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Where to find Japanese sweets??

Can anyone recommend someplace to find good, preferably freshly-made Japanese sweets? I'm particularly interested in mochi diafuku?

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  1. Both are faint hopes: Ozawa.ca; or Nakamura's at J-Town.

      1. re: wildphoenix

        Sanko has daifuku mochi for sure. I bought some there before.

      2. I have been meaning to drop into this place . . . www.mitstoronto.com
        Not sure if they have freshly made though,

        3 Replies
        1. re: orangewasabi

          I have never heard of this place before. Is it a dessert place? The website is in Japanese, so I can't tell what's going on. I wish I could. :(

          I've been to Japan, and would love to see if there are similar eateries here in Toronto.

          1. re: kaka

            It's a small Japanese video and groceries store. I bought a package of okonomi mix there once, got home and saw that the expiry date was the next month, so the things aren't fresh. I vaguely remember that they sell snacks but don't recall what's there.

          2. T&T and PAT central have Japanese sweets that are not freshly made.

            1. Thanks for the responses... I have tried Sanko, and what they have is OK, but it really doesn't compare to the fresh stuff. I may have to try making some mochi myself (potential disaster!).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Rabbit

                The stuff that you will find at Sanko and J town is definitely not fresh and sometimes you can even feel that they are thawing and just taken out of the freezer. Sanko used to have beautiful fresh ones that they sold in packages of six but I haven't seen them there since I was a little girl. I make mine at home with great results. It can be time consuming to make your own Koshi-an or Tsubushi-an so I usually buy that in the packages. But if you really want to make it all from scratch, bulk barn even carries Azuki beans now. You will find great easy recipes in Hawaiis Best Mochi Recipes by Jean Watanabe Hee. It has an amazing recipe for Tri-Coloured Mochi that is actually baked. You can cut them out using different cookie cutters which are great for kids and as gifts.

                1. re: professor plum

                  This is great info... thanks, prof!!

              2. My friend used to work for Tokyo Grill (was it? or maybe Tokyo Kitchen?) and occasionally sold daifuku and kuri-manju that she made, although I dunno if they still have someone doing the same thing now that she's returned to Japan.

                Many Japanese and Japanese Canadians here simply make their own wagashi. As says professor plum, it's not difficult to get azuki in Toronto nowadays.
                Mochi - in small quantity can be made with mortar&pestle. Larger quantities can be a pain, unless if you have a bread machine that also kneads mochi.
                Daifuku - even easier, you can take shortcut using a microwave instead of a steamer
                Kuri-manju - white bean paste can be made with lima beans
                Dorayaki, ohagi, sakura-mochi, ohagi, etc. - the outside 'bun' part of the dorayaki can be made using pancake mix (add honey for soft&chewy texture)
                Warabi-mochi, kuzu, shiratama, joshinko - powder available in Japanese grocery stores
                Tokoroten - agar agar is widely available (some people like it with vinegar&mustard, others like it with syrup)

                1 Reply
                1. re: lilith

                  In case anyone wanted a recipe for quick&easy dango:
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456272

                  For an 'instant' daifuku, change the ratio to 3-4 parts water to 2 parts shiratamako (add 1-2parts sugar if desired) and mix.
                  Microwave the mixture for a couple of minutess (approx. 1 min per 100g of mixture, depending on the amount of the mixture and the wattage), take it out and mix/knead in a mortar&pestle, microwave again (repeat 2-3 times) until doughy.
                  Part and sprinkle arrowroot flour (to avoid sticking), wrap anko of your choice (azuki or other).

                2. I just remembered that I got a card from a place that sells Japanese candies, some in the shape of sushi! Their company site is http://hidemi-co.com/ and the Toronto office number is 416-368-8639. Mind you this was from last year so I don't know if that number is valid.

                  1. Just thought about it... If I like it that much, I would give Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto a call. They might be able to give you a few names. On the 2nd floor of 131 Bloor Street West, there's The Japan Foundation Toronto. I would drop by to try my luck as well. ;-)

                    http://www.toronto.ca.emb-japan.go.jp...

                    http://www.jftor.org/

                    1. A few HK/Chinese candies/snacks stores in Pacific Mall or other Chinese malls also keep Japanese candies/snacks. They might keep daifuku mochi as well. If they have it, it will not be freshly made.

                      1. I was in Sanko a few days ago and got chatting with the guy working there. He gave me a Japanese directory - sort of a Yellow Pages for everything Japanese around Toronto. I'm sure it would be available at any Japanese shop or convenience store. It would be worth consulting for sweet shops or manufacturers.

                        And I know it is Chinese, but have you checked T&T? They have such a wide range of products from all over Asia - it could be worth at least looking.

                        1. Little Tokyo on Augusta in the Market (kensington). great owners! very nice, they have occasionally an older japanese lady who lives nearby that sells them fresh made gluttonious rice balls and mochi (tri coloured) as well as the green tea wagashi "buns". i know they carry fresh in the summer, but i am not sure about now.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: zed1984

                            Fantastic... And very easy access for me. I appreciate the tip, zed!

                          2. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is having it's annual Bazaar on May 3rd, 2008. They have excellent fresh mochi for sale along with many other delightful homemade Japanese goodies!! Website: http://www.jccc.on.ca/

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: zoohort2

                              I was about to say that would be where you'd be guaranteed to get fresh mochi. They actually have a mochi-making day right before the festival.

                              1. re: zoohort2

                                On the same note as the JCCC bazaar (I'll be there!), Momiji Senior Centre is having their bazaar April 5. I've never been, but I know a friend who volunteered there before and so I know they have baked goods, mochi, and other Japanese food there.
                                http://www.momiji.on.ca/index.htm