Glutinous rice cakes or Daifuku are something you can find at Asian markets all over the world, and that’s where I found them first. But if you know me a little, at some point I can’t leave it at that. I gotta know how it’s made.To ease your fears, no, I wasn’t the kid that opened up the belly of my dolls to find out what was inside. But I suspect that one of the reasons as to why not, might have had to do with me understanding that it would destroy them and my mom most certainly would not find willful destruction (no matter how lofty and glorious the reason behind it might have been) a good enough reason to buy another one. Oh yeah, from the days before the entire living room turned into a toy store when folks have children.

So, back to the subject at hand, I am just intrigued by how things are made, and why. You know that show on tv ‘how things are made’? If I had a tv, totally down my ally :). So of course that does not stop at food either and since part of my philosophy is if you can’t make it yourself, don’t eat it, I had to give this one a shot.

I searched the internet and found tons of recipes, some traditional, using a stove top method, some very elaborate on how to decorate, color or shape into flowers. So this recipe is adapted from various internet sources and in the end, I opted for an easy microwave option to make the dough…


Not quite as pretty and uniform as from the store…

You need to get Mochiko, or glutinous rice flour, which is the main ingredient in these, and something to fill the little cakes with. Traditionally Koshi-an, a sweetened Adzuki (red) bean paste is used, or a, also sweetened, smooth white bean paste, but I have in the past made them using sweetened chestnut puree. Besides sugar, the only other thing you need is potato starch, so the dough doesn’t stick to everything

imageI have a nagging feeling that the translator flunked English class…

imageMake sure the entire work surface is covered in corn, I mean potato starch. Cut off a chunk of dough…

image…place the filling in the center…

imagethen  wrap the dough around it, making a little pillow… And finished!


  • 3/4 cup Mochiko (sweet rice flour, also called glutinous rice flour)*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cups minus one tablespoon Water
  • 1 tsp pandanus leaf or vanilla extract (optional)
  • about 1 cup Red Bean paste (or other sweet filling)
  • Potato starch or other ‘..starch’ to keep the cakes from sticking to everything

* even though the name suggests it, there is not gluten in rice.


  1. Mix the M0chiko, sugar, water and extract (if using) in a bowl, and mix well with a fork
  2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, carefully remove the bowl (HOT) and stir, then return to microwave and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (depending on the power of your device). The dough should now be smooth and super hot.
  3. Cover a cutting board (or other work surface) with potato starch (or whatever else they sold you at the Asian market 😉 and leave the dough on it to cool slightly.
  4. When it can be touched, cut a piece of dough off (about egg yolk sized, out of lack for a better comparison), flatten into a disc and place a tablespoon fo filling in the center. Make sure the dough piece and your hands are covered in starch before you start. Note: To start, until you get the hang of it, use a teaspoon of filling, it’s a bit easier.
  5. Cover the filling with the edges of the disc so as to encase the filling completely. Set aside, seam side down, on a potato starch dusted tray or plate, and repeat until all the dough is used up.

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