Japanese style Tofu glutinous rice balls + Packing

>> Monday, October 4, 2010

I am attempting to pack up my life into 20kg this week.

The last time I packed like this, it was 5 years ago when I had to move to Illinois to study. I learnt back then, that living on 20kg for a year is doable ;)

This time, I am making the transition into the next chapter of my career in a different industry...and a different city - Melbourne! Lots of changes for sure. Definitely exciting and very scary.

So it's a jam-packed week for me this week as I am trying to do a gazillion last-minute things and catch up with my Sydney friends. It is times like these you need quick and easy recipes for snacks (snacks are essential when you pack...really!).

I normally don't make rice balls but the only reason I made these was because the recipe uses tofu! I was curious. I was intrigued. I also look for every opportunity to health-ify and experiment with my food as you may know! While I couldn't taste the tofu at all, they did make the rice balls softer...nom nom nom.

I flavoured a third of the dough into green-tea (matcha) and also dipped the rice balls in 3 different 'dressings' - freshly grinded black sesame, soy bean powder (this stuff is amazing) and lastly the left-over sweetened red bean from the fridge.

This recipe is inspired by Masa, a Japanese foodblogger living in Taiwan. I bought his cookbook when I was in Taiwan few weeks back. Go and check his other recipes if you can read Chinese :)

Anyways, here's the recipe below and I hope you do make this and enjoy it as much as I have.

Oh, and I hope you smile today too :)

Japanese style glutinous tofu rice balls 
Adapted from MASA
Serves 4

  • 100g silken tofu (do not use firm tofu)
  • 100g glutinous rice flour (I recommend the Japanese version which are in flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp matcha (green-tea) powder
  • 1/4 cup ground black sesame (I blasted my sesame in a food processor)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy bean powder (can be purpose from Asian stores)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened red-bean (may use cans but I boiled mine and added sugar)
  • ~4 tbsp sugar
1. Combine the tofu and the glutinous rice flour in a bowl. Break up the tofu as much as you can with your hands and knead until a dough that is not too sticky is formed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour as required. If the dough is too dry, add more tofu.

2. Take 1/3 of the dough and knead it again with green-tea powder until combined.

3. Roll out the each of the dough (one plain, one green) on a clean surface and stretch into long strips. Divide into however many rice balls you want and roll each part into a small ball with your palms.

4. Fill up a saucepan with water to the top and bring it to boil. Place the balls into boiling water and immediately stir the water to make sure each ball doesn't stick to the bottom. Cook until the balls float onto the surface of water. Drain them and place into a bowl of ice cold water. (I forgot to boil the water first - catastrophe! The photo below is a big no-no as the water wasn't boiled and not enough!)

5. Once cooled down, add 3 rice balls to each skewer (you may have to twist the skewer or you might end up squashing the rice balls!)

6. This step is optional, but I like to grill my skewers of rice balls lightly. It makes the surface less sticky and the rice balls softer. You can wrap the ends of the skewers with foil as I have done.

7. Prepare the 'dressings'. In a bowl, mix the black sesame with ~2 tbsp of sugar (I used dark brown) and in another bowl, mix the soy bean powder with ~2 tbsp of dark brown sugar depending on how sweet you prefer the powders. 

8. Sprinkle or dip the skewers into the powders or sweetened red-bean paste.


Anh October 4, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

So lovely! I have tasted these before, but never made them myself. Thanks for the recipe :)

Joanne October 4, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

If there are two things I hate, it's packing and moving. I'm so impressed that you can pack yourself into 20kg! That's quite a feat! Good luck with everything babe and keep yourself fortified with these delicious rice balls!

Von October 4, 2010 at 10:22 PM  

Glutinous rice balls with tofu definitely sounds interesting!! I'll have to try this next time I made glutinous rice balls (which may be a very long time away since I rarely make it....haha) They look so good!! Good luck with yout packing! I've never tried packing my life into 20kg =) Hopefully I'll never have to!

