Parboil the oak leaves and drain. Divide the red bean paste into 7 pieces (25 g each), and make barrels. Soak the dried mugwort in a tea sachet in water for 20 minutes.
Combine rice flour, shiratamako, katakuriko, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add water, and mix well. If you are making a mugwort version, squeeze the excess water, and add to the bowl.
Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwave for 5 minutes at 500 W. After 1 minute, take it out, stir well, then put it back in the microwave. Continue microwaving for another 4 minutes.
Take it out from the microwave, and pound with a rolling pin. When it starts to cool, place on a wrung-out wet towel. Knead it until it turns as your earlobe.
Return it to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 2 minutes at 500 W. Pound it again with the rolling pin. When it starts to cool, place it on the towel again, and lightly knead. Divide into 7 even portions.
Stretch out the dough with wet hands. Place a ball of red bean paste on top, fold it in half, then tightly close the edges.
Wrap the mochi with a leaf and you're done. If you're not planning to eat it right away, cover it up in plastic cling wrap. (The pictures were taken when I made mugwort mochi.)
Story Behind this Recipe
This kashiwa mochi has a chewy texture with the shiratamako and joshinko. I wanted to make the kashiwa mochi my Grandma used to make for me a long time ago!
When you are stretching the dough, if you don't wet your hands, it will stick to your hands. But if you wet your hands too much, the red bean paste will absorb the moisture and become too soft. In that case, it will fall out of its wrap later on, so be careful. This rice cake is very sticky, so thinly grease the oak leaves with vegetable oil before wrapping. It will be easier to remove the leaves when you eat it.