This delicious recipe is for sweet - and bright - Japanese rice and purple potato cakes. You can substitute other leaves for the shell ginger, but it will affect the mochi’s distinctive floral and herbal aroma.
- 2-3 Okinawan purple potatoes (see note), or 140 g purple potato flakes
- 300 g glutinous rice flour
- 120 g caster sugar
- 8-10 fresh shell ginger leaves (Alpina zerumbet) (see note)
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.
Peel the purple potatoes and place in cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain very well. Mash or pass through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. (You should have 2 cups mashed purple potato. If you have more or less, vary the proportions of the other ingredients to suit.)
Combine the mashed potato with the glutinous rice flour and sugar, and knead well to a smooth dough – it should be soft but resistant, “like an earlobe”. Add a little water to the mix if necessary to achieve the right consistency.
Place ¼ cup of dough in a fresh shell ginger leaf, wrap into a parcel and secure with string or a rubber band.
Steam the parcels for 15-20 minutes. Serve either warm or at room temperature.
• You can use sweet potato or uncooked banana instead of the purple potatoes.
• You can use pandan, bamboo, lotus or bamboo leaves instead of the fresh shell ginger leaves.