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After school snacks don't always have to be about sandwiches and cookies. It may not come to mind immediately, but there are rice desserts and snacks too, and they're definitely not boring. If you've made some rice lately and you don't know what to do with a leftover cooker-full, try our homemade rice crackers or rice gelato. Wow Mom, and yum! If you want to try something traditional and authentic, use fresh rice and go for our ohagi recipe. Celebrate Rice Month with Zojirushi!
These recipes use rice in ways you may have never thought about. Try them and take a step beyond rice pudding--we guarantee your kids will be impressed and want to invite their friends over for dessert.
Everybody loves rice crackers. Usually made with soy sauce or salt seasoning, there are thousands of popular varieties today. Cheese flavoring is just one of them; you can invent your own kind, too. The crunch is what's irresistible.
See this recipe
Ohagi is a centuries old confection that uses fresh rice as its main ingredient, along with the sweet red bean paste. Still popular today when served on special occasions, our green tea (matcha) version is a contemporary variation.
See this recipe
What? You heard right--try this soft gelato style frozen treat made with rice! Mix with your choice of fruit, chocolate fudge, whatever you like. If you don't believe it, make it for yourself and be amazed.
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Yes, we know that's a mouthful, but just try this one if you're watching your gluten content. It's a wonderful way to enjoy a crusty pizza, topped with a healthy but savory smoked salmon salad. After you bake your homemade pizza dough, use all of it because it won't keep well. Simply double the topping ingredients to make two pizzas at once.
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The featured recipes this month, senbei and ohagi, are traditional Japanese snacks. Here's a bit of history on both of these timeless and beloved treats.
Senbei, or Japanese rice crackers, dates back to the 9th century in Japan. Although made with all kinds of flavors today from cheese to curry to kimchee, the traditional ones were soy sauce flavored and shaped like flat, coaster-sized disks. The arare type of rice cracker is a collection of small pellet, flower and leaf shaped bits that you can find sold in bags. And if you have a sweet tooth, you'll be glad to know that not all senbei are savory. There are many sugar coated and even chocolate coated ones being made today.
Ohagi is a traditional Japanese sweet popular during the Fall and at O-bon, a festival that honors our departed ancestors. A similar dessert called botamochi celebrates Spring, which is nearly identical to ohagi except for the texture of the adzuki paste. The names come from the botan (peony) blossom which blooms in the Spring, and the hagi (bush clover), which blooms during Autumn.
More Snacks
What might the Emperor of Japan have as a snack? His Royal Highness would stick with tradition and be served a variety of wagashi, or Japanese confections. Here are just a few.
Yokan, a thick concoction of solid adzuki or red bean paste and sugar usually formed into blocks, it resembles gelatin but is more like a paste. It is a popular gift item and served in small quantities. The sweet rich flavor makes it an ideal companion to the stringent freshness of hot green tea.
Manju is well known and as varied as senbei. The little morsels come in all shapes and sizes, but are usually made with shells of flour, rice powder and buckwheat and filled with adzuki bean paste. There are some varieties filled with white bean paste instead of the red bean.
Mochi, the glutinous rice that is pounded into a stretchy, sticky consistency during Japanese New Years, is also the base for thousands of desserts, either made into pocketfuls of sweet fillings or mixed with green tea matcha, mugwort plant, cinnamon, etc., that gives the mochi that extra flavor or special color.
Dango are the ball shaped mochi dumplings that you see skewered 3 or 4 to a stick. They can be topped with a smooth adzuki paste, or a teriyaki style syrup, or prepared in a number of other ways. They are usually seasonal in that different varieties will appear at special times of the year.
Monaka are made with crispy, wafer-like shells, much like ice cream cones. They are molded and colored into flowers, fish, emblems, etc., and usually filled with red or white bean sweet paste.
Sakuramochi are small pink rice cakes filled with adzuki paste. They are distinctly wrapped with an edible, pickled cherry blossom leaf and eaten to celebrate Girl's Day (March 3rd) in Japan. The Boy's Day version (May 5th) is called Kashiwamochi, wrapped in the oak leaf that symbolizes prosperity for generations of descendants, because the old leaves will not shed until the new ones come in.
Obviously rice and adzuki are pretty ingrained into Japanese dessert culture. If you can think of your own favorites, let us know. We'd love to hear from you!
The minimalist Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer comes with multiple menu settings and two delay timer settings for a reasonable price. With micro computerized fuzzy logic technology, automatic keep warm and dent resistant plastic body.
1. Easy-to-read LCD control panel with Clock and Timer functions
2. Menu settings include: white/mixed, sushi, porridge, sweet, brown, rinse-free and quick cooking
3. Detachable and washable inner lid
4. Black thick inner cooking pan and heating system provide even heating for better cooking results

Visit us on zojirushi.com to see our new look for the fall season. As the colors start to change this autumn, so does Zojirushi introduce new products and add new recipes to bring on the best "foodie" time of the year!
The recipe will be presented in the November issue.
Gluten Free Smoked Salmon Salad Pizza
The recipe is presented in this month's issue.
Ice Rice Gelato
The recipe is presented in this month's issue.
Fresh Herb Tea
(See Recipe)
Vegetable Lentil Soup
(See Recipe)
White Rice
(See Recipe)
Salmon Sensation
(See Recipe)
Fresh Fruit
Bring your favorite fruits.
Hot Green Tea (Sencha)
(See Recipe)
Whether for school or for office, there's nothing like hot soup for lunch. Next month we're presenting some recipes that you can take with you in your Food Jar.