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Monday, June 17, 2024

Sakura Mochi: Cherry Blossom Rice Cake

Uncover two scrumptious methods to take pleasure in sakura mochi, a standard Japanese confection made with candy glutinous rice and cherry blossom leaves. Good for a springtime deal with!



Get a style of Japan with this home made sakura mochi recipe! It’s excellent for cherry blossom season and actually captures the essence of springtime with its refined pink hue and delicate cherry blossom flavour. This iconic deal with is commonly loved throughout particular events resembling Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and Hinamatsuri (Woman’s Day). However we are able to simply make sakura mochi at residence to eat anytime and have a scrumptious and fairly deal with all yr spherical!  

three sakura mochi served on a oval plate

What’s Sakura Mochi (桜餅)?

Sakura mochi is a standard Japanese confectionery that’s sometimes loved throughout the spring season when cherry blossoms (sakura) are in bloom. It’s a well-liked deal with to eat when celebrating Woman’s Day “Hinamatsuri” or for cherry blossom viewing known as “Hanami”. It consists of a candy pink oval form rice cake full of azuki crimson bean paste (anko) and wrapped in a pickled sakura leaf. The color of the rice desserts for this recipe comes from beetroot to get a pink tint naturally giving it a wonderful and delicate look harking back to the cherry blossoms. These fairly mochi treats have a mushy and chewy texture with a bit extra chunk to them and a singular salty-sweet style. They’re a must-try for any Japanese dessert lovers!

one bitten Sakura mochi on a round small plate

Types of Sakura Mochi

There are two important kinds of Sakura mochi in Japan coming from totally different areas – the Kansai area (western) together with Osaka, Kyoto and the Kanto area (japanese) which incorporates Tokyo. Every variation has its personal distinctive traits and flavours. 

Kansai-style sakura mochi is a candy made by wrapping crimson bean paste in steamed and coarsely floor mochi rice known as domyojiko. Kansai-style sakura mochi is subsequently often known as Dōmyōji mochi because it makes use of domyojiko which was created at Dōmyōji temple in Osaka. 

Kansai model sakura mochi combines the chewy texture of Dōmyōji flour and the light sweetness of tsubuan (coarse azuki bean paste) with the scent of cherry blossom leaves.

Then again, Kanto-style sakura mochi is a crepe-like dough comprised of wheat flour and shiratamako, wrapped over koshian easy strained azuki bean paste. It has the identical cherry blossom flavour as Kansai model and can be wrapped in a sakura leaf however the general texture is totally different.

Each variations of Sakura mochi are equally scrumptious and beloved by many Japanese individuals throughout hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season.

two different sakura mochi, two with sakura leaves and one with sakura flower.

What Important Components do I Want for Kansai Model?

Since I’m from the Kansai area, I’m extra accustomed to Kansai model sakura mochi. So that is the recipe for the sakura mochi that I grew up consuming. 

Making it authentically, we’d like Domyoji-ko (道明寺粉), ‘Anko’ candy azuki bean paste, and cherry blossom leaves and flowers. Nonetheless, I perceive that when most of us stay exterior of Japan sure elements are laborious to get. So we must be inventive to make Japanese issues with the obtainable elements.

sakura leaves, azuki bean paste balls, sakura flower, and glutinous rice flour


This can be a particular kind of glutinous rice flour that varieties the bottom of the mochi dough. It provides the mochi its chewy texture and barely candy style. Dōmyōjiko is steamed glutinous rice that’s dried and made into coarsely crushed rice flour. This kind of rice flour isn’t available exterior of Japan, so we are able to substitute it with a really sticky kind of rice known as mochigome ‘candy rice’ or short-grain glutinous rice.

Dōmyōjiko Substitution

The glutinous or mochigome rice must be soaked in a bowl of water in a single day or a minimal of 1 hour if you’re in a rush (course of picture 1). Then the soaking water is drained and pulsed a number of instances in a meals processor to crush the rice grain coarsely (course of picture 2 & 3).

glutinous rice packet and glutinous rice in a wooden container

Purple bean paste (anko)

This candy crimson bean paste comprised of azuki beans is used as a filling for sakura mochi. Tsubuan coarse azuki bean paste is used within the Kansai area, however if you happen to desire easy crimson bean paste which is named koshi-an, you should use it too. You should buy ready-made candy crimson bean paste to make Anko balls from Asian or Japanese supermarkets. Nonetheless, Anko might be made simply from scratch following my candy crimson bean paste recipe.

salted sakura flower buds on a plate and in a plastic container

Pickled cherry blossom leaf

These preserved leaves add a refined floral flavour to the mochi and are a vital a part of this conventional dessert. These lovely pink cherry blossom petals are preserved in salt water brine to offer them a tangy taste that enhances the sweetness of the mochi and anko azuki bean paste. In addition they add a beautiful ornamental contact to the completed dessert. Salted Sakura Cherry Leaf, and salted cherry flower can be found on-line.

two sakura leaves on a kitchen paper with text overlay

Beetroot juice

To attain the pink hue of the mochi, the rice must be colored. You should utilize crimson meals coloring; nonetheless, to make it more healthy and all-natural I used beetroot juice. It doesn’t have an effect on the flavour in any means so that you received’t style it in any respect.

Step-by-step directions making Sakura mochi

It’s comparatively simple to make, however that you must begin to put together an evening earlier than. It’s worthwhile to make Anko balls (candy crimson bean paste made into balls) and begin to soak the rice the evening earlier than.

4 images collage soaking mochi rice, drained soaking water, blitze the rice and preparing for steaming

Night time Earlier than : Make anko paste if you’re making from scratch following my recipe. 

