Ohagi, a sweet featured in “My Neighbour Totoro”

Ghibli is now on Netflix

How wonderful, we can watch many of Ghibli’s works on Netflix (except in Japan, US and Canada). Starting at the 1st of March, some new titles are added to the list. Our child is passionately watching the new titles, instead of going outside because of the spreading of the corona virus.

Every time when we watch “My Neighbor Totoro”, we are eager to eat the sweet “Ohagi”.

What is an Ohagi? A sweet Onigiri?

An Ohagi is very similar to an Onigiri (rice ball). The main ingredient is rice, but instead of salmon or salted plum, sweet red beans paste is inside a rice ball and covered in soy beans powder or beans paste instead of dry seaweed. But they are not Onigiri, but sweets.

ohagi botamochi

Making Ohagi is not that hard

If you can get Glutinous rice, normal rice, Anko (sweet red beans paste), soy bean powder and a rice cooker, making Ohagi yourself is not that hard. See here

Glutinous rice was the hardest thing to get for us. Making Ohagi is not complicated, if you can get all ingredients and you have a rice cooker.

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Souvenirs from Japan

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Ohagi or Botamochi?

If you’ve already watched “Totoro”, maybe you can recall the scene where Satsuki said to Kanta’s granny “I love your Ohagi”.

Ohagi is also called Botamochi, when it is eaten in Spring. The different name comes from the flowers. The name Ohagi comes from Hagi (Lespedeza) which blooms in Autumn. Botamochi comes from Botan (Paeonia suffruticosa), these flowers bloom in Spring.

So now it is clear that Satsuki and Mei ate these sweets in Autumn.

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