Wagashi is a widely celebrated confectionery often served along side tea in Japan and Japanese culture. In ancient Japan, people ate fruit and nuts to satisfy their cravings for sweets and add nutritional value to grains like rice and millet. What’s also interesting about wagashi is the part it plays in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The focus of the ceremony isn’t really about making tea, but about the aesthetically-pleasing manner in which the Teishu (tea host) prepares it. Moreover, it’s important to make guests feel welcome in accordance with the season. Wagashi not only adds sweetness to the palate to combat the bitterness of the green tea, but is also made to reflect the season, i.e. maple leaf shapes for fall and plum flower designs for spring. In essence, it’s not just a dessert, but an art. (epicureandculture.com)
· Glutinous Rice Flour 30 grams
· Multi-colored food dye
· Navy beans 950 grams (Can substitute with Lima Beans)
· White sugar 300 grams of shiro-an 15 grams for nerikiri
· Water (enough to cover beans)
1/2 cup for the nerikiri
6 Tablespoons for the
· Two mesh sieves
· Kitchen scale
· Food processor
· Pot and Sauce Pan
· Cloth (cheesecloth is preferable.)
· Utensils for shaping and designing wagashi.
· Bowls of different color dyed bean pastes
Estimated time total: 4-6 hours, around 8 hours for beginners. 12 Hours total for pre-soaking prep.