko powder and sugar. Gradually add the water, then knead well to make a thick paste. You may need to adjust the amount of water slightly depending on the weather. It was a bit more humid yesterday, and so if I had used all of the water, my mixture would have been too soupy and the rice dough then would have turned out too sticky and difficult to work with.

2. Cover and cook in a microwave for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes (600 or 500watts). Alternatively, steam the mixture in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water for 10-15 minutes.

3. Lightly dust a cutting board with cornstarch. Turn out the mixture onto the board and divide it into 5 pieces. Roll out a portion of mixture into a small oval shape.

4. Put a strawberry and some whipped cream in the middle. Fold the rice cake in half and serve decorated with a strawberry.

Repeat this process to make the other 4 cakes. Eat the cakes on the day they are prepared–if left for any longer they will harden.

*If you want to make yours a bit more traditional, replace the whipped cream with some neri-an (Japanese soft adzuki bean paste). To do this you will need 115g/4oz./scant 1/2 cup canned neri-an cut into 5 pieces.

My goal is to start trying to put more Japanese recipes on here in an effort to improve my Japanese cooking, so if anyone has any requests, let me know!

In a few hours the Fuji family will be hopping on a plane bound for Southern California to try and find a new house to live in. Hopefully one with a tree so that Squirrel can practice her climbing skills. See you on the other side of the pond!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Phoe April 30, 2008 at 5:36 am

Have a safe trip! If you go to Disneyland, ride Big Thunder Mountain once for me! :)


Bobbi April 30, 2008 at 5:59 am

I’m so proud of you, looking for a tree. You won’t regret it! I am pleased to say that I also raised a pair of female tree climbers. My eldest, especially, will spot a tree and say, “Mom, that looks like a good climber!”
Safe travels!!!


gleek April 30, 2008 at 9:51 am

mmm, dessert as dinner is always an excellent idea! :) have a good trip to sunny CA!


Melanie Gray Augustin April 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Yum! Are these daifuku? Mmm.. though I think I heard somewhere that “daifuku” might be a Nagoya word… They look delicious and I’m going to have to try to make those.

Have a safe trip!


Tanya April 30, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Ohh! I just had some Sakura ice cream (looked EXACTLY like yours!) when we went off the other day to the Shibazakura park! Hey, where else are you going to get Sakura ice cream but in Japan and at this time of year!


Felicia May 1, 2008 at 8:44 am

Looks like a fun day :)


Melissa Hodgen May 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Dessert for dinner, every kids dream. But you earned it after a day outside.


kawaii crafter May 6, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Gosh, I don’t know where to leave a comment I kept scrolling down and everything looked so good.

dango, mmmmm

Edible Mt.Fuji, how clever

wish I could try the sakura pudding


hyungwlee May 9, 2008 at 6:44 am


I am a publisher of THE EAST; the only English newspaper, which is mainly focused on the East Asian information (at the beginning of every month, more than 12,000 free copies are distributed throughout the London area, particularly, where East Asian Networks are established).

I looked at your blog the other day and have been wondering if there would be any chance that we could publish some of your interesting articles on the paper.
We think some of your blog articles should be very helpful to the Westners who are interested in Asian Culture.
The East cannot afford to pay for your articles right now (as we are non-profitable organisation). However, if you wish, we can still offer you:
1. Advertising space
2. Link to THE EAST web site blog section

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Hyung Wook Lee

THE EAST, The East Asian Monthly Business Newspaper,
Elephant Consulting Limited, 37 Charter Court, Linden Grove,
New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3BN, UK
Tel : + 44 (0) 7912 608 321 / Web site: http://www.theeast.org / E mail : [email protected]
Registered in England & Wales, Company No. 6254454


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