Daifuku is a delicious, chewy, sweet snack that is incredibly addictive! Once you take a bite of this Japanese snack, you’ll want to try every flavor.
Daifuku consists of a pillowy mochi exterior and a sweet paste center. Typically, this center is made from anko, aka sweet red bean paste. These delightful treats come in all colors and flavors, ranging from strawberry to chocolate with pink, brown, and white exteriors.
Daifuku, also known as daifuku mochi, means "great luck," and you'll undoubtedly feel lucky once you've had a bite.
What Is Mochi?
It may seem confusing to determine the difference between mochi and daifuku, especially if you haven't had either before. Mochi is a chewy rice cake (usually white). The standard version of these Japanese rice cakes has a very subtle flavor (think plain steamed rice).
This white mochi can be turned into various dishes, from sweet-filled mochi to savory grilled mochi cakes or pancakes. Because of its subtle flavor, it has a wide array of uses.
Here's where daifuku comes in; it's a sweetened type of mochi that's eaten as a dessert. Mochi and daifuku come with corn starch or potato starch on the outside as they are pretty sticky otherwise.
How to Make Mochi?
Mochi is much easier to make than you might expect. It only requires a few ingredients, so if you're feeling adventurous, you can whip up a batch at home.
All you need for fresh mochi is glutinous rice flour, sugar, and potato starch/cornstarch.
- Take 1/3 cup of your glutinous flour or sweet rice flour and mix it with one tablespoon sugar and 1/3 cup of water until smooth.
- Here’s where the magic happens – you’ll need to microwave the mixture for one minute. Stir well, then microwave again for one minute.
- Remove the Japanese mochi dough from the bowl, add it to parchment or wax paper, and cover with potato starch.
- Create the mochis in the desired size of balls and cover in more potato starch – that's it!
- You can use this sweet rice dough to create tasty mochi ice cream by adding your favorite flavor in the middle and freezing them.
Dango Vs. Daifuku
Dango is similar to mochi, but a main difference starts with the ingredients. Dango is made from a non-glutinous flour. It does not have the same sticky consistency as mochi and daifuku when you eat it.
Dango is typically smaller in size than mochi balls, plus they offer a shiny appearance as they do not need to be rolled in potato starch. When looking for dango at the store, you’ll find 3-4 dango balls on a skewer in an array of colors. This sweet also usually has a delicious sauce over the top of it.
This rice ball is also served unflavored with a sweet soy sauce drizzled on top, though you're more likely to see this as street food.
Enjoying Daifuku at Home
So, how can you eat this delicious sweet at home? We've got you covered with some recommendations on daifuku options. Don't worry; we're throwing in a few mochi and dango choices as well!
Instead of anko, these delicious Tomatsu Pudding Daifuku Mochi (~7 Pieces) include a delightful creamy pudding and caramel marshmallow interior. It’s sweet, chewy, and everything you want when eating daifuku.
While match and chocolate are not common flavor combinations, they work well in this daifuku option. Expect a slightly bitter taste from the matcha powder that perfectly balances out the sweetness from the chocolate pudding interior in these Seiki Matcha Chocolate Daifuku Mochi (~10 Pieces) Japanese sweets.
Craving the red bean paste flavor from traditional daifuku? Try this Echiga Seika Meijin Mochi Puffs: Anko Mochi (6 Packs). While there is no filling or paste inside these mochis, they still provide a delightful anko flavor. They're light, airy, and delicious.
This option is somewhere between dango and mochi – it’s soft, chewy, and rolled in sugar for an extra sweet flavor. Its three colors and image of a skewer represent hanami dango, a sweet dango that is usually sold with strawberry and matcha flavors (hence the multicolored rice dumplings).
Looking for more Japanese candy? Bokksu Boutique has many traditional sweets to choose from. You can also find delicious tea pairings, savory Japanese snacks, and other fun items on Bokksu Boutique.
By Krystina Quintana