Recipe for Vegan Strawberry Mochi by Sasha Gill
Mochi are a naturally vegan dessert, and the chef includes this fruity version in her book 'East Meets Vegan.'
© Sasha Gill, 2019
Sasha Gill, a food blogger and medical student at Oxford University, made an observation: several of her favourite dishes contain animal products. She became a vegan at the age of 17, and has since defended this lifestyle, having realised that it was perfectly possible, with a bit of imagination, to find plant substitutes so that she could cook vegan alternatives to her family recipes. East Meets Vegan contains 90 such recipes, from Japan, India, Thailand, and China.
Alongside a teriyaki made using tofu and a katsudon where butternut squash replaces pork, the young woman offers a sweet recipe: strawberry mochi with a hint of matcha, the bitterness of which marries perfectly with the sweetness of the red bean paste. ‘Biting into one of these is a sensory journey: first the chewy skin of the mochi, then the velvety red bean paste and finally the fresh, juicy strawberry flesh’, the blogger explains.
Makes 10 mochi
100 g glutinous rice flour
55 g white sugar
1 teaspoon matcha powder, optional
60 g cornflour, plus extra for dusting
10 strawberries, hulled
375 g shop-bought red bean paste
In a heatproof bowl that will fit inside your steamer basket, whisk the glutinous rice flour, sugar, and matcha with 185 ml water until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. Place the bowl of mochi batter in the steamer basket, set it over a pan of boiling water and steam for 15 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through.
Dust the countertop with some of the cornflour, and rub some over your rolling pin. Pour the steamed mochi out of the bowl onto the counter, taking care not to burn yourself as it will be very hot. Dust the mochi with cornflour and slowly roll it out into a 5-mm thick sheet, dusting with more cornflour as necessary. Leave to cool for 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, use your hands to roll the red bean paste into 10 balls. Working with one at a time, flatten it out in the palm of your hand, place a strawberry on top and bring the bean paste up around it, to encase the strawberry. Set aside.
Using a cookie cutter (about 8–10 cm in diameter, depending on the size of your strawberries), cut out circles of mochi dough. Sit a bean-paste-covered strawberry on each mochi circle and bring the dough up to cover it entirely, pinching the top to seal.
Place the finished mochi in cupcake liners to stop them sticking together. Any not eaten right away can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
East Meets Vegan (2019), a recipe book by Sasha Gill, is published by The Experiment, and is available in English only.
Recipe from East Meets Vegan: The Best of Asian Home Cooking, Plant-Based and Delicious © Sasha Gill, 2019. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available everywhere books are sold. experimentpublishing.com
© Sasha Gill, 2019
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