Introduction: Ichigo Daifuku - Japanese Sweet Bean and Strawberry Ball

Picture of Ichigo Daifuku - Japanese Sweet Bean and Strawberry Ball

A soft, pillowy rice flour ball filled with sweet bean paste and a ripe strawberry

Step 1: Ingredients and Preparation

For this recipe, you'll need:

1cup sweet glutinous rice flour (Mochiko is a popular brand in Japanese and Korean stores)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
and extra flour or corn starch for handling the dough.

Bean Paste
(I made this from scratch because I couldn't find any in stores near me. You can find it pre-made. It's often called anko or shiro-an)
1 cup dried white beans
1/2 cup sugar
2 to 3 cups water

Strawberries - this recipe makes about 8 balls, so have 8 ripe strawberries on hand

Step 2: Make the Bean Paste!

Picture of Make the Bean Paste!

After soaking the beans overnight in water, put them in a pot with fresh water and sugar and boil.

Keep an eye on them...they need to become tender. Depending on how dry your beans are, this should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

Add more water if the level gets low.

Once the beans are tender, strain them (reserving the liquid) and puree in a food processor or mash with a fork. Add a little more water if necessary to achieve a smooth but thick consistency. The paste should be thick enough that you can pick it up and mold it around the strawberries.

Step 3: Prepare the Berries

Picture of Prepare the Berries

While your bean paste is cooling, you can get your strawberries ready :)

Remove the stems from your strawberries and cut off the white part.

Rinse them, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. If they're wet, the bean paste will not stick to them.

When you're sure that the berries are dry and the bean paste is cool enough to handle, take a small lump of bean paste and carefully mold it around the strawberry.
You want a substantial layer, but not one so thick that it falls off.
Leave a little bit uncovered at the base of the strawberry so that you can pick it up.

Set these berries aside while you prepare your dough.

Step 4: Making the Dough

Picture of Making the Dough

Mix together the Glutinous Rice Flour, water, and sugar in a microwave safe bowl.
Mix it well.

Microwave it for 2 minutes, then remove and stir.

Microwave it again for an additional minute or two. Remove from the microwave and spoon out the dough ball onto a floured cutting board. Flour your hands as well.
If it's cool enough to handle, proceed to the next step. If not, wait 30 seconds and try again.

Step 5: Rollin' Out the Dough

Picture of Rollin' Out the Dough

While the dough is still warm, divide it into 8 pieces and roll each one out into a disc.

If the dough dries out it gets crusty and is impossible to work with. Also it tastes gross.

The softness and silkiness of the dough is what makes it a special dessert.
So if your dough gets too dry or too wet, just try another batch.

Keep your surface and rolling pin well floured with rice flour or cornstarch while you work. The pics aren't great because this step goes by really fast!

When you have 8 warm soft discs, move on to the next step!

Step 6: Snugly and Completely Enclose the Berries

Picture of Snugly and Completely Enclose the Berries

Take one of your prepared strawberries.
Holding it by the base, wrap one of your dough discs around it, stretching it gently and pinching it at the bottom to seal it. You want it to snugly and completely enclose the berries.

Lucky berries!

Be careful that the berries don't pierce the dough. It's not too hard...the dough is pretty forgiving.

Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. After they're done, dust them gently with rice flour or cornstarch, individually wrap them and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Hazzah! Time to share your wealth!


shyum (author)2012-06-16

I went to CVS and found some of the rice flour! Maybe because I live in an asian community, but recently CVS has been carrying groceries and korean cup noodles-- I found it near there

bcnr33skyline187 (author)2008-07-30

do you have to bake it

Lizzio (author)bcnr33skyline1872008-07-31

Nope. It's done.

bcnr33skyline187 (author)Lizzio2008-07-31

sweet!!, is it easy to find ice flor

Go to Asian grocery stores. I don't think you necessarily have to buy the specific brand. Make sure it's GLUTINOUS rice flour though, not regular rice flour.

jsharpe3 (author)xenobiologista2011-12-12

whats the difference between glutinous rice flour and rice flour?

xenobiologista (author)jsharpe32011-12-12

There's regular rice and glutinous rice. Glutinous rice has more amylopectin and less amylose than other kinds of rice so it's INCREDIBLY sticky, not to be confused with what Americans sometimes call "sticky rice" which is just a slightly stickier variety of regular rice. (It doesn't have the gluten protein that some people are allergic to though, it's just glutinous as in glue-y, not glutenous.) So, regular rice flour vs. glutinous rice flour also have different textures. Glutinous rice flour often gets used to make ball-shaped dessert that need to hold together and have a slightly bouncy texture like the above.

