Saturday, April 13, 2013

Japanese Spring Sweets

Omochi or mochi are rice cakes, usually filled with red bean paste.

Kusa mochi - the green one - literally means "grass mochi" and it is sometimes called yomogi mochi as well. Yomogi is mugwort. Its green leaves are mixed with the mochi rice paste, hence the colour of the dessert.

Then, there are sweets with spring patterns such as sakura flowers, and the delicious sakura-mochi wrapped in cherry leaves. That's the pink one below.

Hoshigaki are dried persimmons - incredibly delicious!

Kashiwa mochi are usually prepared for Children's Day on 5 May.

Azuki beans are common in Japanese desserts. They are turned into a paste and mixed with sugar. It is a good source of iron, magnesium and folic acid.

Sakura mochi is my favourite. Do search for it in case you visit Japan in spring. ( ^_^ )

The cherry leaves used are bit salty - preserved from the previous year.

Dried persimmons are exquisite. They are dried outside for a long time. So soft and sweet!

Kashiwa mochi are wrapped in oak leaves. Oak trees shed leaves only when new ones grow, so they are considered to be a sign of prosperity and one's offspring. So it is served on Children's Day. Kashiwa 柏 means oak.

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