2 easy 30 min microwave Recipes - Japanese sakura no hana no shiozuke shiratamako shiroan sweets

Sakura daifuku / soft rice cake with cherry blossom bean paste

A seasonal variation of daifuku, a soft rice cake with sweet azuki bean paste inside. While sakura-an — cherry blossom bean paste — is usually made with shiroan, salted cherry leaves and red colorant, I mixed in sakura no hana no shiozuke salted cherry blossoms and beet water to shiroan white bean paste to create a softly salty, aromatic filling in sakura-iro pale pink.

87 calories (one cake, 1/4 of recipe); 2.4 g protein; 0.3 g fat; 18.5 g carbohydrate; 16.8 g net carbs; 5mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.0 g fiber

(Makes 4 daifuku cakes)

For gyuhi soft mochi rice cakes
35 g shiratamako sweet rice powder
20 g sugar
5 g mizuame starch syrup
70 cc water

Sakura-an cherry blossom bean paste (see below for ingredients)
3-4 tbsp katakuriko potato starch

For sakura-an cherry blossom bean paste

80-85 g shiroan white bean paste
10-12 sakura no hana no shiozuke salted cherry blossoms
Beet (only a small amount is needed)


Make sakura-an.
Soak sakura no hana no shiozuke in water.
Change water once or twice, and soak until desired saltiness is achieved (10-30 minutes).
Grate a small amount (1cm) of beet, and add 1-2 tsp water.

Strain beet water.

When cherry blossoms are sufficiently desalinated, squeeze out excess water, and finely chop.

Mix cherry blossoms and beet water, a small amount at a time, into shiroan white bean paste.
Add more beet water to achieve desired pink hue.


Divide sakura-an into four, and make round balls. Sift katakuriko potato starch onto tray, covering a relatively large area (potato starch prevents gyuhi from sticking to tray surface).


Make gyuhi soft mochi rice cake.
In a microwaveable bowl, put shiratamako and a few tablespoons of the 70cc water, and mix well.
Shiratamako has small lumps, so try to mash them, and blend with water.

Add sugar and mizuame, and mix well.

Add remaining water, and mix well.  

Loosely cover bowl, and microwave for 30-40 seconds.

Remove, and mix well with moistened spatula. 

Cover and microwave again for 30-40 seconds.
Remove, and mix well with moistened spatula.
Repeat one more time, microwaving for a shorter time (20-30 seconds).

Gyuhi is ready when somewhat translucent and supple. 


Empty gyuhi on tray covered with potato starch.

If gyuhi is in the shape of an oblong blob, put potato starch on long sides, and flip over (fold in half) with fingers, and make a log form.

Squeeze or pinch between fingers to divide gyuhi in half, then divide each half into two pieces to get a total of four mochi pieces. 


Flatten a mochi piece, aiming to make the center thinner and outside fatter.
Place sakura-an, and wrap it.


  • If using salted sakura leaves, 1-2 leaves should be enough for the above recipe.
  • Sakura-an often has a strong, dark pink tone. I personally like to keep it light, as seen in the traditional sakura-iro cherry blossom color, which is much subtler than momo-iro peach blossom color, for example.

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