1. Drain the soaked rice and blitz it in a meals processor. Then steam the rice for about half-hour (Course of picture 2 & 3). You’ll be able to inform when it’s cooked as a result of the rice grain colour turns into clear. 

4 images collage steaming rice, and preparing colouring beet roots

2. Whereas the rice is being steamed, put together the pink-coloured candy water (Course of picture 7 & 8). 

3. When the steamed rice is completed, switch the rice into the pink colored water to soak (Course of picture 11 & 12).

4 images collage colouring steamed rice with beet roots pink water

4. Assembling : Divide the rice into 6 parts. Place 1/6 of the cooked rice on plastic wrap brushed with syrup (Course of picture 15). Flatten the rice right into a spherical form with a spatula (Course of picture 16). Place one of many Anko balls on the middle and wrap the Anko ball with rice (Course of picture 17 & 18). Take away the plastic wrap and wrap it with a sakura leaf (Course of picture 19). Wrap in order that the leaf vein is on the skin, which is prettier. Prime with a sakura flower bud (optionally available).

4 images collage dividing into 6 rice balls
4 images collage assembling all together and wrapping with a sakura leave

Suggestions for Perfecting Your Sakura Mochi Creations

If you would like excellent sakura mochi, listed below are some ideas that can assist you make them much more scrumptious.

1. Use high-quality elements: To make sure one of the best flavour and texture to your sakura mochi, use high-quality elements. 

2. The secret’s to work with the dough whereas it’s barely sizzling, as it can change into troublesome to deal with because it cools. *Watch out to not get burned.

3. When rolling out the dough, make the perimeters just a little thinner than the middle in order that once you wrap the strained crimson bean paste, the dough won’t get too thick on the closed finish and can come out neatly. 

4. Wrap rigorously: When wrapping your sakura mochi in pickled cherry blossom leaves, watch out to not tear or injury them. The leaves add a singular taste and perfume to the mochi, so deal with them gently.

Serving and Having fun with Your Home made Sakura Mochi

Pair sakura mochi with a cup of matcha for a basic mixture that completely steadiness one another. 

Hojicha is one other kind of Japanese tea that can go nice with sakura mochi. The toasty notes of hojicha carry out the refined sweetness of the sakura mochi.

For a refreshing choice, take pleasure in your sakura mochi with mugicha (barley tea). This tea is often loved chilled/iced so it’s the only option for hotter Spring days.


Q1. Can we eat sakura leaves and flowers?

A: The distinctive perfume of Sakura Mochi comes from the scent of coumarin contained within the salted leaves. You’ll be able to eat cherry leaves with warning and keep away from consuming excessively. The Japanese Wagashi Affiliation recommends to not eat sakura leaves. So briefly, it’s only for perfume.

Q2. How lengthy does mochi final and might you freeze them?

A : It’s going to final for 1-2 days at room temperature. You’ll be able to wrap them individually with plastic wrap and place them in a ziplock freezer bag. You’ll be able to maintain them for a month within the freezer. Thaw them naturally at room temperature when able to eat.

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three sakura mochi served on a oval plate

Sakura Mochi: Cherry Blossom Rice Cake

Uncover two scrumptious methods to take pleasure in sakura mochi, a standard Japanese confection made with candy glutinous rice and cherry blossom leaves. Good for a springtime deal with!

Course: Dessert

Delicacies: Japanese

Prep Time 30 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 40 minutes

Complete Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 6 mochi

Energy: 173kcal

Price this recipe



Sugar syrup for shaping mochi


Steaming the Rice

  • Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups of water (not listed within the elements record) in a single day. *3

  • Additionally if you’ll make Anko from scratch, make anko paste the evening earlier than too. *4

  • After the rice is soaked in a single day, drain the rice and pulse the rice a number of instances in a meals processor.

  • Steam the rice for half-hour over medium warmth. *5

Whereas the rice is being steamed put together the sakura flower, leaves, pink colored water, and syrup

  • Soak the sakura flower and leaves in a bowl of water for half-hour. *6

  • Scoop the flower onto a paper towel and faucet dry with paper towel and put aside.

  • Divide the anko (crimson bean paste) into 6 balls (20g every) and put aside.

  • Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Carry it to boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the beetroot juice and stir. Switch the sugar water to a big bowl and put aside.

  • Make the sugar syrup for shaping by placing all of the elements in a saucepan and produce it to simmer. When the gelatine has dissolved, flip the warmth off.

Assembling the Sakura mochi

  • Add the steamed rice to the big bowl with pink coloured sugary water. Stir the rice with a wood spatula to let the rice take in the pink colored sugar water.

  • Divide the rice into six equal parts.

  • Brush some plastic wrap sheet with the sugar syrup and place 1/6 of steamed rice and flatten the rice with a spatula.

  • Place a crimson bean paste ball within the centre. Wrap it with cling wrap to form it and canopy the crimson bean paste ball with rice.

  • Take away the plastic wrap and wrap with a sakura leaf with the vein facet out (so it is seen on the skin)

  • Repeat the identical for the remaining. Three wrapping with sakura leaves and three adorned with the sakura flowers on prime.


 *1 US cups (240ml) or you may weigh 200g.
*2 Grate 1/4 of beetroot and squeeze juice, or you should use crimson colouring. 
*3 It’s worthwhile to soak for a minimal 2 hours. You’ll be able to see the rice change into a stable white color.  
*4 Home made Anko recipe right here
*5 Or you may prepare dinner rice as you often prepare dinner rice along with your rice cooker. You want the identical quantity of water as the quantity of rice that you simply use.
*6 Water isn’t listed within the elements record.
Salted sakura flower and leaves are usually not calculated into the vitamin worth.


Energy: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fats: 1g | Saturated Fats: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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