Some desserts LOOK as good as they TASTE – and this is certainly the best way to describe Ichigo Daifuku from Japan!
When I first travelled around Japan, I was aware of some of the more famous desserts and wagashi (sweets), such as kakigori shaved ice, dorayaki pancakes, and the deliciously thick honey toast (also known as Shibuya Toast). Perhaps, though, the most well known Japanese sweet is mochi. Mochi is a rice cake made of glutinous rice that is pounded into shape and can be flavoured with virtually anything imaginable. An variant of mochi is daifuku, which has been filled with sweetness such as red bean paste. Finally, Ichigo Daifuku is a type of mochi where a whole strawberry has been placed inside the glutinous rice AND red bean paste!
I think, along with some Thai desserts like Khao Niao Mamuang and Tub Tim Grob, plus Sarawak Layer Cake from Malaysia and White Christmas from Australia, Ichigo Daifuku is one of the most beautiful desserts in the world. You simply MUST Instagram this dessert before you eat it!
In Japan, Ichigo Daifuku is easy to find in confectioners on every street corner, but it is not so easy to find on the menu in Japanese restaurants in the rest of the world, unlike simple mochi, which is available everywhere! In a way, this makes Ichigo Daifuku even more important, and you become extremely happy when you eventually find it! I am told that especially during spring months, this dessert is very popular in Japan – but I just wonder how many of these little mochi balls is polite to eat in the same sitting?!
Want to make your own Ichigo Daifuku this summer? Nami over at Just One Cookbook has a step-by-step guide!