Eat Beans and Rice for Dessert

Hiroko, Beans and rice for dessert, Uguisu mochi
Michelle Heimerman

The Japanese dessert uguisu mochi, made from sticky rice flour and sweetened adzuki bean paste, is named for the bush songbird uguisu. Known for its beautiful voice, the bird is beloved by many Japanese. At the beginning of spring, the males sing aggressively to woo female partners, heralding the time for creating a new generation. For the tribute dessert, from cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo, adzuki bean paste is wrapped in an extremely tender, sticky rice dough called gyūhi. The toasted green soybean flour that is dusted over the sweet is reminiscent of the revered bird, shaded in greens.