Ohagi (Botamochi) Recipe

ohagi

Ohagi is a sweet, which Japanese eat around the days of spring and autumn equinox. When it’s eaten in spring, it is called botamochi, but the same sweet is called ohagi in fall.

Around the days of spring and autumn equinox, many people in Japan visit ancestral grave sites to pray and make offerings of incense, flowers, and sometimes food and drink, so that deceased loved ones can attain enlightenment. Ohagi is one of such offerings. But Japanese also love eating this simple but delicious treat.

You can buy a beautifully shaped ohagi from a professional Japanese confectionery maker, but it is often made at home, because it is easy and far cheaper in that way.

Here, I made two different kinds of ohagi. One is the most standard ohagi, which is rice covered with adzuki bean paste. Another one is adzuki bean paste is covered with rice and dusted with roasted soy flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Japanese sweet rice
  • 1 cup Japanese white rice
  • 2 cup or more adzuki paste (either make at home or buy at Asian grocery stores)
  • 1 cup kinako (roasted soy flour)

 

Instructions

1
Mix sweet rice and white rice, and repeat wash/drain process until water is no longer cloudy. Drain the water thoroughly, then add correct amount of water and turn on the switch as you would cook white rice.

When the rice is ready, take it out in a bowl, and mash it half way using a wet surikogi or pestle. Water prevents rice from sticking. Rice should have certain glue-like stickiness, but leave some shape of rice. This will be a core of ohagi. Alternatively, rice put in a ziploc bag can be half mashed.

Take a small amount of half mashed rice in your wet palm, and make a round oblong shaped ball. Repeat this process to make desired amount of ohagi. You need to wet your hands each time, to prevent rice from sticking.

Take about the equal amount of adzuki bean paste on your palm and make a ball first. Then flatten from the center it using fingers, so that you will have flat roundish shaped adzuki bean paste.
2
Put one of the rice balls on the flattened adzuki bean paste on your palm, and cover the rice with the paste. When the rice ball is completely covered, turn the ohagi upside down, so that clean side will be up. Put the finished ohagi on a plate, and keep repeating the process until all rice balls are covered with adzuki bean paste.
3
To make ohagi dusted with roasted soy flour, make small balls of adzuki bean paste first, just like you did with rice, and put them aside. Wet your hands, and take little larger amount of rice and make a ball. Flatten the ball and place an azduki bean ball at the center. Cover the adzuki bean ball with rice completely. Repeat the process until you finish making desired amount. Take out roasted soy flour on a plate and coat the rice balls with it.

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