For this 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. This recipe first appeared with the 2015 SAVEUR 100 item Eat Beans and Rice for Dessert.
- 1 cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup smooth sweetened adzuki bean paste
- 1⁄2 cup aokinako (roasted green soybean flour) or kinako (roasted yellow soybean flour), or ⅓ cup cocoa powder mixed with 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
Bring 1" water to a boil in a 14" flat-bottomed wok fitted with an 11" bamboo steamer. Place rice flour in a bowl; slowly stir in 1⁄2 cup water and 2 tbsp. sugar until dough forms. Using hands, knead dough in bowl until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Drape a damp towel over a pie plate; flatten dough into a disk and add to plate. Place plate in steamer base and cover; steam 20 minutes and remove from heat.
Spread cornstarch on a baking sheet. Simmer remaining sugar and ½ cup water in a 1-qt. saucepan until sugar is dissolved, 1–2 minutes; set syrup aside. Place dough in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-low. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir syrup into dough until combined, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; let cool.
Heat bean paste in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly dry, about 15 minutes. Let paste cool and divide into 10 balls. Divide dough into 10 balls. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, flatten dough into a 3" disk. Place 1 ball bean paste in center of dough; gather and pinch edges of dough to encase paste. Roll mochi into a smooth ball. Wipe mochi with a damp paper towel; roll in soybean flour.