Here's the gory details of the difference between regular and glutinous rice for those interested:

jennylou808 (author)2011-09-19

I love daifuku! I always try to eat my weight in both daifuku and mochi when I visit Japan. Sadly it is very hard to find the proper ingredients where I live. If that is the same for you I recommend finding an online asian grocery store to supply you.

pomly (author)2008-07-25

Do you have a suggestion for how to do this step without a microwave? I love daifuku! Never had them with fresh strawberries in there though - YUM! Can't wait to try making my own!

prodprof (author)pomly2011-05-01

Bain Marie, or you can do it in an oven, bain marie style.

One with water - and put the other one on top - it is better if you don't have the liquid touching the bowl, because the pastry will cook before you have a chance to use it.

Another way is to let your rice 'sit' for half an hour after it has boiled, remember that real rice has a husk, and it is much better to rinse with very cold water in a sieve chinois for four or five minutes. You have to rinse the rice, put your kettle on boil, and that is good enough, put the water through the seive, turn your rice at the same time four a couple of minutes with a wooden spatula - if you don't use the wooden spatula, you will have the taste of metal in your rice. Put the rice o the counter, on top of a piece of greaseproo, and let it rest - better if you put it through a moulin when it is cold.

The dough is easily usable for a couple of minutes after you have prepared; again, thai steamer is a god here. It warms it up and makes it more pliable.

Flouring your hands will do nothing apart from making this pastry more than a little dry - rinse your hands with a little peanut oil for every ball.

When you haveyour 'rounds' of pastry, use your hands and make them as thin as possible - stretching left and right until the pastry is nearly see-through - take a knife and put some of the strawberry confiture - (jam) accross the pastry - next - put some strawberries or some strawberry halves on the the pastry.

Next point - very important.

Put your hands in some iced water until you feel nothing.

Take some pastry, put a good strawberry in the middle of it and roll the pastry in your palms - left and right.

Drop them in the fryer or steam them in a basket over a wok with a liquid of papaye or mango underneath.

I will post a video a little later?


Sorry for the long wined explination.
For the strawberries - you have two choices - put them in a brown paper bag - and store them with no sun for two or three weeks - and change the bag every two or three days for another - or make a quick strawberry Jam - adding a fresh strawberry , with some pistachios, at the last mintue.

When the Pastry is hard' role it out, for every strawberry - normally a couple of feet, and place your strawberries.

It is really much better if you make a if you have some planning for the things you need to prepare this recipe.

1 make your jam, ( this will keep for months in a hermetic container in the fridge).

Make your pastry - it will be much better if you prepare it a day in advance - don't ever put in the fridge - much better if you wrap in cling film and leave it on the counter until the Jam is set.

When you purée your pastry - you need to look out for the colour and translucence of the rice - if the rice is very white - you need to let it boil a little longer - if the rice is almost see through - you need to start again - in between is better.

Lizzio (author)pomly2008-07-25

I haven't tried this on the stove, but there are several recipes that use the stove.
Here's one:
They suggest you bring the water and sugar to a boil, remove it from heat, add the mochiko, stir well, and then return to a very low heat for an additional 2 minutes.
Good luck!

xenobiologista (author)Lizzio2008-07-31

I've made stuff (different kinds of ball-shaped desserts) with glutinous rice flour before. The way to tell when they're done is that they sink when you throw them in, but they float when cooked. If you're doing a big batch it's probably OK to just keep a pot of water on the boil all the time.

superMacaroni (author)2010-09-19

Can I just put rice in a coffee grinder instead of rice flour?

NO! Sweet rice flour is VITAL to this recipe.

Sweet rice is NOT the same thing as regular short-grain rice...


tesinopolis (author)2010-08-31

yay! I was literally just wondering how I can make these things yesterday--should have just looked it up on instructables, right? :D now can i make these just as easily with a thin inner layer of red bean paste, wrapped with white bean on the outside? or should i not bother because the 8 strawberries would probably all be gone by the time i finish the second bean paste batch?! ;) can't wait to try this out, looks delish! thank you so much for sharing!

Kintri (author)2010-08-08

i believe that Chinese glutinous rice flour should work the same, my mom made 'tang yuan' or mochi balls with this before.

kenchato (author)2010-07-06

the beans for make anko, are red no? or exits other kinds?

wibrle (author)2008-08-01

They look so good and look real easy to make, but there isn't an Asian or Japanese grocery store where I live. Do you know if or what I could use as a substitute for the rice flour?

velcrotrainer (author)wibrle2010-03-18

 you can find sweet rice flour at among other korean and japanese ingredients that are impossible to find in western grocery stores.

jongscx (author)wibrle2009-09-28

Publix or a similarly high-end grocer should have an international or oriental/mexican section. I've seen something similar done with cornstarch, but it's the glutenous rice's fineness that really makes this pastry, so I don't recommend it. Also try health-food stores or alternative-diet places... not my thing, but sometimes they carry the more esoteric fare.

thingygoboom (author)wibrle2009-08-17

I used Whole Foods Rice Flour (it's really Bob's Red Mill white rice flour) and added more sugar

arhodes18 (author)2009-09-28

this sounds AMAZING! I really want to try it, but unfortunately I probably won't because I probably won't be able to find everything...

orange dilemma (author)2008-12-07

my dough was like rubber! i understand that it is suppose to be chewy but this was way to rubbery and sticky i couldnt handle it without it becoming completly stuck to my hand :[ and it wouldnt stay rolled out. i did take your advise and try again i tryed three times too! any idea what i did wrong?

