These Matcha Sweet Potato Mochi make the perfect slightly sweet and satisfying yet surprisingly healthy snack!
Mochi is a Japanese sweet snack made from glutinous rice beaten into a sticky paste and moulded into shapes. It’s soft and chewy and delicious paired with a sweet paste. This type of mochi here is called shiratama, which is plain mochi that’s been shaped into little balls. They’re often sold on sticks, sometimes come in different flavours, and sometimes come covered in a sweet paste, which is often made from beans.
Although shiratama is usually just made from glutinous rice flour and water, I decided to add sweet potatoes to these. I first got the idea to add sweet potatoes to shiratama when I made my purple sweet potato version, and have honestly never looked back! Sweet potatoes not only make these much healthier by increasing the amount of nutrients and fibre, but they also add sweetness and make the mochi much softer – this also means they keep better. I like to use Japanese (or white flesh) sweet potatoes for these, but you can use whatever ones you like!
I decided to flavour these mochi with matcha green tea powder, which adds an earthy flavour and a beautiful colour. I love using matcha in desserts, and have used it to make everything from crepes to shortbread and even panna cotta. Not only does the matcha add a delicious flavour and wonderful green hue, but it’s also packed full of antioxidants and full of health benefits. You can buy matcha powder from local health stores or Asian supermarkets. I used this one from Lalani & Co.
The slightly bitter flavour of the matcha perfectly compliments the sweet red bean paste. Adzuki beans, which are used in a lot of traditional Japanese desserts, actually contain lots of health benefits – they’re full of protein and fibre, and have recently started being hailed as a superfood. You can buy tinned or dried adzuki beans in most supermarkets. If you’re short of time, you can buy ready-made sweet red bean paste from Asian supermarkets, or online from the Japan Centre. But if you want to make your own, I’ve put a recipe for a refined sugar free version below!
There’s no need to be scared of making mochi yourself (as long as you can get hold of glutinous rice flour, which you can buy in Asian supermarkets, or online from the Japan Centre). You don’t need to spend hours beating rice into a sticky paste as they traditionally do in Japan – just cook the sweet potatoes, add rice flour, mould into shapes and boil them for a few minutes. It’s basically like making gnocchi but with sweet potatoes and rice flour.
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!
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled (Japanese or white flesh variety recommended, but not essential)
- 140g glutinous rice flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon matcha green tea powder
- Splash of water
- 200g adzuki beans (tinned or dried)
- 70g coconut sugar (or sub normal sugar or any other sweetener of choice)
- Boil or steam the sweet potatoes until soft enough to pierce with a fork
- Place them in a large bowl and mash with a fork
- Add glutinous rice flour, matcha powder and water and mix well – it should form a sticky paste-like mixture that’s easily moulded into balls (add as much water as you need for this, but make sure not to add too much)
- Mould the mixture into small balls – about 2cm in diameter
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add about a handful of the balls once the water’s boiled, leaving the pan on high heat throughout – it’s very important to wait until the water’s boiling and you mustn’t add too many at a time otherwise the temperature of the water will drop and they won’t cook properly!
- Cook the balls in a few batches – they’ll be ready 1-2 minutes after they’ve risen to the surface of the water
- Scoop them out with a spoon once they’re done and transfer to a bowl filled with cold water Repeat this process until all the balls are cooked
- Leave them in the cold water for 5-10 minutes, then drain away the water
- Best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days
- If using dried adzuki beans, soak and cook them according to instructions on packet
- If using tinned adzuki beans, drain and rinse them
- Add prepared adzuki beans to a saucepan with the sugar and enough water to cover
- Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes on a low heat
- Use a food processor or hand-held blender to blend the paste to your desired consistency - you can leave the texture a little chunky if you prefer, and add more sugar to taste if you wish
- *You can use store-bought red bean paste and skip this step