Recipe: Sakura Mochi

The Ultimate Japanese Spring Treat

By Mari Nameshida
February 26, 2017
Food & Drink

Learning how to cook sakura mochi marks the beginning of spring in Japan.

Ok, not really. But with the cherry blossom season being just around the corner, it may be a great idea to start preparing for it by learning a few Japanese treats that are commonly eaten during this special spring flowers season. So let’s start with the famed sakura mochi — you’ll be surprised to learn how easy it is to make it yourself!

Ingredients

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

  • 75 grams coarse rice flour (domyoji-ko; 道明寺粉)
  • 70 grams sugar
  • 200 milliliters hot water
  • Pinch of powdered red food coloring (dissolved in a small amount of water)
  • 8-10 preserved cherry blossom leaves
  • 120-150 grams red bean paste (anko; 餡子)

Method

  1. Place water and cherry blossom leaves in a bowl for at least one hour prior to cooking to remove extra salt.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 200 milliliters boiled water, then add the food coloring.
  3. Place rice flour in a bowl, pour in the sugar water, and mix well.
  4. Cover the rice mixture and let sit for one to two hours.
  5. Once the rice flour has absorbed the water to become dough-like, spread 30-gram portions into circles. Place a ball of bean paste (approximately 15 grams) in the center of each circle, and then close the mochi dough around the paste, forming a ball.
  6. Wrap each mochi ball with a preserved cherry blossom leaf.

Then serve in Japanese plates (preferably sakura-decorated) and enjoy the spring taste and scent at your home! And don’t forget to share your amazing photos with us via Facebook or #savvytokyo on Instagram. Enjoy! xx

Note: This article originally appeared on Savvy Tokyo in March 2014. It has been edited and updated by The Savvy Team.