This is probably the most useless recipe I'll ever node on E2,
because the ingredients are almost unobtainable outside Japan
(although a Japanese grocery may be able to special-order some)
and most people in Japan
can read the instructions on the package
and whip up their own without my help. But three reasons convince
me to forge ahead:
- Maybe some poor E2ers in Japan can't read the Japanese instructions
- Warabimochi "dough" is one of the most bizarre substances known
- I am addicted to the end result and import kilograms of the stuff
from Japan whenever I can
Homemade Yummy Balls of Bracken Flour Fun
What You Need (The Hard Part)
手作りわらび餅 (Tezukuri Warabimochi)
a few tbsp of mitsu (runny black syrup)
- 100g warabimochiko (fern bracken root flour)
- no substitutes and, to the best of my knowledge, not eaten outside Japan
- around 20g kinako (soy bean flour)
- no substitutes, marginally better availability
- a warabimochi kit will often, but not always, include a package of
ice (optional but recommended)
How To Make It (The Fun Part)
- other syrups, like molasses, are a poor substitute but better than
How to Eat It (The Tasty Part)
- Pour the water into a saucepan and slowly stir in the
warabimochiko and sugar until you have a uniform, milky liquid.
- On a medium flame, heat until boiling and then simmer, stirring
constantly. The liquid will develop little translucent chunks that
will grow in size and stick together until you are left with a pan
full of thick, translucent paste. (Reduce heat at this stage,
or you'll end up with impossible-to-remove smudges of burned but
perfectly transparent warabimochi on the bottom of your pan!)
The longer you stir, the more transparent it becomes; stop when the
mixture is more or less uniform.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water, add ice if you have any.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out little chunks of the glop and
plop them into the bowl to set. Repeat until all gone, then let the
chunks cool down completely in the water.
- Alternatively, if the spoon method's misshapen chunks cause
you aesthetic distress, you can fashion a cone from wax paper (leaving
a centimeter or so open at the tip) and squirt perfect little spheres
into the water.
Drain off excess water in a colander. With your chopsticks (warning:
chopstick-fu required!), dip
a ball of warabimochi into the mitsu syrup
and then roll it around in kinako. Pop into your mouth and
The recipe serves 4-5 people in theory and one not-very-hungry me
in practice. Homemade warabimochi remains edible after one day in
the fridge, but turns almost white and more solid in the process.
Being eaten cold, warabimochi is traditionally a summer dish in Japan,
but with a pot of hot green tea on the side it's fine anytime.