The difference between mochi and daifuku is one thing: filling! Daifuku is mochi that has a sweet filling, often a red bean paste (or it could have ice cream, or even a fresh strawberry). Here I stir crushed freeze-dried strawberries into the red bean paste…delicious!






Skill level

Average: 2.1 (30 votes)

I first learned how to make mochi and daifuku from my sister-in-law, Michino. We made a strawberry version together, and ever since then I've been hooked. 


  • ¾ cup (120 g) sweet rice flour (see Note)
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) water
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • pink food colouring gel or paste
  • Corn starch or potato starch, for dusting
  • ½ cup (125 g) smooth sweetened red bean paste (see Note)
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) crushed, freeze-dried strawberries

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Dough chilling time: 30 minutes

You will need paper cups (such as muffin papers or ice-cream cups) for each daifuku. 

1. Stir the rice flour and water together in a bowl until combined. Place the bowl in a bamboo steamer over a pot of gently simmering water, or rest the bowl in a colander that is in a large pot of gently simmering water. Wrap the lid in a tea towel to prevent water from dripping onto the dough, and steam for 20 minutes, stirring the dough halfway.

2. Transfer the dough to a saucepan and stir in the sugar, stirring over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the dough is pliable, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in pink food colouring as desired.

3. Dust a 23 cm x 33 cm (9 x 13 inch) pan with cornstarch/potato starch. Dust a worksurface with the starch and sprinkle a dusting of starch on top of the dough and let this cool for a minute or two, until you can touch it with starchy fingers without it sticking. Rub your rolling pin with starch and gently roll out the dough until it is ¼-inch (6 mm) thick in a rectangle shape (it does not have to fill the pan.) Lift the dough carefully and place it in the pan. Chill for at least half an hour before filling.

4. For the filling, stir the red bean paste and freeze-dried strawberries together. Turn  the dough out onto a clean worksurface (it’s not  fragile at this point) and dust off any excess starch. Use a 2 ½-inch (7.5 cm) round cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as you can.  The scraps of dough cannot be re-rolled, but they can be re-warmed (microwave) and reset again, if you wish.

5. Use a small scoop or 2 teaspoons to scoop small amounts (just under 15 ml) of filling into the centre of each. Holding the circle in your hand, use your other hand to draw up the edges and pinch them together to seal the daifuku. Wiggle the daifuku around to shape it (the bean paste helps it hold its shape) and then set, seam-side down, into a paper cup.  Repeat with the remaining daifuku. Loosely cover and chill the daifuku until ready to  serve.



• Sweet rice flour and red bean paste are available at Asian groceries.