Mix mochiko, water, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl until all lumps disappear. Cover with a silicon lid and microwave for 3 minutes.
Mix well with a spatula and microwave again for 3 minutes. The mixture will rise and steam. When it's sticky when taken out, it's cooked.
Here's a variation with 1 teaspoon of matcha. It will deflate after the second round of microwaving.
Knead well. When it becomes glossy, set aside for 15 minutes. You might burn yourself if it's too hot, and it'll be too soft to form. While it's cooling, prepare 12 bean paste balls.
Dust a working surface and the mochi with katakuriko. Remove the mochi from the bowl with a spatula.
Coat your hands with katakuriko. Roll the mochi into a long rope and cut into half. Divide again into thirds, then halve again, making 12 portions.
Roll into balls and flatten out into about 4 to 5cm diameter circle with thin edges. Center the bean paste, and seal the edges.
When it's completely sealed, turn over. Roll into a sphere to finish. If you serve in cup cake foils, it won't stick.
Store in a closed container. They stored well in room temperature for 2-3 days where I am in San Francisco.
Story Behind this Recipe
They were selling daifuku for a dollar at a Japanese supermarket (my husband loves them), but I discovered an easy and economic way to make it on Youtube. I reduced the amount of sugar and made my own variation to make this recipe.
I recommend using inexpensive "glutinous rice flour" with green letters on the package that you can buy at Asian grocery stores. I added 2 tablespoons of homemade cranberry sauce and reduced the amount of water slightly in step 1 to make pink mochi. Make shio (salted) daifuku by adding a pinch of salt, or matcha green tea powder to make matcha daifuku.