130 g (amount may need to be adjusted depending on moisture content)
Japanese yam or nagaimo yam (peeled)
2 teaspoons (to taste)
Maple syrup (optional)
1 generous teaspoon (to taste)
Natural sea salt
1 scant tablespoon
Dried wheat gluten (if using nagaimo yam)
Note: If using nagaimo yam, pulse the dried wheat gluten in the food processor, then set aside, before introducing the kudzu powder.
Break up the clumps of kudzu powder with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Add the Japanese yam (or nagaimo yam), and mash/pulse until smooth.
Add the drained tofu to the mixture and mash/pulse until it reaches an even consistency.
Add the steamed, peeled, and mashed kabocha and the rest of the ingredients, and mash/pulse.
Preheat the oven to 170℃, pour the mixture into a Swiss roll cake pan roughly 250 mm x 17 mm in size, and bake for about 40 minutes.
Transfer to a bamboo sushi mat fresh from the oven, roll it up, then let it cool. Do not remove the sushi mat until after it cools.
Once the roll cools, wrap it in plastic wrap (without removing the sushi mat), then slice before serving.
In Step 3, if the mixture appears too moist, or is not fluffy enough, add small amounts of powdered dried wheat gluten (pulverized in a food processor) until it thickens.
Story Behind this Recipe
Since my daughter has food allergies, I make all of the New Year's osechi dishes from scratch.
If you don't have a Swiss roll cake pan, make your own mold out of parchment paper to match the size of your sushi mat. The kabocha squash usually gives enough sweetness to this roll, but the amount listed is just the right amount to give your date-maki a nice baked finish. Adjust the flavor of the batter to taste before baking.