Botamochi Recipe


Simply Onigiri funa dn creative recipes for Japanese rice ballsI often visited my grandma in August during the summer vacation when I was little. We also celebrated the obon holidays during this time and she would always prepare botamochi as an offering to our ancestors. Botamochi is known by different names at different times of the year. During the spring equinox, it is called botamochi; during the autumn equinox, it is called ohagi. This sweet rice ball is usually made from glutinous rice, however, I’ve used Japanese short grain rice in this recipe as it is quicker to prepare.

  • Yield: 4


  • 3½ oz (100 g) Japanese red beans (adzuki)
  • Water as needed
  • 3½ oz (100 g) Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
Red bean paste botamochi
  • 7 oz (200 g) Cooked Japanese short grain rice
Soy bean powder botamochi
  • 6 tbsp Soy bean powder (kinako)
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 7 oz (200 g) Cooked Japanese short grain rice
How to Make It
  1. Start by preparing red bean paste. Put red beans in a pot and add enough water to cover red beans. Bring to the boil. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and drain. Add the same amount of water and bring to the boil again. Once water is boiling, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  2. While red beans are cooking, use a spoon to skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Check the water level often and add more water as necessary. Do not allow the beans to dry up or burn. To check if the beans are cooked, pinch a few from the pot and press with your fingers. They should be soft and easily crushed. Drain and return red beans to the pot and add sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until paste is shiny and thick. Remove from heat, add salt and mix well, making sure not to crush the beans. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. To make red bean botamochi, place cling wrap in a rice bowl and scoop one-quarter of the rice into the bowl. Pull out rice together with cling wrap and mould rice into a ball.
  4. On another sheet of cling wrap, spoon some red bean paste on top and shape the red bean paste into a 10-cm (4-in) patty.
  5. Remove cling wrap from rice ball and place rice ball on top of red bean patty. Gradually mould the red beans over the rice ball until it is completely covered. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  6. To make soy bean powder botamochi, mix soy bean powder and sugar in a small fl at container. Set aside.
  7. Place cling wrap in a rice bowl and scoop one-quarter of rice into the bowl. Make a 2-cm (1-in) indentation in the rice with your finger and add 1 heaped tsp red beans. Cover with more rice.
  8. Gently shape rice into a ball. Remove cling wrap and roll the rice ball over the soy bean powder mixture to coat evenly. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

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