Friday, August 23, 2013

YOMOGI DAIFUKU MOCHI (Japanese Sweet Rice Cake made with MOGWORT plant)

This is YOMOGI DAIFUKU MOCHI.  I have always wondered about the green flakes that I find in some of the mochi snack I had.  I did not know what they were until recent years.  To get hold of the YOMOGI (dry MOGWORT) is another challenge unless you grow them yourself like my friend.  And making this type of snack that is considered 'special occasion' when I was young - for New Year's and special celebration, and normally bought from the pastry shop and rarely home made.  I was very lucky.  My sister managed to buy them at the local Japanese grocery store in Cupertino.  I returned to the store to buy more, they have no more.   YOMOGI DAIFUKU MOCHI is another flavor to make the MOCHI cake filled with Red Bean Paste, instead of the green tea - MATCHA powder.  My previous post:

Ingredients are as listed in my previous post's link mentioned above.
They are:
For Dough - 
1 C SHIRATAMA-KO (**glutinous rice flour, but not just "any" glutinous rice flour.)
1 Tb Vanilla Sugar Powder + 1/4 C minus 1 Tb sugar
1 Tb MATCHA (Green Tea Powder)   1/4 C YOMOGI reconstituted with 2/3 C water

2/3 C water 
  Water is used to reconstitute the dry YOMOGI  and you will need about 2 Tablespoon to 1/4 cu more water. 

For Filling - ANKO
1 Can - 16.75 oz (475 g)  Whole Red Bean Paste "TSUBUISHI ANKO" (or ANKO PASTE) 
The original recipe calls for: 2/3 cup water & 1 cup sugar & 1/2 cup dried ANKO powder, or 1 1/4 cup premade ANKO
1/2 C KATAKURIKO – Potato starch - (made in HOKKAIDO, Japan) for dusting. *The original recipe calls for Potato Starch for dusting.

Prepare the non-stick sheet pan with rim - cover it with 1/2 C of KATAKURIKO.  Set aside.
ANKO PREP:  TSUBUSHI-AN with "whole" red beans.  Pay attention to the picture on the CAN because both have printed "Red Bean Paste" as description.
Transfer the ANKO into a bowl and stir it for 2 – 3 minutes to create 70% whole / 30% paste consistency or the way you like.
Use the 1" cookie scoop and form balls and place it on the plate.  Or use hand and roll into balls.  Set aside.
*I had more than I needed.  *suggestion: Freeze them in zip-lock bag for next use. or Double the dough recipe, which you will see at the end that - "Yes! This is a great idea."  Because it is so delicious.

Preparation for the MOCHI:
Add 2/3 Cup warm water to the 1/4 Cup YOMOGI in a small bowl.  Stir.
Strain water into measuring cup and check how much liquid is available.  2/3 Cup?  Add more water to 2/3 C level.  Set aside.
Add YOMOGI to the SHIRATAMAKO (Glutinous Rice flour) MOCHI flour, stir a bit and add 2/3 C warm water.
 Add more water as needed to change the consistency to thick smooth lava.  Make sure all the white flakes are dissolved.
800 Watt microwave oven:  Cover the bowl with opening.  Microwave for 1-1/2 minutes - Stir.
 Pasty color?  Not done, yet.
Cover again with opening.  Microwave again for 1 minute, but stop at 45 seconds, and stir to check
 Glossy translucent looking?  It's cooked and ready.
 Grab a small handful or spoonful.
 Compare which one is easier - Spoonful is easier to work with.  Powder your free hand with KATAKURIKO - Japanese Potato starch (can be eaten as is without giving stomach problem.)   And dab the mochi with KATAKURIKO. 
 With free hand, form the MOCHI into disc shape.
 Add  the ANKO in the center.  You can also make your own ANKO -- Paste with anything you like, if you know how or fill with preserve.
 Fold  - BAO / MANJU method to enclose the filling.

Round to shape it on the work surface sprinkled with KATAKURIKO.
 Powder top and bottom nicely with KATAKURIKO.
 Wrap them up and they are ready for sharing!
Cleaning tip for the empty bowl - Do Not wash them out completely in the sink - It will damage your garbage disposal.  Fill the bowl with water.  After a while, place a coffee filter over the strainer in the sink's drain hole.  Dump the water out gently.  Then, use a wet paper towel to remove all the left over MOCHI stuck onto the bowl.  Repeat until quite clean, then wash it. 

2013 Heirloom Tomatoes - Home Grown Veges

Every summer, I wonder what's growing this year in my brother's vege garden.  This year, he had a bumper corps of heirloom tomatoes.   They are so unbelievably delicious, so tasty, so tomato!   I wish they stop those 'hot house' tomatoes that are so taste less! 

 When you have the real thing, you don't need to roast or blanch the tomatoes to peel it.
You can just use a nice sharp pairing knife and peeeeel!
TIP:  How to save an opened canned tomato paste.
 Save the extra canned tomato paste in  freezer bag.  Scoop a Tablespoon and drop in the bag.  Then, freeze.  Take the portion you need the next time.
Do the same for the fresh ginger.  Peel them, chop them, slice them, dice them, and freeze them.

 My fresh home made tomato sauce.  I can see why women's job is never done in the old days.  They got to can and preserve all the produces and fruits at their peak to prevent waste.

 Tomato sauce and candied watermelon rinds.

OKONOMIYAKI - Vegetarian style or with meat (Japanese vegetable pancake)

OKONOMIYAI is one of my childhood favorites.  It just bring back the wonderful memory of after a good hot bath at the Japanese bath house  - OFURO YA SAN  -- sitting around the Teppan and watch it being prepared in front of you.

1 Cup of shredded veges of all sorts that you love.   I just bought a bag of shredded broccoli vege mix.

1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
2  chopped green onions
Your favorite meat varieties - chopped meat, small steak pieces, shrimps, chopped KAMABOKO, fish cakes cut into pieces, chicken pieces, etc.
1/2 C flour
1 egg
1/2 C water
salt & pepper to taste

Japanese OKONOMIYAKI sauce, or TONKATSU sauce  or your favorite BBQ sauce and any sauce you like
Dry seaweed -- NORI -  flakes or sheet of dry seaweed torn apart in to small pieces, Bonita flakes.

The amount of veges are all up to you and flour and water mixture is all measured visually.
Shred cabbage and your favorite veges - e.g. onions, spinach, carrots, broccoli.   At least all the veges that produce less water.

Break up the egg in a bowl, mix in flour and water - the consistency is thin batter mixture.
Add all the shredded veges and chopped onions and chopped fish cakes and mix well.

Pre-heat the fry pan and add oil.  Once the oil is shimmering, add a nice big scoop of vege mixtures.  Flatten them with the back of the scoop or spatula.   Top with Meat or Shrimp, etc.

Tip:  If the vege pancake is quite large -- as I tend to make my personal preferred size - Cover with lid and cook.  Turn it over when the bottom is nicely browned. 
The proportion is up to you visually.  If larger and thicker (in height) the mixture, the better method is to cover the fray pan.  No need to cover for the smaller size.

Turn over and cook the other side.
Serve with NORI flakes, Bonita flakes, and drizzle with your favorite sauce.

If you have an electric Griddle, that is an ideal way to prepare the OKONOMIYAKI at the table top. 

Look Who Has been Cooking!

Oh, Wow!   I have been offline for a while, and I checked my daily connection to see who has been cooking and Wow!.  Maha has just been cooking up a storm! 
How delicious all these food sound.   Hope you can visit some of my favorite bloggers' sites and find out what they have been cooking - Happy Cooking!