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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ohagi (Japanese Candy Rice Balls) おはぎ

Ohagi (Botamochi) is likely one of the conventional Japanese sweets that locals eat throughout autumn and spring. It’s made by half-pounding cooked glutinous rice then coating it in candy purple bean paste.

Ohagi is the very first thing I ever made with my grandmother and what we made collectively yearly we visited Japan after I was rising up. This candy rice ball really holds a particular place in my coronary heart and to today, make it at the least twice a yr. I am extremely excited to lastly share this Ohagi recipe with you!

I additionally began a brand new collection on Youtube, A Style of Nostalgia. I’ve at all times needed to do a collection like this to share extra of my tradition (Japanese, Chinese language and Canadian) by means of meals. Ohagi is the primary episode, so you may watch easy methods to make it over there when you’re extra of a visible learner 🙂

Desk of Contents

  • What’s ohagi?
  • What’s the distinction between ohagi and botamochi?
  • Cultural significance
  • Ohagi (Botamochi) Elements
  • Find out how to make ohagi (botamochi)
  • Ohagi variations
  • The place to seek out Ohagi in Japan
  • Recommendations on making ohagi

What’s Ohagi (Botamochi)?

Ohagi, also referred to as Botamochi, is a conventional Japanese candy created from glutinous rice and purple bean paste. Steamed or cooked glutinous rice is pounded, formed into ovals and historically, lined with candy purple bean paste. Though anko was the usual, throughout the Edo interval different flavours resembling white bean paste (shiro an), kinako (soy bean flour), black sesame and aonori (inexperienced laver) had been made in Kyoto, every including its distinctive texture and depth. These days, there are numerous completely different seasonal substances, flavours and variations.

Ohagi isn’t solely loved for its deliciousness but in addition cherished for its cultural significance and ties Ohigan (お彼岸, Buddhist vacation), throughout the spring and autumn equinox.

What’s the distinction between Ohagi and Botamochi?

These candy rice balls are referred to as in another way relying on whether or not it’s autumn or spring. Throughout autumn, they’re referred to as Ohagi (おはぎ) as a result of it resembles the flower referred to as ‘hagi’ (萩, bush clover) that blooms within the fall. Within the spring, they’re referred to as Botamochi (ぼたもち), named after the peony (牡丹 peony) flower that seems throughout the spring.

One other distinction is the kind of purple bean paste used. Throughout Ohigan of autumn (Shūbun), the purple beans are freshly harvested. This implies the purple beans are very comfortable so the candy bean paste is made with the pores and skin (tsubushi an or tsubu an). Then throughout Ohigan of Spring, the peel is tougher so easy bean paste (koshi an). Nevertheless, with fashionable strategies and gear, each will be loved yr round.

Cultural Significance

Ohagi holds important cultural and seasonal significance in Japan, notably throughout the autumn equinox, often called ‘ohigan’, or ‘higan’. Throughout this time, Japanese households honor their ancestors and go to their graves, and Ohagi is usually ready and loved as a conventional providing.

The importance of Ohagi throughout Ohigan is tied to Buddhist traditions and beliefs. It is believed that the sticky rice utilized in Ohagi may help present nourishment to the spirits of ancestors. The spherical form of Ohagi symbolizes the cycle of life and demise, and its affiliation with the altering seasons displays the transient nature of life.

Past its ritualistic significance throughout Higan, Ohagi represents a way of familial connection and custom. Households typically come collectively to make Ohagi, passing down recipes and strategies by means of generations. It is a method of preserving cultural heritage and celebrating the ties between previous and current.


To make ohagi, all you want is:

  • Japanese glutinous rice (mochigome): please use Japanese glutinous rice for this recipe because it has a unique flavour than Thai glutinous rice. You might also substitute 20-25% of the rice with Japanese brief grain rice to maintain it softer and chewier for an prolonged time period.
  • Anko (candy bean paste): I personally love tsubushian for ohagi, however you can too select between tsubuan (chunky) and koshian (easy).

Here is my recipe for tsubushian that I’ve tailored from my grandmother. It’s kind of extra well timed in comparison with different recipes, however I promise it is value the additional time put in. I will be posting tsubuan and koshian recipe quickly!

Sugar and salt is non-compulsory, however really useful as is lends to flavour and retains the rice softer and chewier for longer.

Find out how to Make Ohagi (Botamochi)

Ohagi is the very very first thing I discovered easy methods to make with my grandmother, and we’d make it collectively yearly we visited Japan after I was rising up. Whereas it might probably take a while to make scrumptious anko, the method is extremely straightforward compared to different wagashi (Japanese sweets).

  1. Prepare dinner glutinous rice: wash, soak and prepare dinner glutinous rice.
  2. Pound the rice: pound the cooked rice to your liking.
  3. Form and wrap the rice: form the rice into ovals after which coat them with purple bean paste.

Candy Rice Ball Variations

The pound rice balls are additionally coated (or crammed) with different substances apart from purple bean paste. Flavours differ by area, reflecting native substances and style preferences. The Kanto area most well-liked sturdy flavours resembling sesame and soy bean flour. Whereas the Kansai area most well-liked lighter flavours resembling aonori (seaweed) with purple bean paste inside. In Kyoto, ohagi with matcha white bean paste is fashionable. Within the southern a part of Tohoku area, Zunada paste (mashed edamame or fava beans) are most well-liked.

Fashionable occasions now embody a bigger vary of variations. Not too long ago, vibrant ohagi with many alternative flavours and kinds have develop into extremely popular amongst the youthful technology.

