The white soft mochi filled with anko (bean sweet paste) is often called daifuku, daifuku-mochi, very lucky mochi.
Today, this is not a classic mochi made from scratch like those you buy in shops (more about it soon).
It’s a home-made instant version. Like you can make pudding from powder and milk, you can make mochi from powder and water.
The powder you need is called mochiko.
If you make the following recipe with standard rice flour, standard rice powder, you will get a thick, sticky, waxy rice pudding called uiro in Japan… not the elastic mochi texture.
It’s a white powder sold in Japanese grocery stores. You often see it as ingredient for making wagashi (Japanese sweets).
Is mochiko = rice flour ? In Japan, no (I can’t tell about exported products), not in the sense of milled rice grains. The standard rice flour is called “komeko”. You can’t substitute.
Wikipedia explanation of “mochiko”
My translation :
Shiratamako (白玉粉), also called kanzarashi (寒晒し), mochiko もち粉 or kanshinjiko (観心寺粉) is a powder made from mochi-gome (white polished Japanese sticky rice).
Mochi-gome rice is rinsed, soaked one night, drained, and grinded while adding water. This “milk” is then dehydrated by pressure technique or sun-drying. It is used as an ingredient to make different wagashi (Japanese sweets), in particular shiratama-dango (white small balls). The texture of balls made with that ingredient is finer.
It is a very ancient Japanese processed product. It is made for dangos, not ideal for mochi (but that works). I think there are slight differences between the different named powders that result in nuances in taste and texture.
Daifuku mochi (from mochiko)
20 g of mochiko per mochi,
filling, 1 dice per mochi
-mix mochiko and the amount of water indicated by the maker (here 200 ml for 250 g of mochiko). Kneed and form small balls.
-steam 20 minutes in a steam basket.
-soften in a mortar
My quick and easy recipe (improved) :
-mix mochiko and just enough water to form a firm dough. Kneed it a little, just to get a smooth texture.
-microwave at 500 W, 3 minutes.
-with a spatula, take the amount of hot paste for 1 to 6 mochi, put in a mortar (or a dish) and pound with a pestle (or any large stick you have, I sometimes use the other side of a spoon). At that step, you can use more liquid, sugar, flavoring or coloring.
The filling :
Prepare small balls of filling. If it’s very soft, freeze them in ice-cube tray.
-when the mochi paste is lukewarm and at the texture your want, wet your hands.
-take the amount for 1 mochi, form a ball, flatten it. Place a ball of filling inside. Close the mochi around it.
-wet well your hands for each. It’s the way to avoid the mochi sticking on your fingers.
Depending on “softness”, your mochi may be sticky. So roll it in lots of corn-starch.
Classic matcha-an (green tea bean jam) :
Cook white beans (soak overnight, bring to boil, boil 10 min, change water, boil…). Then weight the beans, add same weight of sugar. Simmer the beans and sugar together a few minutes. Cool. Pound the mix to desired texture (you can pass it through a thieve). Add matcha (green tea powder for ceremony) or “green tea powder” (lower grade tea leaves, but it is close to matcha and much cheaper).
My choco-chip macha-an
1/2 cup of boiled fava beans (without the skin)
1 ts of macha
kuro mitsu (black sugar syrup) to taste
a few pieces of cocoa mass
In a mortar, combine the 3 first ingredients. Make small balls the size of a dice. Break the cocoa mass in chips and insert some in balls.