Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

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Minazuki

Ingredients:
kuzu (kudzu) 25gm (0.9oz)
shiratamako (sweet rice flour) 45gm (1.6oz)
jyoshinko (rice flour) 90gm (3.2oz)
all purpose flour 120gm (4.2oz)
sugar 250gm (8.8oz)
water 420cc (1.7c.)
azuki (adzuki) beans for the top approx. 100gm (3.5oz) cooked
additional sugar and water for syrup


Preparation:
The azuki beans for the top can be either homemade or you can use canned yude azuki (boiled adzuki) or amanatto (sugared adzuki beans). To make from scratch begin by rinsing azuki beans in cold water and then cover with cold water overnight. Discard the soaking water and place in a pot with water to cover. It is difficult to keep the skins from breaking. An easy way to minimize breakage is to place a flat stainless steel wire mesh (strainer, etc.) over the beans in the pot. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to a light boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the skins just begin to get soft. (During the cooking remove any scum that forms on the surface.) Remove the pot from the heat and wrap completely in aluminum foil. Let sit for 1 hour. In another pot dissolve over low heat 2 parts of sugar to 1 part of water (1c. sugar / 1/2c. water). Drain the beans and transfer to the hot syrup. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and let the beans cool in the syrup. These can be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator. Before using, drain the syrup from the beans. (The extra beans are great over ice cream.) If using the canned beans, quickly rinse the beans to remove any excess smashed meat, and then drain.

For the minazuki - Dissolve the kuzu and shiratamako in some of the water.
Mix in the rest of the water and the sugar. Whip the mixture so that it is completely mixed. Sift the flour and jyoshinko into the liquid. Whip everything together until well blended. Let rest for 10 minutes or so. Remove approximately 100cc (0.4oz) of the mixture and reserve for later. Pour the remaining mixture into a 18cm X 18cm (8in X 8in) open bottom mold, lined with a damp cotton cloth, that has been placed in a cloth lined steamer. Steam over med/high heat for about 15 minutes. (Remember to place a cotton towel under the lid of the steamer.) Remove the steamer cover and spread a little of the reserved mixture over the top. Mix the drained beans with the remaining mixture and spread it over the top. Cover the steamer and steam for about 15-20 minutes longer or until cooked through. When ready, remove from the steamer and place on a wire rack. When slightly cool carefully remove the cotton cloth from the bottom and sides of the minazuki. Let cool completely on the wire rack. A little katakuriko (potato starch) can be dusted on the bottom to make it less sticky. When cool, cut into approximately 9 squares and then cut the squares in half into triangles. Makes approximately 18 pieces.

Note - It is much easier to cut if refrigerated for 30 minutes or so. It can also be served chilled

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