When my roommates are out of town and I’m home alone, things seem to go one of two ways: either I get super intense and try labor-intensive cooking experiments & aggressively socialize, or, I watch television for hours on end and eat exclusively instant ramen and leftovers. Neither are great. I shouldn’t be trusted on my own.
One recent weekend I had the apartment to myself, I went the former route and made these strawberry-filled mochi, and also like 150 dumplings that I froze and am still making my way through. I brought the mochi to a party. They were gone instantly… unlike the dumplings.
Mochi! Filled with ice cream, plain, or with sweet bean paste, it’s a favorite of mine that is surprisingly easy (if messy) to make in the microwave. Making large quantities of filled mochi can be pretty tedious, since it’s a feat best done in small batches, but it’s very satisfying. Whenever I do it, our entire kitchen is covered in corn starch handprints for the rest of the day.
10-15 small strawberries
1 or 1-1/2 cup anko (sweetened azuki bean paste)
2 batches of the following:
100 grams (~ 1 cup, but I actually weighed it this time) glutinous rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
cornstarch (at least a cup)
Trim the leaves off the strawberries, wash (if you want), and let dry thoroughly. Then, coat each strawberry with a thin layer of the anko. It’ll probably get pretty messy, and that’s okay. Chill the anko-covered strawberries in the freezer while you prepare the mochi.
Sprinkle cornstarch on a cutting board. Be generous, because mochi is very sticky.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, mix the rice flour, sugar, and water well. Microwave for 2 minutes, then remove the bowl and mix. I used a silicon spatula to minimize stickiness. It’ll probably not be done yet, so return to the microwave and for a minute. Remove and stir. Continue until the dough inflates while in the microwave — one or two more cycles should do it.
Grab the strawberries from your freezer and put them near your cutting board.
Scrape the dough off the bowl as best you can and dump it onto the cornstarch-covered cutting board. Sprinkle a little more cornstarch on top and begin to work the dough into a flat-ish surface. It will be hot, so work carefully but quickly.
Cut the dough into about 6 or so pieces (as even as possible) and stick a strawberry in the middle. Wrap the edges around and press to seal. The dough is quite sticky, so don’t worry too much about form, since it will all sort of even out once it’s stuck together. Finish remaining pieces.
Wrap each piece in a small amount of cling wrap tied off with some kitchen twine for the best hope for lasting as long as possible. They’re also adorable.
Make another batch of mochi in the microwave to finish off remaining strawberries. I had to do 2 batches because the mochi stops being sticky once it’s cool, and I don’t work fast enough to do 10-15 at a time.