Sugar (adjust the amount depending on the sweetness of the bean paste)
45-50 g or 50-60 g
180-185 ml or 225-235 ml
Sweet bean paste (See Recipe ID: 762204 for Shiro An)
enough for 15-25 g per daifuku
Katakuriko (for dusting the mochi skins)
A reasonable amount for lightly coating the daifuku
Measure the shiratama-ko and sugar directly into a heatproof bowl, add water, lightly mix, and set aside.
While the shiratama-ko mixture is resting, hull the strawberries. Take care not to damage them. Wash and pat dry.
Coat the strawberries with a layer of the sweet bean paste. I usually just put about half of the sweet bean paste that I'll use onto each strawberry. (I put the other half on when I wrap the strawberries with the mochi skins.)
Using a wooden spatula, mix the ingredients well in the bowl in Step 1, and microwave uncovered in a 600 watt microwave for 4 minutes, removing once after 2 minutes to mix well again. The photo shows how the mixture looks when you pull it out at 2 minutes.
When you're only using 120 g of shiratamako, microwave the mixture for 3 minutes, pausing to mix after 1.5 minutes.
When you mix the watery spots well with the spots that are becoming more mochi-like, you'll get a consistency like this (see photo). Put the mixture back in the microwave for the remaining 2 minutes.
When the batter has changed from white to a translucent appearance, it's ready. But, depending on your microwave it may take a little more or less time. So, mix the batter well, and if it's still white, microwave for 20 more seconds.
Dust a tray or other surface with katakuriko, and pour out the contents of Step 7 on top. Dust the top of the mochi dough with katakuriko, and cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.
Flatten out each piece one by one, but leave the middle of each thick and unflattened. Pick up with both your hands, using your index and thumb and stretch.
When you've flattened the dough into 5-6 cm circles, set the strawberries from Step 3 on top and wrap the mochi around the strawberries. This is the point when I add the other half of the sweet bean paste, using the back of a round spoon or similar tool to spread the paste thinly onto the surface of the mochi.
Place the strawberries with the other half of the sweet bean paste, bean-paste-side up on the mochi, and spread the bean paste over the strawberry as you wrap it in the mochi.
If you don't finish wrapping the strawberries while the mochi dough is still warm, the seam won't stick together well, so work quickly.
Your preference will vary, but I think these are very good when the proportions are at about 3 mm for the layer of sweet bean paste, and 8 mm for the mochi skin, or at least no thicker than 1 cm.
Story Behind this Recipe
I first started making these after seeing a friend make them, but I modified the recipe a little to make it my own.
You have to work very quickly when making these, so it's very challenging to try to make them alone and also take photos.