Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

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Uchimono
(pressed sweets)

Ingredients:
kanbaiko (cooked mochi rice flour) 33gm (1.2oz)
granulated sugar 66gm (2.3oz) (or super fine Bakers Sugar if available)
shitorimitsu (sugar water) approx. 2tsp
color (optional)
flavoring (optional)

FOR SHITORIMITSU:
(mizuame [syrup] or Karo light corn syrup) 1 part
(water) 2 parts

Note-Kanbaiko from Japan is usually not available in the US. Some large Vietnamese or Chinese markets may carry cooked glutinous rice flour which is similar to kanbaiko. It is usually from Hong Kong and the package may say "fried" rice flour on it which refers to it being cooked.

Preparation:
Make the shitorimitsu by bringing the mizuame, or light corn syrup, and water to the boil so that all of the liquids blend together. Let cool.

Mix the sugar and shitorimitsu in a bowl until it is blended well (use your hands for best results). If using color, it can be added to the shitorimitsu before mixing with the sugar. Gradually mix in the kanbaiko until everything is well blended. Sift into a larger bowl. A Japanese dry sweet mold can be lightly dusted with katakuriko (potato starch) or corn starch. Press the mixture into the mold until the openings are full. Use your thumb to put maximum pressure on each design. Place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the mold and using a flat object press the remaining dry mixture into the mold. Remove the sweets from the mold and let dry a couple of hours before placing in an airtight container. This recipe make approximately 25 sweets.

If you do not have a sweet mold you can proceed with the preparation of the uchimono mixture and can place a layer in a plastic lined mold. Press the mixture into the mold using a flat wooden board. Japanese yokan, sweet bean jelly, can be sliced and placed on top of the pressed mixture. More mixture can be placed on top of the yokan and pressed again. Let sit a couple of hours before cutting.

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