I’ve seen a lot of dragonfruit at the asian supermarkets in the past few months. I love dragonfruit because of its beautiful fuschia colored skin and exotic shape.

Inside, the flesh of the fruit is white and speckled with little edible black seeds. In some ways dragonfruit is pretty contradictory. It has an interesting name and a very unique appearance, but the flavor is not as bold as its appearance. Instead the flavor is very mild, barely sweet. As a result, many people I know don’t like this fruit at all.

To cut the fruit, cut it in half. Then use a knife and cut into cubes. The flesh should slide easily off the skin. You can use the flesh as a bowl for your fruit.

Microwaveable mochi recipe

Traditional mochi making is quite time consuming, and it involves having to pound rice flour to turn it into the mochi dough texture. However, you can easily make mochi that looks and tastes similar to the traditional mochi you can get at the store or bakery by buying mochi flour and cooking it in the microwave.

The results are pretty amazing. With this basic recipe, you can do all sorts of creations.  The most basic mochi is usually white dough with red bean paste filling.  This recipe allows you to create the basic mochi dough. You can play around with it, and add matcha powder if you want green tea flavored mochi, or you can play around with different fillings as well.

Mochi dough

1 cup of Mochiko glutinous rice flour or any sweet glutinous rice flour brand
2 tbsp of sugar
2/3 cup of water

Cornstarch/potato starch/or tapioca starch – for dusting

1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water. Mix well.

2. Microwave the mixture on high for two minutes. Remove and stir quickly, until dough is evenly mixed. Return to the microwave and cook for another 1  to 1 1/2 minutes, in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Your dough should become an opaque color. You don’t want to overcook the dough, or else it will become too hard.

3. Let dough cool for a few minutes, but you want to work with it while it is still warm and pliable.
4. Dust working surface with starch. Take a small ball of dough, about 1 inch in diameter and flatten the dough as much as possible. Take whatever filling you are using and make it into the ball and put it in the center of the flattened dough.  Then wrap the dough around the filling and pinch to close at the top.
5. Once mochi is cooled, it is ready to be served.

Fillings: The most traditional filling is red bean paste for chinese mochi. For japanese mochi, usually the most common filling is white bean paste. You usually can find cans of paste in asian grocery stores. This is already prepared and ready to be used. Other common fillings are black sesame paste, peanut paste.

Mango Sticky Rice

I love mango sticky rice. I always order it for dessert when I eat Thai food. The other day I thought I’d try to make my own mango sticky rice.

There are quite a few recipes out there and the authentic version takes longer. I used a shortcut version and chose a recipe found on epicurious.  This recipe simplified and cut out a lot of the hours needed for traditional mango sticky rice but it still tasted delicious.

I used a glutinous rice which is different from regular rice. You can find it at asian supermarkets. The rice is mixed with coconut milk and some sugar and then finally topped with some mango. I should have used a more ripe mango but I didn’t have any on hand so my mango is a little raw and pale.

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