Ichigo Daifuku: Spring Has Arrived! ‘Good Fortune’ Rice Cake with Fresh Strawberry

Ichigo Daifuku: Spring Has Arrived! ‘Good Fortune’ Rice Cake with Fresh Strawberry (苺大福)

Ichigo Daifuku

Ichigo Daifuku (苺大福) is a modern wagashi (Japanese confection) that combines the traditional daifuku (大福), literally ‘great fortune’, with a fresh strawberry!

Ichigo Daifuku signifies the coming of spring as strawberries come into season at the end of winter.

I was on my way home from *’another hard day’ at the sake brewery, and at the station was a little stand selling ichigo daifuku, it has been snowing the last two days, but ichigo daifuku means spring to me, so I bought a few and enjoyed them when I got home.

Yum! Yum!

Ichigo Daifuku – mochi, azuki, fresh strawberry!
Ichigo Daifuku

Daifuku is mochi filled with azuki bean paste and there are many kinds. Fresh fruit in/on wagashi is not at all common, I can think of no other wagashi that features this combination.

Here, the daifuku is split and a fresh strawberry is placed within. This confection was developed sometime in the 1980’s, apparently various mochi shops claim to have invented it. Whatever it’s origins, it can be had anywhere in Japan now.

Wagashi, as it is associated with the tea ceremony is often eaten very ‘politely’, but with ichigo daifuku it seems that folks dispense with the drama and just chow down, biting it in half, making a two bite snack of one.

If you are in Japan in the late winter or early spring, when the strawberries are in season, check out ichigo daifuku!

By the way, Japanese strawberries are really tasty!

One more thing, ichigo daifuku is popular all over Japan, there is nothing particularly ‘Kyoto’ about it.

*I am working on a series about sake in Kyoto and for the past two days I was at a premium sake brewery in Fushimi, in the south of Kyoto conducting interviews and taking photos. I am not one than learns much from books, and I think they picked up on that within half a day and just put me to work. It was great fun and I got some real first-hand experience on how sake is made. It combines physical labor with serious brain work!

21 Responses to “Ichigo Daifuku: Spring Has Arrived! ‘Good Fortune’ Rice Cake with Fresh Strawberry”

  1. Alejandra says:

    These look beautiful!

  2. cakewardrobe says:

    Oh that looks lovely! It sort of looks like a pink version of Pacman eating a strawberry. You’re going to make me crave mochi all day!

  3. Cindy says:

    I love your blog,
    I can learn so much about Japanese food here!

  4. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Alejandra,
    Yes, simple and beautiful! Tasty too!
    I visited your blog, very nice! Will stop by again soon.

    Hi cakewardrobe,
    I visited your blog today too. Very nice! I love all the pink!
    Sorry to make you crave mochi all day! Can you get some good mochi where you are located?

    Hello Cindy THE FOOD MONGER
    And hey, I like your blog too! I think I sound like a broken record today, but thanks to all the new visitors! You have some funky widgets on your site, I love your ‘babbling’ category.

    Ya’ll stop by again soon!

  5. Kevin says:

    Those look good! I like the pink mochi. I wanted to try Ichigo Daifuku so much that I made them myself a while ago, though, mine did not have the cool pink mochi.

  6. PekoPeko says:

    Hey there Kevin,
    Oh, no more boring meals for you! I love the Shiitake Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crostini! Looks dang tasty!
    So you tried making Ichigo Daifuku? How did it turn out? I couldn’t find it on your blog.

  7. PekoPeko says:

    Alejandra,
    I really love the ‘plums’ poem on your blog!

  8. Lori says:

    Oooh, I’m really craving that now. Whenever I go on vacation to Hilo (Hawaii) I always buy a box of strawberry mochi if it’s available. :)

  9. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Lori
    Thanks for coming to visit.
    Strawberry mochi, in Hawaii? Is that Ichigo Daifuku, or something else?
    I live your ‘healthy’ blog!

  10. Alejandra says:

    Peko! I went to the Japanese market today and I found a beautiful daifuku! Now all I need is a perfect strawberry to pop in the center…

  11. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Alejandra
    Really!?! Where?
    Put some piks up on your blog, I want to see them!

  12. Lori says:

    I think it’s the same…it has a nice big piece of strawberry covered with azuki covered with mochi. The only difference I can see is with the one I get the strawberry is completely wrapped in the mochi. And they put a huge piece of strawberry in making it almost the size of a fist! Yum!

  13. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Lori,
    The size of a fist? Whoa! That is a biggin!
    Supersized Ichigo Daifuku!!
    The strawberry being completely covered in mochi is authentic and common.

  14. Norman says:

    I tried one early this month at their Ginza store – Unbelievable GOOD! Too bad can’t buy some home – all are good for one day.

  15. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Norman
    Yummy, eh?!
    Yes, ‘Fresh’ is often the operative word in Japanese cuisine. … Or, salted to death, like Osechi.

  16. Gerbs says:

    Hey! I just had Ichigo Daifuku the other day for the first time. Incredibly good. I was out exploring, stopped in a convenient store to buy a drink and saw them sitting on the counter. Turns out it’s the best thing I’ve had in, well, like a week, but definitely a new favorite, haha.

  17. alice says:

    Looks so tempting to eat! I want to try this, but how do you add the “pink” texture color in it? I want to try making this for some friends during my school break here.

  18. Ethan says:

    do you know what restaurants in kyoto, japan that sell these?

  19. jenjen says:

    I love Ichigo Daifuku! My Mom bakes them every Friday, hence it my favorite time of the week!

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