In Hawaii, we celebrate Hina Matsuri, also known as Girls’ Day, every March 3. Hina Matsuri, or Japanese Doll Festival, was brought to Hawaii in the 1800s by Japanese immigrants who settled here to work on plantations. In Japan, families with young daughters celebrate with a display of traditional dolls in their homes. In Hawaii, the dolls are less prominent, and we honor girls through special food and small gifts.
MICROWAVE MOCHI (CHI CHI DANGO)
1 10-ounce package mochiko (rice flour)
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Few drops red or green food coloring
Grease 5-cup microwave tube pan.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except cornstarch. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on medium-high power for 10 minutes, rotating pan several times.
Let rest a few minutes. Pull mochi from sides of pan and turn onto a board dusted with cornstarch. Cool. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Coat each piece with cornstarch. Makes 36 pieces.
Approximate nutritional information, per piece: 80 calories, 2.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 4 g sugar, 1 g protein
CLAMS AND RICE
3 cups rice
5 shiitake (dried mushrooms), soaked
1 6-ounce can seasoned clams
3 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hondashi (Japanese fish-flavored soup granules)
1 small carrot, slivered
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
In rice cooker, rinse rice. Add water to cover and soak 30 minutes; drain. Slice mushroom caps; discard stems. Drain clams; save liquid. To clam liquid, add sake, soy sauce, sugar, hondashi and enough water to cook 3 cups of rice. Add to rice with mushrooms, carrot and clams. Cook.
Before serving, garnish with peas. Serves 4 to 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 6 servings): 470 calories, 1.5 g fat, no saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 94 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 16 g protein
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