You don't need a rice cooker or a microwave! Cook glutinous mochi rice in a pot for these ohagi (a traditional sweet dumpling). It takes less time than using an electric rice cooker, and you can even make just a small amount, so I recommend it.
Rinse the rice, drain and put into a pot. Add the specified amount of water, and leave to soak for about 20 minutes.
While the rice is soaking... Mix the ingredients marked ◆ together to make the kinako coating for the ohagi.
Make the black sesame coating... Grind up the black sesame seeds well in a grinding bowl (suribachi). Add the sugar marked ☆ and mix well. (You can use pre-ground sesame seeds instead!)
If the storebought anko (sweet bean paste) you are using is loose or watery, heat up in a pan to evaporae the moisture, and leave to cool. You should have about 200 g of anko after the moisture has evaporated.
Cover the rice pot with a lid and start heating over high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down immediately to very low, and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, and leave the rice to steam and rest for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle in the salt and mix well. Use a moistened pestle or rolling pin to partially crush the rice. You should still see some rice grains in the mashed up rice.
Moisten your hands, and form 6 dumplings with the mashed rice.
For regular ohagi: Form the dumplings into oval shapes, and cover with anko (sweet bean paste). (This is easy if you spread the anko on a piece of plastic wrap, place the rice dumpling on top and then wrap the anko around it.)
Make the kinako ohagi: Flatten out one of the rice dumplings on a moistened palm, add 1 tablespoon of anko in the middle, wrap the rice around it, and coat the dumpling with the kinako mixture from step 2.
Make the black sesame ohagi: Add 2 teaspoons of the ground sesame mixture from step 3 to the remaining anko. Wrap it in the rice as with the kinako ohagi, and coat the dumpling with the remaining black sesame mix.
Line them up on a plate, and the 3-colored ohagi are complete! Optionally mix in some ground sesame seeds into the anko for the black sesame ohagi.
Story Behind this Recipe
After the big earthquake we were told to cut down on electricity use, but it was o-higan (the fall equinox) so I wanted to eat ohagi! So, I cooked the mochi rice in a pot (with gas) for the ohagi. The rice cooks faster than in an electric cooker, so it was easy.
When you are cooking the rice, if the heat is too high you'll have burned bits, so please cook it over low heat so as to avoid burning the rice as much as possible. If you have burned bits of rice, the ohagi will be hard and chewy... When adding the coating to the ohagi, I recommend using plastic wrap. Your hands won't get messy, and it's also more sanitary.