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Easy Kusa-Mochi in the Microwave

This is a recipe for kusa-mochi (yomogi mochi).

Ingredients

Yomogi
20 g
Tsubu-an
70 g
Sugar
20 g
Joshinko
75 g
Shiratamako
25 g
Hot water
100 ml
Baking soda
3 g

Steps

1. Find some fresh yomogi and pick only the leaves. If they're a bit dirty give them a quick wash.
2. Boil 1 litre water in a saucepan and add baking soda.
3. Add the yomogi into the water and blanch. Wash it a few times then leave it to soak in cold water.
4. Gently squeeze any excess water out of the yomogi.
5. Finely chop the yomogi with a knife and then grind it into a paste with a pestle and mortar. If you don't have a pestle and mortar, you can blend it in a food processor instead.
6. Split the tsubu-an into 5 portions and roll each portion into a ball.
7. Add the joshinko, shiratamako and sugar into a bowl and lightly mix them with a pair of cooking chopsticks.
8. Gradually add the hot water and mix everything together well so that there are no lumps. I find that mixing by hand is the most efficient.
9. Lightly wrap the mixture and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes at 500 W.
10. Wet a wooden spatula and mix the paste well until it gathers into a ball of mochi dough.
11. Place the dough in the same mortar as the yomogi paste.
12. Mix the mochi dough and yomogi paste well with a wooden pestle until the yomogi paste is distributed evenly.
13. Keep your fingers wet and split the mochi dough into 5 portions. Then stretch out each portion and use one portion to wrap each ball of tsubu-an.
14. These kusa-mochi are likely to stick to the plate they're served on so I think it's easiest to serve them on top of a dusting of kinako.

Story Behind this Recipe

This is kusa-mochi made with yomogi, a plant that can only be eaten fresh at this time of year. I found some soft yomogi down by the river and it made me want to make these.