“Sasa-mochi” is a seasonal specialty made locally in Aomori during the early summer months when new sasa bamboo leaves come in season. Unlike sasa-mochi from other regions, the sasa-mochi in Aomori is wrapped in the sasa leaves without binding and takes advantage of the antibacterial properties of sasa leaves.
Sasa leaves are harvested between June and July. They can be frozen for storage and should be blanched before use.
*This recipe is based on recipes from “Food Culture Tradition Guidebook”
Ingredients [makes 40 serving(s)]
- 500g of mochiko (or sweet rice flour)
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 500g of sugar
- 250g of anko (red bean paste, chunky or fine)
- Water as needed
- 40 sasa leaves
- Mix and knead the mochiko, sugar, and anko, adding water as needed until it is as soft as an earlobe.
- Boil some water, add salt. Blanch the sasa leaves, then quickly plunge in ice water.
- Line a steamer with a wet towel. Roll the mochi into serving sized balls and place them in the steamer. Steam for approximately 20 minutes, or until the color of the mochi becomes darker and the surface is glossy.
- Wipe down any excess water from the sasa leaves. Place the mochi on the top side of the leaves and wrap them up. Sasa leaves can be omitted if sasa leaves are not available.
If the mochi becomes tough, simply roast the sasa-wrapped mochi before enjoying it.