I got it into my head yesterday that I wanted to bring azuki bean mochi to a dinner party today. I went to Star and bought mochiko and tsubushi-an (although when I got home and read the recipe, I realized that I actually wanted koshi-an, the smooth bean paste puree, as opposed to tsubushi-an, sweetened azuki beans that still has whole beans in it. I also realized that I should've bought katsuriko - potato starch - or kinako - to roll the mochi in. I subbed cornstarch instead)
Using a recipe from Hawaii's Best Mochi Recipes by Jean Watanabe Hee for An Mochi #1, I mixed water and sugar, boiled it, and then vigorously stirred in the mochiko. Turned it out onto a board dusted with cornstarch and let it cool until it was cool enough to work with. It turned into a big, sticky mess. Had no idea what to do with it. The dough was so sticky, there was no way that I could possibly shape it into 3 1/2" round wrappers, like the recipe specified.
Dough from boiling water:
Disastrous first attempt with dough that kept sticking to my fingers as I tried put it down on the wax paper:
I went running to the computer, googled 'making mochi with azuki beans' and luckily found this post from A Daily Obsession that saved my mochi! The blogger, Terri, gave a recipe for microwave mochi and detailed instructions.
I stirred in some more mochiko to make a drier dough, then stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes to cook. This time I let it cool all the way down, and was able to roll it out into flat circles.
Dough after microwaving:
The second batch I made just as the blog directed: mix the sugar and mochiko (without the matcha), stir in the water, and then microwave for 4 minutes. I came out with a much smoother mochi dough.
Wet mochiko mixture before microwaving:
Dough after being microwaved (very smooth and elastic):
I had 2 different fillings: peanut and azuki. For the peanut, I just stuck equal amounts of peanuts and sugar into the food processor and ground to a fine powder. For the azuki, I used the tsubushi-an straight from the can.
The final product (peanut on top, azuki on bottom, some rolled in flaked coconut for fun):