Monday, September 1, 2014

Cheating Summer Botamochi (Improvisation)

It was a hot summer day and I wanted to do something easy and fun. I stumbled upon a botamochi recipe and well... Here you go! FYI, I cheated because botamochi is a typical autumn recipe.

Alright, less talk.

Preparation time: 6 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour

2 cups of glutinous rice
2 tbsp Sugar
1 pinch Salt
Anko (Azuki bean paste)
Kinako (soybean powder)

1. Soak the glutinous rice overnight or at least 6 hours. Change the water and cook the glutinous rice in a rice cooker. 
2. Once the rice is ready, shift it in a big bowl or a mortar. Prepare a bowl of salted water. 1 cup of water with 1/2 tsp of salt is a great combination. Add sugar to the warm rice and start pounding. For every 2 or 3 poundings, soak the pestle in the salted water. This will prevent the rice from sticking with the pestle, which could cause a very sticky situation (pun intended). This process can take about 15 to 30 minutes, depending of the strength and consistency of the movements. Think of this as an exercise! 
3. Pound until you do not see whole rice grains, however, you do not need to pound until it becomes perfectly smooth. Botamochi are consumed with a rough rice texture.
4. Prepare the anko filling and the kinako coating. What I usually like to do is shape the anko like ping pong balls. For me, 2 cups of rice gave me 16 botamochi, hence, 16 anko balls should suffice.
5. Dampen your hands with salted water, form a ping pong ball size of rice and flatten it with your hands. Put the anko ball in the middle and wrap it. Place it in the kinako and use a spoon to cover the rice cake, as your hands will probably be sticky.
6. Repeat the previous step for each botamochi. It is best consumed on the very same day. It can be kept fresh for up to 2 days if exposed to a cool environment and away from the sun.

I happened to have kinako at home, but for those who doesn't have that at home and prefers something else, you can sprinkle matcha powder or shredded coconut. If you like it more exotic, coconut would be appropriate, otherwise, matcha powder would be the best combination with anko. You tell me!

Otherwise, you can make it very simple, not adding any coat to your botamochi. It is as much yummy!

Good luck and enjoy! 

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