Tri-colored Autumn Rice Balls (San-Shoku Ohagi)
Ohagi is a simple a tea sweet, which was at one time served during the autumn equinox celebration. The name comes from a type of bush clover that only blooms in the fall. Serve these rice balls with your finest cup of tea.
- 3 cups prepared steamed sweet rice
- 1/4 cup toasted black sesame seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup smooth Japanese bean paste (koshi-an), chilled
- 1/2 cup roasted soybean powder (kinako) or toasted ground pecans.
- Mix sesame seeds and sugar in a small bowl.
- Moisten your hands with water and divide warm rice into 12 equal portions.
- Shape 4 portions into balls. Moisten a clean dish towel and squeeze dry.
- Place 2 1/2 tablespoons bean paste on towel; pat into 4 inch circle.
- Place 1 rice ball in centre of bean paste circle and use towel to mould bean paste around the rice ball.
- Repeat this 3 more times, using another 1/2 cup of bean paste and the other 3 rice balls.
- Place these on a nice serving tray. Flatten the remaining eight rice portions.
- Form the remaining bean paste into 8 balls (about 2 teaspoons per ball). Place a bean paste ball in the centre of each piece of flattened rice and shape the rice around it.
- Mould these stuffed rice balls into oval shapes. Roll 4 ovals in the sesame-sugar mixture. Roll the other 4 balls in the roasted soybean powder. Add these to the serving tray.
Makes six servings of 2 rice balls each.