A popular spring dessert, Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku) is a soft and chewy mochi stuffed with fresh juicy strawberry and sweet red bean paste. Indulge yourself with this beautiful and delicious Japanese delicacy!
If you love juicy strawberries, sweet red bean paste, and chewy mochi, you will love this Japanese dessert Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku) (いちご大福).
Daifuku (大福) is a popular traditional Japanese sweet; it is soft mochi stuffed with sweet red bean paste. There are many varieties of Daifuku. They usually come with the same soft and chewy mochi exterior with different stuffing.
Modern Twist – Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku)
During the springtime, Japanese confectionery shops sell a seasonal Daifuku, Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku いちご大福), with a whole strawberry as the filling. The combination of fresh soft mochi, sweet red bean paste, and juicy and tart strawberry is a match made in heaven!
Strawberry Mochi was first created during the ’80s, so it’s considered a relatively new wagashi, like a traditional Japanese confectionery with a modern twist. Depending on regions and stores, some strawberry mochi has red bean paste filling while others use Shiroan (white bean paste). Some mochi comes with whipped cream and strawberry inside, instead of red bean or white bean paste.
As this seasonal mochi includes fresh strawberry, it is only offered during the strawberry season in Japan between winter and spring.
To Make Strawberry Daifuku
Today’s recipe is a classic strawberry daifuku. You can make your own red bean paste (recipe here) or use store-bought bean paste for a short cut. The other ingredients are simple: shiratamako (glutinous rice flour), sugar, water, and corn starch. And fresh juicy strawberries of course! Smaller ones are easier to work with.
Making daifuku is very much like a craft. The process can be fun and meditative. When working with mochi dough, make sure that you do not stretch it too thin to prevent tearing. My daughter loves giving me a hand when comes to wrapping the sticky, elastic mochi around the berries when I make daifuku for them. It’s like working with edible play dough to her. Although her shaping skill still needs much improvement, she usually thinks her daifuku are the prettiest and tastiest. What can I say?
The daifuku keep well for a day or two in the refrigerator, although it can be hard to resist eating them all when made fresh. I hope you get to give these a try at home. Sweet, elegant, and delicate, Strawberry Daifuku is just another delicious way to celebrate the season.
Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku)
Using a 100 g Shiratamako Package
- ¾ cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour)
- 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
- ⅔ cup water (measure ⅔ cup and remove 2 tsp to be precise)
Using a 120 g Shiratamako Package
- 1 cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour) (measure 1 cup and remove 2 Tbsp to be precise)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ¾ cup water
- Before you start: If you want to make more than 6 pieces, I highly recommend you to work in batches. If you do not have a microwave, please see Notes for other options to cook shiratamako.
- Rinse, dry, and hull the strawberries. Divide anko into 6 same size balls. Anko gets sticky on your hands, so wash your hands and dry completely each time you make a ball.
- Wrap the strawberries with anko. Leave the tip of the strawberry uncovered. Wash your hands and dry completely each time you wrap a strawberry with anko.
- In a medium microwave-safe glass bowl, mix shiratamako and sugar with a whisk.
- Using a silicone spatula, slowly add water in 3 parts and stir until the mixture has reached a thick consistency. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- First, microwave 1 minute (for 1100W microwave). Mix well with a wet silicone spatula. The mixture is still whitish and floury.
- For the second time, microwave 1 minute again, and mix well with the wet silicone spatula. Now it starts to resemble mochi, but there are still some floury parts.
- For the last time, microwave only 30 seconds. Now the mochi mixture should look translucent.
- Sift corn starch on the tray and put the mochi on top.
- With silicone spatula or kitchen scraper, fold the mochi in half one time so it won’t be as sticky and then divide into 6 equal pieces.
- Put some corn starch on your hands and flatten and expand each mochi into a 3” (7.6 cm) round or square. Then put the anko covered strawberry on top of it, with the tip facing down.
- Start covering the strawberry from all sides and use your thumb to hold the mochi on top.
- When all sides of mochi meet at the top, twist and close. Hold the mochi with both hands and form into nice round shape. Repeat the process for the remaining mochi.
- Serve at room temperature.
- Keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Do not put in the refrigerator as it becomes hard. The daifuku mochi must be consumed within 2 days.
- Rice cooker: Put the ingredients in the bowl of the rice cooker and mix well. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is translucent. Mix with silicon spatula at least 2 times during cooking.
- Steamer: Put the ingredients in a heatproof bowl that fits inside your steamer. Mix well and cover with a thin kitchen towel or heatproof plate. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is translucent. Mix with silicon spatula at least 2 times during cooking.