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Amazing Ohagi (Botamochi) And Its Recipe

Japanese culture is rich in many things, and fantastic food is one of them. That is because food is associated with many seasonal, religious, and cultural celebrations happening in the country. Botamochi or Ohagi is one of those foods that Japanese people enjoy during the autumn and spring equinox each year.

The Ohagi (Botamochi) is a sweet rice ball sekiro covered or filled with red bean paste. It is one of the best rice balls you will ever have in your life. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Ohagi (Botamochi): The Basics

The Ohagi is a sweet rice ball created from glutinous rice, red bean paste, and sometimes standard rice. The sweet rice ball sekiro is shaped cylindrically and then filled or topped with red bean paste on their exterior. There are many other variations of these sweet rice balls in unique flavors.

Ohagi (Botamochi) おはぎ (ぼたもち)

SOURCE- https://www.justonecookbook.com/ohagi-botamochi/

For example, people substitute the red bean paste on the exterior for sweetened black sesame seeds or soybean flour. However, the interior is filled with red bean paste. The Botamochi (Ohagi) is associated with Ohigan, a religious holiday that takes place on the autumn and spring equinox.

What Is The Distinguishing Factor Between Botamochi And Ohagi?

The recipe, taste, texture, and everything else about the sekiro sweet rice ball is the same. However, it is called by different names depending on the season. In autumn, the sweet rice balls are known as Ohagi as they are named after Hagi (an autumn flower).

On the other hand, the sweet rice balls are known as Botamochi in spring as they are named after Botan (peony), a spring flower. Many people call it using either name regardless of the season. Both these rice balls are the same, and you can use the names interchangeably, depending on your preference.

Three-Step Ohagi (Botamochi) Recipe

The Ohagi recipe is straightforward to create as you will not require complex ingredients. You must have glutinous rice, red bean paste, and short-grain rice to make the perfect sweet rice ball sekiro. Here are the three steps to follow:

1.Cook The Rice

The first thing you need to do is cook the glutinous rice and short-grain rice together. You can use a rice cooker for this purpose or anything else you use to cook rice in your home.

2.Pounding The Rice

Once your rice is fully cooked, you should take it off the heat and pound the rice. Keep a light touch, but don’t overdo it.

3.Create The Shape And Filling Of The Sweet Rice Ball

Finally, take your pounded rice and shape them into balls. After that, use a red bean paste to coat the rice balls. You can also fill the red bean paste between the pounded rice and cover it with soybean flour or ground black sesame seeds.

 

Storage Tips For Ohagi (Botamochi)

Many people store the Ohagi in their refrigerators for a long time, but that is not the best choice. The longer you store it, the more its texture will change, and you will not like them. That is why the best practice to store your sekiro sweet rice ball is to keep them in a cool environment and consume them within a maximum of twelve hours.

During the harsh summer months, you can store the Ohagi in the refrigerator. However, you should cover the storage container with a thick towel to prevent the cold air from seeping into the rice balls. The idea is to keep them cool without freezing.

On the other hand, if you want to store Ohagi for a long time, the best practice is to freeze them for a month. Once you are ready to consume the rice balls, you must defrost them in the refrigerator overnight. To bring the Botamochi back to its perfect texture, you need to reheat it to room temperature.

The best way to enjoy the sweet rice ball is to have it with green tea. You will love the flavor pairing, and it will add more depth to the Ohagi.

Top Tips To Create The Perfect Ohagi (Botamochi)

If you are making Ohagi for the first time, you need to know all the top tips. It will ensure you make minimal mistakes and prepare the Ohagi in the best way possible. Here are the top tips for all beginners attempting to make the sweet rice ball sekiro:

1.Always Mix Standard Rice

Many people make the mistake of only using glutinous rice in their recipes. The problem with this is that as time passes by, only using glutinous rice will harden the rice balls and make them challenging to chew. After all, you don’t want your guest’s teeth falling off after you serve them.

That is why you should always combine glutinous rice with standard rice in the sweet rice balls to serve them in the best way. The texture will maintain, and they will not get too chewy.

2.Always Measure The Red Bean Paste Beforehand

After you have cooked and pounded the rice, you should shape the rice while it is still warm. If you take the red bean paste at that time and try to stuff them, it will take you more time and effort. On the other hand, if you measure the red bean paste beforehand and roll them into balls, you can easily stuff them in the rice balls as soon as you are making the shape.

Doing this will save you time and effort. That is especially true if you are making sweet rice balls for your entire family and other people. You will thank us later for this tip.

3.Don’t Pound The Rice All The Way

One of the best parts about eating Ohagi (Botamochi) is the texture of the rice as one bites into it. If you pound or knead the rice all the way, the texture will be lost, and the factor that makes the Ohagi what it is will be lost. So, you should use the half-pounding technique for the rice.

