Warabi sauce baked shiitake and muffins

Small bites. Baked shiitake mushrooms, and muffins with bits of shiitake and green pepper.
Autumn is getting near, so mushrooms become tempting. Actually that doesn’t matter as shiitake are produced year round, but I remember we had many mushrooms in woods in that season when I was a kid.

For the batter, I tried something and yeah, good. I cooked some warabi mochi (bracken starch) mixed with water. In 2 minutes, I got a sort of paste. When it cooled a little, I’ve mixed in one egg, some strong taste grated cheese, baking powder and a little potato starch. I filled the shrooms… With the rest of batter, the feet of the shiitake and some shishito peppers, I made muffins.

A green yuzu. I’ve flavored the cabbage salad with its zest and juice.

warabiiiiii mochiiii, ikaga desuka ? Japanese Summer’s snack

A plate of warabi mochi, a long time favorite Japanese sweet. There are still people with wood carts that they roll, or more often these days small vans, that pass in residential towns at the hour of tea break. They shoot “warabiiiiii mochiiii….” to call customers. Kids, older kids rush out of their houses to buy some.

1.catch a bit with the pick

2. Roll it in a mix of kinako and sugar (or kinako and kuro mitsu black sugar syrup)

3. Guess !
I really don’t know. Maybe it’s decorative. Or they give them to the cat.
I ate them. All. Mmmmmm ! It’s delicious, fresh and nutty, not too sweet (you may skip the sugar).

Well, there was a point zero.
0. Mix about 30 g (2/3 tbs) of warabi-ko (bracken starch) and a cup of water. Cook while stiring with a wooden spatula. First you have a white liquid, then a white paste, then a transparent paste (avoid doing it in a white sauce pan). When it’s all clear, shape balls and throw in iced water -not easy, you should train a lot to become a pro.
Short-cut : tranfer all the paste into a wet mold, let cool 1-2 hours. They can be chilled in the fridge, or -more traditional- at room temperature. Before serving, cut in cubes in a plate of water as you want them wet.

Kinako is powdered grilled soy bean. I use natural cane sugar. Half/half is classic. For me 20% sugar is enough.

So if you can get warabi starch and kinako from you local Asian store, try that some hot day.

other Japanese sweets

Lemon snow-flake mochi and mochinnamon bun (via Gourmande in Osaka)

That was fun…

Lemon snow-flake mochi and mochinnamon bun Snow-ball ? Hedgehog ? Lawn ? Well this is my version of a wagashi (Japanese sweet) popular in this season in Kansai. I don't know the name – so many varieties exist, not all are named. It's often yuzu-mochi. Usually it's flavored with yuzu citrus. Mine is made with Meyer lemon. So "lemon snow-flake mochi" ? Mine look really gross compared to what the artisans make. BUT, it tastes much better than the supermarket version. And I know how to improv … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Wagashi saga. Full edition.

DSC01074-002mikan daifuku

The Japanese are sweet lovers. Now, all sorts of Western and Asian sweets can be found in big cities, and there are many talented bakers.

Wagashi means “Japanese sweets”, and it refers to the snack, usually sweet, served with tea. Eating desserts is not the custom. You eat lunch at 11~12 , then at 3 pm, you have a sweet with tea.

murasaki hanamame

The bulk of wagashi are made on a base of 2 ingredients : rice and azuki beans. And the artisans carve hundreds of refined designs -inspired by nature and seasonal events. So you may have the impression that they all taste the same and are only decorative. Actually, even in traditional shops, there exist many other flavors, sesame, roast soy beans, sweet potato, nuts, yuzu, chestnut, ume plum, cherry blossom, matcha, dry fruits, cassia cinnamon…
I have no ambition to compete in refinement of making with the famous shops. I have them on occasions, not too often as the quality ones are not cheap. Making my snacks is mostly a hobby and a way to avoid the supermarket range ones.
My home-made wagashi don’t always follow the traditional recipes, but I try to indicate when I adapt. Usually, I want mines to be less sweetened.


Sweet pastes
There are several sweet pastes called “an”.
“anko” the most common is made of red azuki beans. Other beans are used too, white for “shiro an”, and also red, yellow, black…
“kimi-an” is yellow and egg flavored. “kuri-an” is made with chestnut. Etc

Cooking azuki beans

Making anko (brown filling) from the beans. Tsubuan and koshian. Easy recipe.

Making kimi-an (yellow filling, with egg)

Rice, rice flour, processed rice flours

Making o-hagi, the basic wagashi (from rice)

Making daifuku mochi from mochiko (from mochi flour)

Making kashiwa-mochi (from joshinko rice flour)

Other flours

kuzu, kudzu :
warabi (bracken) :
warabi mochi
agar agar :

Home-made wagashi



Gold and Chestnut : kuri kinton

Kuri, the sweet (2nd style of kuri kinton)

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha

Polka-dot kabocha yokan

Making o-hagi

Mizu-yokan and nashi

After-Eight Daifuku Mochi

Choco-coco hari-nezumi



Azuki filled “sweet potato”


Ichigo daifuku mochi

Zenzai with yaki-mochi

Ginger kuzu-yu


choco-chip matcha-an daifuku

Tokoroten cherry…

Kimi-an dango, Japanese sweets like pearls of gold

Tamago-chan, cute egg wagashi



Lemon snow-flake mochi

Mochinnamon bun

Cubes of refreshment : heart-heaven in black sweetness


Okinawan mochi

warabi mochi (classic recipe)

ichigo-dama (strawberry pearls)


Setsubun (start of Spring festival)

Casual tea.

About wagashi and mochi from the shop… (Summer)

Yatsuhashi for sakura season (from the shop)

Assorted Spring wagashi (from the shop)

Kashiwa-mochi for Children Day, May 5th (from the shop)

okaki mochi

noshi mochi

Other dessert compilations :

Crazy and Healthy Sweets (compilation)

French desserts – Dessert francais (compilation)

About wagashi and mochi from the shop…

This is a snow-flake yuzu mochi I bought. A bit different from those I made.

model vs copy

The technique to grate the mochi differs obviously :

Their recipe too. They used sticky rice flour, corn syrup, and artificial stuff… Not so healthy.
As I was there, I took other samples. I’ll make them too in a few days.

Yesterday, I told you :

To obtain those refreshing “Summer mochi” texture, 3 types of flour are used :
1. sticky rice starch
2. warabi (bracken)
3. kuzu (arrow root)
Or a combination.
There are slight differences of texture.
The first gives something more like a paste, solid, easy to shape by hand, not transparent. It’s not melty unless you add lots of syrup.
The kuzu more like a melty jelly, very transparent. It’s not possible to shape it, you need a mold.
The warabi… in between. I’d say it’s the easier to use for a beginner, well for me.

So the first was sticky rice starch.

These 2 are “classical warabi mochi”, made of bracken flour. They are unflavored inside, the first are covered with kinako + sugar, the second with macha + sugar.

These are kuzu mochi. Kuzu (kudzu) is arrow-root. It’s the transparent part. The inside in azuki bean paste (koshian).

Well, I have too many for me now, not all are on the photo… And they are much more sugared than home-made. A serving is 2 pieces of the yuzu mochi, 3 pieces of warabi mochi, one piece of kudzu mochi. I’ll freeze some for later.

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.