Shirakiku Japanese Rice Cakes

21 06 2007

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This is my first traditional dessert review. Here are Japanese Rice Cakes, also known as Daifuku, made fresh from Japan itself.

These aren’t rice cakes in the way that you might normally think of them, instead these are small balls of glutinous rice, and is then filled with sweet azuki bean paste. Glutinous rice is a short grain, stick Asian rice that becomes extremely sticky when cooked. It is then pounded into a paste and sold as mochi, or filled with various fillings and shaped to various sizes. In this case it is quite small, small enough to fit neatly into the palm of your hand. The azuki bean paste is of course made from azuki beans. I mentioned in my Azuki Bean Kit Kat review that I would try something like this at some point, and here it is.

The small cakes are also covered in a thin layer of what I think in this case is rice flour, to stop them from sticking together. The pictures don’t do these proper justice, but in this pack there are 12 cakes, 4 of each colour (white, pink and green). Each serving is 3 pieces, and despite the relatively low calories and extremely low fat per serving, these are still very filling.

I didn’t find these that sticky or chewy at all when eaten normally, but I then bit a piece of the cake itself without any of the paste and chewed it, and found that this stuff is actually extremely chewy! But the paste sort of…offsets it I guess, because as I said, when eaten normally I didn’t think these were particularly chewy at all. They’re not that sweet either, at least compared to your standard chocolate bar, or anything really of that nature. There’s a mix in here of both whole and mashed azuki beans, which again I really struggle to describe the flavour. It’s a little nutty, but other than that it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before. I really like the taste but I can imagine it being a refined taste, and something you may have to persist with, like a lot of Japanese food.

Basically this makes me want to try a lot more Oriental (Asian for the American readers) desserts, and I maybe coming to a Chinatown near you to try them!

Each serving is 3 pieces, and has 250 calories (10 of which from fat), 4g Protein, 56g Carbohydrates (6g of which sugars) and 1g Fat (no saturates). Gotta love those facts!

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