I hate to play favorites, but of all my daifuku mochi children, this one with ube halaya filling is my favorite. The coconut milk gives the daifuku a super silky and tender texture, while the ube brings delicious and rich flavor. A whole strawberry in the center of the daifuku can add some brightness and tang if you’re interested!
Mochi is very easy to make at home, especially if you have a microwave, so don’t be intimidated. When it comes to the ube halaya (aka ube jam), you can make your own from fresh or frozen purple yams (my recipe is listed below) or you can purchase some pre-made.
Ube Mochi Recipe
For The Mochi Batter:
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp mochiko
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup ube halaya
- more mochiko for dusting
- more ube halaya for filling
- strawberries for filling optional
- desiccated coconut for coating
- Whisk together all batter ingredients in a microwave safe bowl until smooth. The bowl should not be more than 2/3 of the way full of batter. The mixture will be similar in consistency to a cake batter.
- Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. (If the plastic wrap is too tight, condensation will not be able to escape and will drip back down into the mochi. It can also cause the batter to overflow!)
- Microwave on high power for 1 minute, then stir with a heat proof non-stick utensil. When you stir it, it will be lumpy, and that’s okay! It doesn’t need to be smooth. Use oven mitts and be careful of steam when removing the plastic wrap and stirring.
- Re-cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and continue microwaving and stirring one minute at a time until the mochi is no longer white, but has a more translucent quality and is very gummy. This usually takes about 2 more minutes, 3 minutes total.
- Turn out the mochi onto a plastic cutting board or work surface that has been generously dusted with mochiko. Sprinkle more mochiko on top of the mochi. Pat the mochi out to a half inch thick disk. (Be careful, it will still be hot!)
- While still warm but cooled enough to handle, shape your mochi. Use a knife to divide into four pieces. Fill each piece with 2 tsp of ube halaya or 1 tsp of halaya and a strawberry. Bring the corners of the mochi together over the filling, then use your fingers to pinch the remaining open seams closed. Roll the mochi in the coconut to coat.
- Mochi can be kept at covered room temperature for several hours, but is best eaten fresh! Refrigeration is not recommended because the fat in the coconut milk will cause the mochi to lose its tender texture.
For more details on mochi, step-by-step pictures, and the stovetop preparation method, click here!
Keep scrolling for the Halaya recipe
Ube Halaya Recipe
- 1.5 lb ube (purple sweet potatoes with purple exterior and interior)
- 6 tbsp butter,
- 13.5 oz full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt,
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large pot, cover the whole, unpeeled ube potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until tender all the way through when poked with a fork or knife, about 30 minutes. (If the potatoes are very large or very small the time may vary.) Drain the potatoes and cool slightly. When cool enough to handle but still warm, remove the peels and discard. Place in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.
- Transfer the mashed ube to a large pot or saucepan along with the butter, coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter melts, then puree the mixture with an immersion blender. (See recipe notes above for other options if you don’t have an immersion blender!)
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and stir frequently. Cook 25 minutes for jam-like consistency, and 40 minutes for a thicker, more custardy consistency. When the halaya has reached your desired consistency, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to clean jars or containers. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.