Yomogi Mochi Cake — A Japanese Springtime Sweet

Of all the Japanese sweets that I’ve been posting about here (and I know it’s been a lot!), this one is characteristically my favorite…it just gets me. Everyone who knows me knows that I like red bean paste. Everyone also knows that I love yomogi. Put those two things together into one sweet and it’s a no-brainer!

In English, yomogi is called “Japanese mugwart” (or Artemisia princeps in the plant world). It’s traditionally incorporated into mochi, or Japanese rice cakes to give the standard white rice cakes this wonderful subtle grassy flavour and a beautiful green colour. One step better is when this yomogi mochi is filled with sweet red bean paste. It’s so perfect!

This particular sweet was wrapped up in an oak leaf, just like that kashiwa mochi that I posted about the other day. This is a special springtime sweet, available fresh in all the little Japanese confectionery shops for a brief time while the yomogi plant is in season. It’s such a treat. Now this is what comes to mind when I think of Japanese food!

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21 thoughts on “Yomogi Mochi Cake — A Japanese Springtime Sweet

    1. Aw thank you! It’s an oak leaf, and it even has a symbolic meaning. Apparently, oak trees don’t shed old leaves until new leaves grow. So, the oak leaves symbolize the success of your children and descendants! Just something I learned recently 😛 I always just liked them because they’re delicious!

  1. I visited Tokyo last year and I miss it so much. Being a vegetarian, it was hard to find vegetarian friendly food so I ended up eating lots of mochi (and onigiri). This photo takes me back to delicious mochi days :3

    1. HAHA, I can totally relate! Onigiri and mochi and daifuku are my go-to foods. I love that so many Japanese sweets are vegan. I also depend a lot on tofu, soba, natto, and udon. The region I’m in is famous for sweet potatoes so I’m pretty happy about that, too 😀

      1. Natto is something I didn’t try when I was there….not sure if I saved myself or missed out with it not being to some peoples tastes. I swear next time I’m over in Japan, I’ll try some. Oh yes, the sweet potatoes and the candied ones :0 :0 :0 soooo good! Japanese food is my favourite type. The flavours are so intricate :3

      2. Candied sweet potatoes! You must mean daigaku imo. Those things are absurdly delicious haha! I don’t know why we don’t have those back in Canada/America yet. As for natto…if you eat it over hot rice and topped with slices of fresh green onion, it’s so, so good!

      3. Yeah that’s them! I think the secret is the Japanese/Asian sweet potato. I can’t imagine UK potatoes being as nice. That sounds like a much safer option than diving straight into plain natto aha!

      4. Ahh, you’re right! That totally makes sense. I buy yams and sweet potatoes all the time back home in Vancouver but they’re pretty different for sure! I guess if we tried making daigaku imo with Canadian or UK sweet potatoes, they wouldn’t be quite the same!

      5. I was going to attempt making daigaku imo a while back, but something inside me said ‘don’t do it…it’ll ruin the beauty/memory of the real ones’ aha

    1. Me too! Apparently a lot young Japanese people these days don’t like it. (Or, so I’ve heard from the teachers at work.) But I can’t get enough of it!

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