4.Spread The Paste With Plastic Wrap

If you are spreading a thin layer of the red bean paste around the rice balls, using plastic wrap will help the process. If you use your bare hands, you will require tons of practice to make your rice balls look halfway presentable. So, always use plastic wrap to spread a thin layer of red bean paste.

5.Reapplication Of Soybean Flour And Black Sesame Seeds

If you are using the black sesame seed or soybean flour variation, you will need reapplication. That is because you will notice that after ten to fifteen minutes of applying the two variations on the rice ball, the color will be spotty and dark. That happens because the rice moisture is released on the coating.

So, after your first coat, you should always save the coating and reapply it right before you serve it to your guests. Doing this will keep the color vibrant and ensure there are no dark spots or patches.

The Ohagi (Botamochi) Recipe 

Now that you are familiar with all the basics of the Ohagi (Botamochi), it is time for you to try your hand at the recipe. It is one of the easiest recipes for beginners as it does not require any technical skill or complex ingredients. Here is a comprehensive recipe for the best sweet rice ball sekiro:

Ingredients

What you need to make Ohagi (Botamochi):

  • Six hundred ml water
  • Two rice cooker cups (approx 360 ml) of glutinous rice
  • One rice cooker sup (approx 180 ml) of Japanese short-grain rice
  • One tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 3 lbs red bean paste for the filling and coating

For the sweetened soybean flour coating, you will need:

  • Two tbsp sugar
  • Six tbsp soybean flour

For the black sesame seeds coating, you will need:

  • Two tbsp sugar
  • Six tbsp toasted black sesame seeds

Instructions

Bring all your ingredients together in one place. You can also use aluminum cup holders to hold your rice balls. These cup holders are easily available in any grocery store.

Rice Preparation Instructions

  1. Combine the short-grain rice and the glutinous rice in a bowl and rinse the rice two or three times.
  2. Use your hands to wash the rice in a circular motion for fifteen seconds. Repeat this process at last two times while adding and discarding water to clean the rice in the best way. You will realize your rice is clean when the water is clear.
  3. Once the rice is drained and clean, transfer it to a rice cooker and add six hundred ml of water.
  4. Let the rice soak in the water for at least twenty minutes. After that, press start on your rice cooker to cook the rice on standard mode.

Fillings And Toppings Instructions

  1. If you want to go for the black sesame seed filling and topping, you should take a mortar and pestle to grind the sesame seeds. Once you have ground it properly, transfer the black sesame to a bowl, add sugar, and mix well.
  2. For the soybean flour filling or topping, add sugar and soybean flour in a bowl and mix them together.
  3. For the red bean paste filling or topping, make the paste into balls using a small cookie scoop. Each ball should be 20 grams or two teaspoons.

Pounding The Cooked Rice Instructions

  1. Once the rice is almost done cooking, mix one tsp salt and one cup of water to create saltwater and mix them together. The mixture is for soaking the wooden pink before pounding the rice.
  2. After the rice is cooked, remove the bowl from the cooker, and while the rice is still hot, start pounding it with a rolling pin or pestle.
  3. Remember that the pin or pestle will become sticky because of all the pounding of the glutinous rice. Whenever you feel it is too sticky, you should stop pounding and soak the pin in the saltwater. Keep pounding the rice till it is half-pounded.

Making Black Sesame And Soybean Flour Topping And Filling Instructions

  1. Slightly moisten your hands with the saltwater, grab 40 grams of glutinous rice, and flatten it to create a round shape.
  2. Once you have rolled the rice into a flat and round shape, you should keep one ball of the red bean paste in the middle.
  3. Gather the remaining glutinous rice around the red bean paste to enclose the rice ball.
  4. Pinch the ends and create an oval-shaped ball.
  5. Moisten the tray or a plate with saltwater and transfer your rice balls.
  6. To make the black sesame-coated Ohagi, you should dip the rice ball into the black sesame seed mix. Keep rotating till the rice ball is fully coated and transfer the rice ball to the aluminum cup holder.
  7. To make the soybean flour-coated Ohagi, you should dip the sweet rice ball sekiro into the soybean flour mix. Keep rotating till the rice ball is fully coated and transfer the rice ball to the aluminum cup holder.

Making The Red Bean Paste Coated Ohagi

  1. Slightly moisten your hands with the saltwater, grab 40 grams of glutinous rice, and flatten it to create a round shape.
  2. Take a piece of plastic wrap, and spread two scoops of red bean paste in a round and flat shape.
  3. Keep the rice ball on top and coat the red bean paste around the rice ball.
  4. Pull the plastic wrap on the ball and spread the red bean paste evenly.
  5. Transfer the rice ball into an aluminum cup holder.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to making the perfect Ohagi (Botamochi). Follow all these guidelines, and your family and guests will love what you cook. For the best taste, remember to serve these rice balls with a cup of green tea.

You can also store them using our tips and serve them later. So, create the best Ohagi and enjoy them today. You will thank us for this brilliant recipe later.

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