How To Make Japanese Desserts: Japanese Cooking

Learn How To Make Sticky Rice Cakes, a Favorite Dessert in Japan

Japanese sweets

Japanese cooking can be very enjoyable, especially when making Japanese dessert recipes such as sticky rice cakes. These desserts are known to be nutritious as well as delicious. In this article you will find recipes for three types of Ohagi, known as sweet rice cake, and Daigaku Imo, know as Fried Sweet Potato. 

Sanshoku Ohagi (Tri-colored Sweet Rice Cake)
This recipe will show you how to make Red Bean Ohagi, Edamame Ohagi and Sesame Ohagi.

Ingredients:(makes 18 cakes) Sticky rice:

  • 2 cups of sticky rice
  • 2 cups of water

Used for Read Bean and Sesame Ohagi

  • 1 1/2 cups of red bean paste

Used for Edamame Ohagi

  • 1 1/2 cups of edamame (soy beans)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Used Sesame Ohagi

  • 3 teaspoons of black sesame seeds
  • 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Lightly wash sticky rice in a bowl. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook rice with 2 cups of water in a rice cooker or on the stove in a pot.
  3. After the rice is cooked, roll into 18 balls and set aside. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Directions: For the Red Bean Ohagi and the Sesame Ohagi:

  1. Divide the red bean paste into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. The 2/3 portion will be used for the red bean ohagi, while the 1/3 portion will be used as filling for the Sesame Ohagi. Set aside.
  2. For the Sesame Ohagi: Divide the 1/3 portion for the Sesame ohagi into 6 balls. Set aside.
  3. For the Edamame Ohagi: In a pot, add water, a japanese dessertpinch of salt and Edamame soy beans and boil until the beans are very soft. Rinse the Edamame soy beans under cold water.
  4. For the Edamame Ohagi: Remove the softened beans from the Edamame soy bean shells.
  5. For the Edamame Ohagi: Grind the softened beans to create a paste. Add sugar and salt. Move this mixture into a skillet under heat. Stir until the paste is firm enough to handle.
  6. For the Edamame Ohagi: Remove the paste from the skillet. Flatten the paste onto a cutting board and let it cool.
  7. For the Edamame Ohagi: Once the paste is cooled, roll into 6 even sized balls. Set aside.
  8. For the Sesame Ohagi: In a skillet, lightly fry black sesame seeds to enhance its natural aroma. Remove from skillet into a bowl.
  9. For the Sesame Ohagi: Grind the seeds and combine sugar and salt. Set aside.
  10. For the Red Bean Ohagi:Take the 2/3 portion of the Red Bean Paste and wrap 6 of the sticky rice balls. Set aside.
  11. For the Edamame Ohagi: Take the Edamame paste and wrap 6 of the sticky rice balls. Set aside.
  12. For the Sesame Ohagi: Take the remaining 1/3 portion of the Red Bean paste balls and insert each ball into the center of the rice balls to use as filling. Cover each rice ball with the sesame seed mixture.
  13. Mold each Ohagi into a flattened oval shape and serve hot or cold.

Daigaku Imo with Honey (Fried Sweet Potato with Honey)

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 2 sweet potatoes (approximately 5 inches long)
  • frying oil (as needed)
  • 11/2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds


  1. Rinse sweet potatoes with water. Keep the skin of the potato on and cut into bite sized chunks. Rinse the chunks again and wipe off excess water.
  2. Slowly deep fry the potato in low heat in a skillet until slightly golden.
  3. In a bowl, combine fried sweet potato with honey.
  4. Sprinkle black sesame on the potato and serve hot or cold.

Try experimenting when trying to learn how to make these recipes, particularly sticky rice cakes and other favorites in Japan.


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