Sakura Mochi for Japanese Girls' Day

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sakura Mochi
Today, 3/3 is Girls' Day or Hinamatsuri in Japan. Super cool for about 50% of the population, no?

Of course, I'm all about the food. Hee hee. Actually, girls are supposed to have elaborate dolls (with stands) of the Emperor, Empress, Court and lots of other peeps. See here.

Sakura Mochi
My mom grew up in post-war Okinawa and they didn't have money. So she didn't have a doll display. And I didn't get one growing up here in Los Angeles. Which, it turns out, I am soooooo thankful for because I am completely scared of dolls.

I think dolls come and try to attack you in the middle of the night...AND steal socks from the dryer. Every year, someone puts up an antique doll display in the library and I run past it all month.

So, for Girls Day, we are bypassing the dolls and heading for the sweets. Sakura Mochi!

Sakura Mochi
This type of Sakura Mochi consists of sweetened red beans, sweetened rice, and covered with a sakura (cherry blossom tree) leaf. The leaf is pickled and is very similar to a grape leaf. This mochi is the perfect combo of sweet and salty. Yum!

Sakura Mochi
Usually, I pick up fresh Sakura Mochi at a local Japanese confectionery, but this year I wasn't able to so I had to pick up this variety (made in Japan and shipped over frozen). If you happen upon a Japanese confectionery store, pick up the pretty in pink sakura mochi!

And don't worry about the boys...their day is 5/5!
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DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I've never had a sakura leaf before, but I can tell I'd love this - red beans and red bean paste are two of my favorite dessert ingredients :)

Deeba PAB said... [Reply to comment]

Oh this is a beautiful post Mary. Pretty and fascinating! I love the connect!

diva said... [Reply to comment]

MMMM. Happy Hinamatsuri. I do love sakuramochi. THe flavour of sakura is just so amazing. :)

Liz said... [Reply to comment]

OMG! This is making my mouth water! My 3 1/2 year old daughter would love these. My hubby's family lives in Gardena (he's 4th generation) and every time I see these confections, I'm reminded of New Year's with his family. Sakura-Ya was closed on Jan. 2nd so I missed out on their goodies. I settled for some grape mochi at Marukai. Thanks your new year's posts. My daughter loves eating baked mochi with shoyu. She could eat it for days!

Fathima said... [Reply to comment]

I have never heard or had this before... Such a pretty looking sweet!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

What beautiful mochi! I am suddenly flashing back to grade school (in southern California) when someone's mom brought in a doll display to show our class. I remember thinking, why don't we have a girls' day?

Susan C said... [Reply to comment]

I was just at the Mitsuwa Market in Torrance and saw these little beauties at the mochi stand. I thought that the leaves were shiso, but figured that had nothing to do with a cherry. So good to be illuminated! Do you actually eat the leaves or just peel them off?

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Susan C, Eat the leaf! It's like a grape leaf and gives it a bit of salt. Combined with the sweet red beans...heaven!! :) Happy Girls Day!! - mary

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Wow these sound delicious, I love red bean paste. Yay for girls days.

kirbie said... [Reply to comment]

I love sakura mochi, especially with the light pink color. I didn't know you could eat the leaves though! Now I know. I bought some this weekend since a lot of mochi was on sale with Girls' Day so close.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

When I was young, my mom used to sell Yakult in Manila. She was one of the top-sellers and was invited to Japan to celebrate. Anyways, she was given one of those dolls & she gave it to me. Let's just say the doll stayed inside the closet!
Happy Hinamatsuri Day to you Mary! Love the pink color of the mochi, I don't think I've ever had sakura leaf before. Would def look for them!

Joanne said... [Reply to comment]

There are so few things I like more in life than mochi. Other than pure unadulterated sweetened red beans. These are so cute!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Update - I just want to be clear that you can eat the very thin sakura leaf (looks like a grape leaf) but you can't eat the kashiwa (oak) leaf that covers another type of mochi. Kashiwa mochi is for Boys' Day on 5/5. Don't eat the oak/kashiwa leaf! - mary the food librarian

Snooky doodle said... [Reply to comment]

these look so pretty in pink :)

Anna M. said... [Reply to comment]

i will be downtown tonight, I'm going to pick some of these up at the mochi place. Yum! so pretty.

Yuko said... [Reply to comment]

Little additional info from Japan..
There are two types of Sakuramochi, Western Japan version and Eastern Japan one. (see the description of Wikipedia:
In Tokyo, the former type is called "Doumyoji" and both types are available in local supermarkts, confectionary shops, etc.

Sook said... [Reply to comment]

I love mochi!! The color is so pretty! I want one. :)

Erica said... [Reply to comment]

Wow!They are so beautiful! I love your blog and your pictures are fantastic!

Jennifer T. said... [Reply to comment]

I'm with you on the subject of dolls. My ex is from Japan and he swore he saw one of his sister's dolls cry blood. I always avoided them ever since!

I'm not fond of Mochi (it's a texture thing) but these look so pretty that I might try it again.

Rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

This has nothing to do with what you made, but did you see that the article on condensed milk in the Food section of NY Times today had a picture of stained glass jello? The person who they interviewed -- the Jello Maven, credits you with the stained glass jello on her blog.

vibi said... [Reply to comment]

Mmmm... I can almost tate then! Their texture seems superb... I love that ooey, goowey stuff! Must go to china town and get some soon!

Very pretty, dainty, delicate, lovely... Mary!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said... [Reply to comment]

These are adorable and I love the color! Very curious how the leaf tastes in a sweet treat though.

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Xiaolu, The leaf is pickled so it tastes a bit salty. It tastes like a grape leaf used in Greek cooking. - mary

The Scootabaker said... [Reply to comment]

I seriously value the mochi. especially pink mochi with red bean paste. strange how because it's pink, I immediately wanted it.

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