The place to seek out Ohagi in Japan

Listed below are a few of my prime suggestions for Ohagi in Japan!

Conventional: made with anko

  • Saichi (Japanese bean cake “Ohagi” Store) (主婦の店 さいち) – Sendai
  • Kanmi-Okame (甘味おかめ 有楽町店) – Tokyo
  • Kasho Akane 菓匠 あかね – Tokyo
  • Sentaro Head Store (仙太郎 本店)  Kyoto
  • Imanishiken (今西軒) – Kyoto
  • Gyokuseiya (おはぎ 玉製家) – Osaka
  • Miyoshino (みよしの) – Ehime

Fashionable: made with quite a lot of seasonal substances and extremely aesthetic

  • Takeno To Ohagi (タケノとおはぎ) – Tokyo
  • OHAGI3 – nagoya / tokyo / hiroshima / miyagi
  • Mori no Ohagi (森のおはぎ) – Osaka
  • Masuda Ohagi (増田おはぎ)  – Sapporo


  1. Glutinous rice vs. Quick grain rice: When making ohagi and consuming it contemporary, I favor and suggest to make use of 100% glutinous rice. Nevertheless, if storing for an prolonged time period, mixing brief grain rice will assist hold the rice softer and chewier. Moreover, including sugar and salt helps with sustaining texture.
  2. Make candy bean paste prematurely: Making the candy bean paste a day prematurely cuts down prep work the day of and can make it simpler to mould since can be fully chilled and thickened.
  3. Pounding the rice: When utilizing solely glutinous rice, I solely pound ¼ – ⅓ as it’s already distinctly chewy. When including in brief grain rice I like to recommend pounding half the quantity for a chewier texture however nonetheless with the ability to benefit from the pure texture of rice. Nevertheless, how a lot you pound is totally as much as you!
  4. Shaping the rice: Dampen your arms earlier than molding every ball in order that the rice doesn’t keep on with your arms. It’s best to form when the anko is totally chilled and rice continues to be just a little heat.
  5. Use plastic wrap to coat the rice: Utilizing plastic wrap to coat the rice makes it much less messy and far simpler to coat the rice ball evenly.

Find out how to Retailer Ohagi

Ohagi is greatest loved after they’re made. They are often saved in a cool setting for as much as 24 hours. I don’t suggest refrigerating them because the rice will lose it’s comfortable and chewy texture, and switch exhausting. In case you have leftovers, wrap tightly in cling wrap and freeze. They are often stored frozen for as much as 1 month. When able to eat, thaw within the fridge in a single day or microwave on low setting till comfortable.

I personally like eat ohagi on the hotter facet throughout the cooler months ☺️.

Get pleasure from!! For those who make this Ohagi (Botamochi) recipe, let me know! Depart a remark, score and when you resolve to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I might love to listen to from you 😁!


Ohagi (Japanese Candy Rice Balls) おはぎ

Ohagi (Botamochi) is likely one of the conventional Japanese sweets that locals eat throughout autumn and spring. It’s made by half-pounding cooked glutinous rice then coating it in candy purple bean paste.




  • 1 ⅓ cup (300 g) of Japanese glutinous rice*
  • 23 teaspoon sugar, non-compulsory
  • ⅛ tsp salt, non-compulsory
  • 2 cups (900 g) anko (candy bean paste) select from tsubushian (easy with chunks), tsubuan (chunky) and koshian (easy)**


  1. Put together the rice: Rinse the rice. Add water and soak for precisely half-hour.
  2. Prepare dinner the rice: Add water to the ‘candy rice’ line in your rice cooker. Add the sugar and salt if utilizing.  Word: soaked rice needs to be cooked with a 1:1 ratio. Choose the candy rice possibility in your rice cooker. As soon as it beeps, let it sit for an additional 10 minutes earlier than opening. 
  3. Pound the rice: Have a bowl of water available. When prepared, take away the rice from the rice cooker and pound with a wood stick or rolling pin. Dip the tip of the stick in water to stop it from sticking as wanted. Pound the rice a number of occasions (about ⅓ of the quantity). If including brief grain rice, pound till half the rice is mashed (or to your liking). 
  4. Portion the rice: Calmly moist your arms with the water and scoop up 30-50 grams of rice, roughly mould it right into a oval or ball, and place onto a tray. Repeat till you employ up all of the rice and hold lined with a humid towel or cling wrap to stop it from drying out.
  5. Form ohagi: Scoop up 75 grams of anko and unfold it on cling wrap. I like to recommend a ratio of 40% rice to 60% anko. Then place a chunk of rice within the center. Decide it up together with your arms and mould it so the anko wraps across the rice. Unwrap after which place it onto a foil cup or plate. Maintain lined. Repeat with remaining items. 
  6. Serve: Serve at room temperature and inexperienced tea, get pleasure from!


  • *2 rice cooker cups = 1 ⅓ cup US cups
  • *can sub 20-25% glutinous rice with Japanese brief grain rice if desired
  • **250 grams of dry adzuki beans will make sufficient for 12 servings (rice weighing 50 grams every). 
  • To retailer: Ohagi is greatest saved in a cool place for as much as 24 hours. Don’t hold it in a heat setting. If holding for longer, I like to recommend freezing them relatively than putting them into the fridge because the rice will get exhausting. When able to eat, defrost within the fridge in a single day or microwave till warmed (heat ohagi can be scrumptious!). 

Did you make this recipe?

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