The main ingredients of Japanese confectionary is wagashi. This is a paste made from sugar and various other ingredients: red azuki beans, white beans, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, snow peas, etc. There are three types: the smooth puree is called koshi-an, the chunky type is tsubushi-an (tsubu-an in spoken Japanese); a powdered “instant” variety, is sarashi-an.
What follows is a very simple, homemade variety of anko (an) that fits into the tsubushi-an category. We translated this from an unwritten recipe used by Kazuko’s mum.
For 4 Person(s)
Soak beans for approx. 1 hour (overnight is better).
Drain the water and add fresh water to cover the beans.
Place beans in a covered pot on cover, heat them on medium gas for 30 mins. (monitoring water levels).
Switch gas off, leave mush as it is for 30 mins, still covered.
Switch on gas with low flame (if the water has evaporated, replenish it).
Leave until beans are soft, add sugar (1/3 of 250 g) three times with short intervals (careful not to burn), then leave it until the beans are cool.
Eat as it is, but more normally used as filler for more refined, and visually attractive wagashi varieties (for instance, ICHIGO DAIFUKU).
Remove green crown of strawberries.
Wash, dry with paper towels.
Cover strawberries with anko paste.
Put rice flour and sugar into pan, add small quantity of water, mix well, switch on gas (medium level).
Spread parchment over a tray, pour rice flour and sugar into tray
Leave for 15 mins, divide case into ten sections
Cover the strawberry-anko items