For two years I've (unintentionally) kept three packages from Mitsuwa, the Japanese supermarket, in my cupboard: a rice flour mix for mochi (glutinous rice cakes), tsubu an (mashed red bean paste) and toasted soybean flour. The idea was that one day I'd make some daifuku, a very simple Japanese sweet made with all three ingredients. And, of course, I forgot about it.
I 'rediscovered' the flours and sweet bean as I was cleaning my cupboards in preparation for my move out of Chicago. Since I have plenty of free time between packing boxes and cleaning my refrigerator, I thought a simple cooking project might be fun. My friend Drex was over at the house and together we set out to make a few daifuku. Drex isn't a fan of most sweets, but he makes an exception for mochi and other rice and bean-based desserts.
I used the recipe from the back of the mochi flour package: 1 packet of pounded rice flour (200g), 240 cc water (I happen to own a Japanese measuring cup), 4 teaspoons of sugar, 1 package of anko or tsubu an (pre-sweetened mashed red bean paste). I cooked the water, sugar, and mochiko in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until it was translucent. While it was still hot, we formed the mochi into flat pancakes, stuffed them with balls of sweet bean, and sealed them up.
When we went to dust them with the toasted soybean flour, I realized the package had turned in storage and was rancid and unuseable. We panicked. I didn't want to roll my mochi in starch (though I have plenty on hand, I've never liked plain daifuku). So I pulled some almond flour from the freezer, toasted it in a pan, and rolled the finished daifuku in the almond flour. It was nutty and tasty, and seemed just as delicious as the toasted soybean flour, though not exactly traditional.
It took us 30 minutes start to finish. Very easy. Very tasty. Gluten-free. And just as good as any I've bought at Mitsuwa.