oh, wait…you’re going to give me sakura mochi?? YESSSSSS!
My mom offered to prepare the rice for the mochi so I offered to make the Anko. My mom laughed out loud and I quickly realized the folly of my words. I looked over at my mom and said, “Geez. That may have been a bad idea, huh?” She said, “well, I guess we’ll see…” [As you can see, my mom has total confidence in my mad skills]. I would’ve made the white kind, which actually goes better with sakura mochi but I didn’t have those kinds of beans.
1 cup Azuki Beans [available at Health Food Stores or Asian Markets]
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
Wash beans in cold water. Bring beans to a boil in a saucepan [faster if you cover with a lid] then drain water. Add 3 cups of water and bring beans to a simmer over medium heat and cook until soft, stirring every so often [again, covering pot with a lid]. If the water evaporates before the beans are soft, add just a LITTLE bit of water [most of the liquid should be evaporated by the time its fully cooked]. Once it’s cooked, add sugar, stirring the mixture, breaking up the beans so that most of the beans have been ground/mashed.
3 cups of Sweet Rice
Red food coloring
6 tablespoons sugar
salted preserved cherry leaves [pickle YOUNG leaves in salty water…my mom only had mature leaves, which are WAY too tough to eat]
Wash rice very thoroughly until clear. Soak rice in water, dropping a few drops of red food coloring until the rice looks pink. Let sit for 4 hours. You can either steam the rice until cooked or cook it with ample water in a rice cooker. [this photo would’ve been a lot sharper but for the fact that my mom’s a total spaz & doesn’t understand that “photos” are not “moving pictures”.]
Add 6 tablespoons sugar and pinch salt to rice and mix thoroughly crushing the rice as you mix. [Again, “stop” does not mean anything to my mom. She tell me that she’s too busy to slow down. Uhhh…heelllloooo…YOU’RE RETIRED.]
My mom taught me to use plastic cling wrap to lay about 2 Tablespoons of rice on, flattening out so that it’s an oval shape so that the rice doesn’t stick to my hands.
Place about 2 teaspoons of tsubushi an in the center.
Fold the rice in half sealing the ends together.