Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

These Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes are slightly inspired by a traditional Japanese sweet called Sakura Mochi.

I created this recipe in collaboration with the wonderful company Thai Taste who very kindly provided me with the products for this post. 

Sakura Mochi are balls of sweet sticky rice, which is dyed pink and filled with a sweet red bean paste (anko) filling. Sakura means cherry blossom, and these sweets look pretty and delicate like the flowers themselves. They’re usually eaten during the spring, especially to celebrate Girl’s Day and during cherry blossom parties. 

Although I do love red bean paste, I find that it’s usually not as popular in the West as it is in Japan and I also thought I should do something different. So, because I absolutely love using purple sweet potatoes in desserts I decided to substitute the red bean paste filling with one made with purple sweet potatoes! 

Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

And of course, rather than using artificial dye to colour the rice pink, I decided to use the natural dye from the vividly colourful purple sweet potatoes, which gave the rice a delightful lilac hue, which contrasts beautifully with the violet filling in the centre. 

If you live in the UK, Waitrose have recently started selling purple sweet potatoes so you should be able to get hold of them easily!

Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

And what’s best about these Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Balls here is that I found a really easy way to get round making the sticky rice! It’s usually made either by first cooking sticky rice and then pounding it into smaller pieces or by using domyoji-ko, another type of sticky rice that’s already been pounded into smaller pieces. However, if you don’t live in Japan, domyoji-ko can be pretty hard to get hold of.

However, thanks to Thai Taste, I can buy quick and easy ready-to-cook sticky rice in my local supermarket.

Because Thai sticky rice is long-grain glutinous rice and Japanese sticky rice is short-grain glutinous rice, this may not be the MOST authentic recipe for sakura mochi out there, but this is why I haven’t decided to call this post Sakura Mochi! And I did say at the start that these Sticky Rice Balls were only loosely inspired by the Japanese sweets. 

And whilst normal Sakura Mochi are filled with tons of sugar, these ones are naturally sweetened with date syrup, which makes them much healthier than their traditional counterparts. The purple sweet potatoes are also naturally quite sweet, so you only need a little bit of sweetener.

Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

These Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Balls are meant to be enjoyed cold so they would be absolutely perfect this summer for packed lunches and picnics! 

And please remember to go check out this Thai Taste Sticky Rice and lots of their other wonderful products! 

If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!

Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)
Yields 20
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For the purple sweet potato filling
  1. 150g purple sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (they will cook faster this way)
  2. 2 tablespoons date syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
For the sticky rice
  1. 200g Thai Taste sticky rice
  2. 300ml water (left over from boiling the purple sweet potatoes)
  3. 2 tablespoons date syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  1. For best results, soak the sticky rice overnight in cold water, then drain and rinse thoroughly before cooking
  2. Start by cooking the purple sweet potatoes - bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork
  3. Drain the potatoes, keeping the water you used to boil them in (it should be bright purple)
  4. Place the cooked purple sweet potatoes in a bowl, add the date syrup and mash with a fork until it becomes a smooth paste
  5. Cook the sticky rice according to instructions on the packet - I used 200g sticky rice with 300ml water (and stirred in the date syrup before turning on the heat)
  6. Keep the pan covered, bring the rice to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed
  7. Once you have turned off the heat, cover the rice and let it sit for 10 minutes
  8. Then remove the lid and leave the rice to cool so that it's not too hot to handle
  9. To make the sticky rice balls, wet your hands before handling the rice because otherwise the rice will stick to your hands
  10. Place a square of cling film onto a flat surface and making a flat circle of rice (sort of like a pancake) then add a heaped teaspoon of filling into the centre
  11. Wrap the cling flim around the rice to seal the filling inside the rice, unwrap the cling film and then place onto a plate
  12. Repeat until you've used up all the rice and filling
  1. If you can't get hold of purple sweet potatoes, you can use red bean paste for the filling
Rhian's Recipes http://www.rhiansrecipes.com/
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3 thoughts on “Purple Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes (Vegan + GF)

  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Rhian! We’re so happy we could share our Stokes Purple Sweet Potato love with you guys across the pond. šŸ™‚ They’re back in season in early September. So keep your eyes out!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I absolutely love purple sweet potatoes and can’t wait for them to come back in season šŸ™‚

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