I think that the American brand of rice flour doesn't work as well as the Japanese brand...

This happened to me too but some quick thinking solved the problem. Add a very small amount of water to the dough, stir well and knead. Using the flour didn't help me from sticking to the dough. I dipped my hands in a bowl of water after my mum suggested it and it worked great.

Lizzio (author)orange dilemma2008-12-07

I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work for you :( The dough is very very elastic, and I found that stretching it a little bit at a time eventually got it to the size I wanted. Try picking it up once you have a disc and pulling it gently from the middle, then turning, then pulling again. As for the stickiness, all I can suggest is to use more mochiko or some corn starch on your hands and on the surface you're working on. If it fails again...I dunno! Good luck!

Aznhick (author)2009-05-09

Just saying something, mochiko isn't a brand, it literally is the glutinous rice flour. The name is just the Japanese word for it.

orange dilemma (author)2008-12-06

If you can't find the flour go to super store. thats were I got mine. the brand you suggested to couldn't find bean paste either or at least not in red deer know were to get it in Edmonton so I am making it myself I found out a much faster way to let them soak right now i am waiting for it to be done then i can make the flour

deactivated-000000 (author)2008-12-01

Ichigo Daifuku? ~na no Anyway, great dish.

crafthut (author)2008-07-25

I've worked with filo before and was advised to cover the extra with a damp dishtowel to prevent drying. Would that work with this recipe? Or is the dough too soft even for that?

Lizzio (author)crafthut2008-07-29

I think that the dough might be too sticky...but I will definitely give it a try next time-maybe with a paper towel so that I don't ruin the dishcloth :)

mightywombat (author)Lizzio2008-09-01

Or you could cover them with a layer of plastic wrap... When things like that dry out, it is sometimes very easy to just knead the dry parts into the ball and roll them out again.

Umeko (author)2008-08-08

I dont have a microwave at home (yes there are people out there without microwaves lol) and I found a way of cooking the rice flour dough without a microwave by boiling everything (except the rice flour) to a rapid boil and then pouring it over the flour and mixing it till it has no lumps in it. It only takes 2 mins if you use ready boiled water... Yummy

Grey_Wolfe (author)Umeko2008-08-29

I'm out there as well. lol Good suggestion, may try that.

Ashin (author)2008-08-18

mine came out horribly D:

Grey_Wolfe (author)Ashin2008-08-29

But did they taste good?

Lizzio (author)Ashin2008-08-20

I'm sorry to hear that...any idea what went wrong? :(

pbjabba (author)2008-08-13

As part of my jap course at school were having a get-together thing where we have to bring along some japanese food we made. I think i'll have a crack at making these! Hopefully i don't make a complete hash of it lol, might have a test run tomorrow :P

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-08-01

looks a little bit dry, lke something you want to throw in your ice cream

dizzytired (author)2008-07-24

Have you tried red bean paste? I think that's the traditional way. Also you can chop up the strawberries into the paste. I've seen a few anime series where the daifuku has little spots of strawberry. Great instructable though, my mouth is watering!

Lizzio (author)dizzytired2008-07-24

I couldn't find any adzuki beans to make the red bean paste, so I took a chance and made white instead...but I think next time I will try it the traditional way. Animated daifuku must look double delicious...

xenobiologista (author)Lizzio2008-07-31

At my cousin's wedding reception we had some mua chee (Cantonese for mochi) that we *thought* were filled with red bean paste but it turned out to be chocolate. It was the most awesome fusion food I've ever had.

stanigu (author)2008-07-31

don't use mochi...mochi gets hard when cold. mochiko is different stuff.

Lizzio (author)stanigu2008-07-31


barri_kid (author)2008-07-31

These look Tasty XD I need to make some Thanks for showing this!

buttersnake (author)2008-07-30

I have strawberries already, just need to go get some of the other few things and i am off to wonderland.

hlfwy.thr (author)2008-07-29

Would this dough be the same as the one used for preparing mochi?

PizzaPlanet (author)2008-07-28

lol Ichigo is a character in bleach I had already know that ichigo meant strawberry but when i searched his name on instructables i came up with your yummy recipe. I'm going to try it with different things inside

altomic (author)2008-07-28

yummy yummy yummy I've got love in my tummy. I used to buy these when I was in Japan and they are good. how good you ask? so good that so deserves about 8 "o"s Sooooooo good.

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