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Minazuki is the traditional Japanese name for the sixth month of the lunar year, from the end of June to the beginning of August. The month name is where this delicious steamed rice cake gets its name. Normally eaten on the 30th of June as a means of purifying yourself of bad things in the middle of the year, its chewiness and slight sweetness can be enjoyed all summer long. Try your hand at making this rice cake for a taste of tradition.
Mix the kuzu arrowroot starch and the shiratamako rice flour and 100ml of water in a bowl. Mix until a paste forms. Add the remaining 100ml of water and sift the flour and sugar into the bowl. Mix until combined. Set aside approximately 3-4 tbsp of the finished mixture to be used for the topping.
Place some water in a small rectangular mould, about 6 in x 5 in, and pour the water out. A little wetness will help the cake come out easier.
Next, place the mixture into the mould and steam in a steamer for about 20 min. To ensure that water does not fall on top of the cake while steaming, place a tea towel under the lid of the steamer. When finished, remove from the steamer, and gently remove any wetness from the top of the cake with some kitchen roll. This will help the next layer stick to the base.
Evenly spread the drained azuki beans over the top of the cake and add the reserved 3-4 tbsp of the cake mixture on top. Spread the mixture so it covers the entire surface.
Now, place the cake into the steamer again and steam for a further 10 min. Remove from the steamer, and allow to cool in the fridge.
When cooled, cut into square pieces, and then cut each square into a triangle. Makes about 12 pieces.
Tips and Information
- Feel free to add your own twist to this summertime treat by adding matcha powder to the cake mixture, or topping it with different bean pastes or even add some citrus peels to the top.