Anna October 4, 2010 at 10:33 PM  

Moving is really hard work, and altogether exhausting. Hope it all goes well x

Julie October 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

can you translate his whole site for me?

no no i kidd =p or am i??

i will see you tomorrow :) so happy! Ps any left over for us?? I want some.. hehe =p

chocolatesuze October 4, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

balls! so pretty! wow melbourne hey? that's totes exciting good luck dude!

Celeste @ Berrytravels October 5, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

I am rather impressed. 20kgs? I find it so hard to keep under 20kg even when travelling light. Obviously I fail at packing.

My friend made these dangos before and its so cool. I'm all fascinated by the fact that you can't taste the tofu in it!

Good luck with your packing!

sugarpuffi October 5, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

im surprised u have time to make dangos and in 3 different flavours too!
they look uber delicious. i want some.

grub October 5, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

wow i've only made this using glutinuous rice flour and water. will have to try your method after exams!

good luck with packing!

Anonymous,  October 6, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

Good luck with moving!

I'm a big fan of mochi... these look great!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 6, 2010 at 6:59 PM  

Oh wow, is it very different from regular glutinous rice balls? I love silken tofu so I'd love to give this a try! :)

Lisa October 6, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

i am so impressed you made this gorgeous food in the midst of moving!

YW October 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

All the best with the move!! New job, new city, exciting times ahead !! :)

Viv October 7, 2010 at 4:22 PM  

Anh: No worries. Give them a go coz they're super easy!

Joanne: Yea movings a pain :( THese rice balls are more likely to make me sleepy than fortify me :P

Von: Thanks :) Yea I hope you'll never hv to pack like this too :P I have to live without so many things :P

Ladybird: Yes I'm exhausted already....and all I've done is take out my suitcase :P

Julie: I think you kid :P Google translator is prob a better way to go :P

chocolatesuze: thank you :)

Celeste: You need to learn the art of traveling art hehehe :P Thanks!

sugarpuffi: I'm sure you dont want any desserts anymore after sugar hits!

grub: good luck with exams girl! I can't wait to read your posts in a months time!

crispandverdant: Oh yea that's another word for glutinous rice...mochi! lol. i forgot!

Lorraine: It's not all different at all - tastes exactly the same (can't taste the tofu) but the texture is slightly softer!

Lisa: Hehe I cook whenever I'm taking a break :)

YW: Thank you! Exciting and terrifying times ahead for sure ;)

Dolly October 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM  

looks divine!!!!!!

like mochiii balls only healthier!

Unknown October 10, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

hey Viv... somehow I couldn't see the MASA link =(

they look so yummy!!!

Viv October 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

Dolly: Yes, more protein in each mochi balls :P

Viv: You can't see the links? I've included 3 links in the post? Let me know if you still can't see it - I'll email to you :)

grace October 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

haha your rice balls remind me of bbq fish ball sticks... but totally beautiful. if those mochi balls were ladies (and i was a man) i would date them, all

PS. MOVING TO MELBOURNE IN A WEEK!!!! you must be either super excited, a wreck, or both haha. massive kudos for still blogging ;)

Viv October 12, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

grace: that would make you a pimp then! dating not one but several ladies at once! shockers! :P
btw, a wreck for sure! lol.

Maria @ Scandi Foodie October 14, 2010 at 5:57 AM  

Good luck with your next move!

I've made similar Japanese "dango", but the recipe didn't use tofu, just rice flour. I know I'd like these!

Simone Anne November 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM  

Wow, so fancy! But looks amazing!

onebutters November 2, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

Cool, I've always wanted to make "tong yuen". Does this recipe crossover?

Viv November 3, 2010 at 12:01 AM  

Yes, definitely similar to 'Tong Yuen'...except Tong Yuens have fillings inside. I'm sure you can use this recipe too and just add whatever fillings you want inside!

Anonymous,  November 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM  

made it before tastes awesome!

chopinandmysaucepan April 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM  

The green tea powder looks so vibrant and I love green tea ice cream. This must surely be good too!

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