I was introduced to a lady from Okinawa by an acquaintance. About 20 years my senior, she has walked through some rough patches in her life yet she has humble, down to earth personality speaks with Okinawan accent was very charming. She lived in Okinawa too but actually, she is from Ishigaki Island (石垣島）further south of Okinawa. Over lunch, our topic of conversation moved to foods naturally (always). She talked about foods she adored in her youth. What she craves now and what the island ‘s specialty foods are and so on. She wanted to share this recipe orally because she is confident that I would love this rice cake. I wrote it down on a piece of paper as she talked.
That was nearly 10 years ago. I forgot all about it until I rediscovered this while I was organizing my ‘Future Recipes’ file which was over flowing with printed other food bloggers recipes recently. Surprisingly, the writing on the paper is still legible. Why I didn’t make this before? Oh! I know. I don’t like coconut that much. I have never had this or seen the final product. Besides, the recipe lack in details so this would be the mystery food of this week?
Grease with oil a 13x9 glass casserole dish
- 1 can of coconut milk-403ml
- 1 can of water-403ml
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 box of Mochiko-454g
- 1 can or 1 bag of smooth sweetened red beans (こしあん）-400g
- White sesame seeds-about 1/4 cup divided in half
Mix everything except sweetened red beans and sesame seeds. Then add sweetened red beans and mix very well. Sprinkle half of the white sesame seeds in the prepared glass dish and pour the mixture in, then sprinkle the rest of sesame seeds on top. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 F.
My husband did missionary work in Okinawa for 8 months. He was only 19 years old and although he did not yet speak Japanese much when he first got there, he loved everything about the place, people and most of all, the breath taking aquamarine sea. It’s easy to understand his excitement as one who came from a town of 100 people called Virgin, Utah where the nearest ocean is thousands of miles away.
A long time passed and my husband and I went back to Okinawa in early November of 2006. We stayed at luxurious The Busena Terrace Hotel in Nago. Our joy was almost crushed when the hotel prohibited us going swimming at the adjoining beautiful beach because it’s already November. What? But it’s 83 degrees out there! We were hoping and praying for exception but they were rigid in their decision. That was really sad. What kind of stu,,,I mean SILLY rule is that? We would like to go there again but not in November for sure. I heard June is great time to go.
When this mochi came out from oven, the top was crusty but after it was cooled and wrapped in plastic it became soft and moist all over and chewy. Not at all a fancy sweet but homey and great with hot decaffeinated tea.