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Learn to make sweet Kashiwa Mochi, or Japanese sweet Rice Cakes with Oak Laf to celebrate Children’s Day or to just treat yourself to a delicious Asian dessert.
Making mochi at home is super fun and satisfying. And these Kashiwa Mochi are an especially important variety. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste, or Anka, and wrapped in an oak leaf. With just a few simple ingredients found at the Asian market, you might be surprised how easy it is to make your own red bean mochi at home!
What are Kashiwa Mochi?
Traditionally, this version of mochi is filled with slightly sweet smooth red bean paste. The treats are wrapped in a fresh oak leaf and often served during the Children’s Day celebration in Japan.
The oak leaf is not meant to be eaten, but actually symbolizes prosperity in your family. This is an important Japanese symbol, as mighty oak trees don’t shed their leaves until they grow new ones.
What is Japanese Children’s Day?
Children’s Day is celebrated on May 5th. Just as it sounds, this is a holiday to celebrate children. And to celebrate, everyone gets to indulge in a sweet, squishy mochi. The other traditional food served on Children’s Day is rice dumplings known as Chimaki.
Mochi symbolizes prosperity, while chimaki symbolize protection for the children.
How to Make Kashiwa Mochi with Oak Leaves
- Joshinko rice flour, a fine, powdery Japanese rice flour perfect for making mochi.
- Filtered water, which ensures you get the purest flavor in your desserts.
- Sugar for sweetness
- Starch, either potato or cornstarch, to keep the mixture light and fluffy, not too dense.
- Kashiwa, or oak leaves
The filling is a simple homemade red bean paste, or anko, which you can make in an Instant Pot or on the stove.
After you shape and fill your mochi, wrap each one in an oak leaf. The traditional way is to show the veins on the outside of the mochi. This indicates that you’re serving red bean paste inside the desserts, rather than a different filling.
More Japanese Desserts to Make
Love mochi? Give these other sweet Asian treats a try next:
- Mitarashi Dango (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)
- Zenzai (Sweet Red Bean Soup with Mochi) | Vegan Japanese Desserts
- Blender Matcha Kakigori – Japanese Shaved Ice (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)
If you make these Kashiwa Mochi, be sure to tag me on Instagram, I love seeing your creations!
Kashiwa Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake w/ Oak Leaf)
- 4 kashiwa leaves oak leaves
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- anko red bean paste
- 100 grams joshinko japanese rice flour
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 tbsp potato or arrowroot starch
- Prepare your oak leaf by rinsing and patting dry with a paper towel or kitchen linen.
- Next make your mochi dough by whisking joshinko, sugar and starch. Add your filtered water and using a spatula, mix to create a smooth batter.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Repeat 2 more times until a dough forms.
- Sprinkle joshinko onto a cutting board or working surface and gently knead the dough. You can also pound it until it becomes smooth and shiny, and easier to work with.
- Divide dough into 4 parts and roll into large circles. Take 1-2 tbsp of red bean paste and add it to the center of the circle then seal the edges tightly. Shape into more of a perfect circle once tightly sealed.
- Wrap with an oak leaf, vein side out and enjoy! They are best enjoyed the same day.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.