Monthly Archives: September 2012

Mochimochi Daifuku

Mochimochi Daifuku
Hey there sweet peas~ :miam:
After my last attempt at Washoku (traditional Japanese cooking) I thought it was time for my next adventure. This time in Wagashi though! Wagashi is traditional Japanese confectionery. Yes you guessed it, the “wa” in both words means “traditional Japanese”. :smile:

Wanting to make Ichigo Daifuku イチゴ大福 (strawberry mochi) at this time of the year sounds pretty lunatic, doesn’t it? And well it really is a little crazy but crazy things are so much fun! Ichigo Daifuku is Mochi, a chewy and very sticky rice flour dough filled with Anko (sweet bean paste) and a whole strawberry. If your look for pictures of Mochi on the internet you will mostly find Mochi covered in potato starck because that’s the only way to handle them! Once touched the dough is really difficult to remove from your hands so the cute things need to be wrapped in a leaf, starch or soybean flour.

Personally Im more into the salty version of Mochi that is grilled and wrapped in a sheet of salty and roasted Nori and eaten with soy sauce. You can find it on top of soups or even in soups although the consistency then changes significantly. For some reason I don’t really enjoy the flour that is used to spread on top of Mochi so I made some glossy and wet ones and some floury ones.. :ha: The texture and feeling of the glossy ones is so much more my taste! hehe..

eee?! :eee: sweet Mochi with Nori? Oh yes please! I love the taste of Nori everywhere.. :tanoshii: it honestly tasted so good!

Basically its three things you need if you want to make simple Mochi: Mochiko (sweet rice flour), Anko (red bean paste) & water. For my Mochi I didn’t use Anko but Taromochi. The difficult thing is to handle the unbelievably sticky Mochi dough and wrapping it around the filling… but the feeling is priceless. Its so soft and bouncy and it feels like a living thing! :w:

Making Ichigo Daifuku with frozen strawberries isn’t the most clever idea.. but still tasty :wink:

To see what’s inside the other Mochi and look at some pics of the preparation, read on~
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Bokuseki ~ Ink traces

Bokuseki ~ Ink traces
Hi there Readers! :hoshi:
How’s life treating you? Mine has started to become quite steady (as you can tell from the more or less regular entries I’ve never had.. :youreweird: ) but yesterday was a special day nevertheless because I got to see and hear master calligraher Suishū Tomoko KlopfensteinArii.

円相 – the circle represents emptiness and completion, it is often used as a visual symbol for Zen

Her and Yamakawa Sōgen Rōshi’s Bokuseki 墨跡 (ink traces) are currently being exhibited at the ethnological museum in Zurich. I haven’t been to the exhibition yet but yesterday she held a lecture about Bokuseki and Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in general which was so interesting! I had never heard of Bokuseki and all but her speech with the following demostration totally drew my attention. Bokuseki is a form of Japanese calligraphy (Shodō) that was introduced with the Zen-Buddhism in Japan during the 13th century by Chinese Chinese Zen monks. The traditional and the Chinese calligraphy then started to strongly influence one an other.

“Silently spread black strokes on white surface“ Suishū K.-A.

“It’s finished when the white spaces start breathing“ Suishū K.-A.

Bokuseki doesn’t only show the form and meaning of a character but reflects an intensively experienced moment. That’s why some of the more modern Bokuseki have characters that are almost illegible. As soon as I arrived at home I felt the urge to draw myself and started practicing Katakana with ink and brush like crazy! I had bought a cheap set in Japan but had never opened it… well I guess I will use it a lot from now on because I really want to get better at calligraphy.

To see a few more pics, read on~
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Uni-bento & life

Uni-bento & life
Hello :nekopaw:
How was your weekend? Mine was quite tiring and I can’t believe that it’s already over. :ohno: The good thing is that my classes start only at noon. The East Asian history of art classes take place in the “Villa Schönberg“, a historic bakestone house build in 1886 that is located in the Rietpark, on a site of 17 acres. The Museum situated in the same park hosts the only art collection of non-European cultures in Switzerland. It’s quite nice walking to university in such a surrounding and a good change to the crowded main university building where I have my Japanese classes for example.

Villa Schönberg in Zurich

Institute for Art History

My humble attempts at Hiragana (平仮名).. ‘ka’ and ‘ko’ are so difficult!

The disadvantage of having classes in such a building is that the rooms are comparatively small so if you want to have a place at a table you have to be there really early.. Even if my main subject is history of art I feel like I have to do much more for my Japanese classes. That’s somehow logical since I not only have to learn the language but also about the history of this country. Whereas the language is definitely the tougher part. But it’s great how the classes necessarily correlate with each other. I’m a little scared of the huge amount of reading material though. :jupp:
On wednesday I brought along a Bento and ate it between the Japanese classes. For the first time I didn’t feel completely out of place while doing so!

The content was really simple but tasty and Silvankun & I devoured it in 10 mintues. We’re not in the same classes but often in the same building so we can have lunch together. :aiyo: I’m definitely going to make Bento more often since it’s way too expensive to eat there and I’m completely broke at the moment.

Although uni is much more intense than school and I feel like my life is going to be less varied than before… But I’ll try to keep you up to date as often as possible and can’t wait to share some autumnal inspiration with you guys~