Dissolve red food colouring in 350 ml of water. Soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes. Cook the rice in the rice cooker.
Make balls from the bean paste.
Immerse the cherry blossom leaves briefly in water (to remove the salt). Pat dry.
When the rice cooker has finished cooking, let it rest for 10 minutes to steam the rice. Add sugar, and mix while grinding the rice slightly.
When the rice has cooled a bit, wrap in the bean paste, then fold a cherry blossom leaf over the rice cake. (It will be easier if you flatten the rice between plastic wrap.)
Story Behind this Recipe
This is my family's standard snack in spring.
Dissolve the red food colouring little by little. One person who tried this recipe told me that she peeled off the leaf from the rice ball and re-soaked it. This was because she didn't soak it for long enough the first time, so the leaf was still salty. The saltiness of the preserved cherry leaves differs depending on the maker, so adjust the soaking time. Store-bought bean paste is convenient to use for this recipe.