is another famous Japanese dessert. It is more commonly available every
May in celebration of Japanese Children’s Day or kodomo no hi. May 5 is
the national holiday originally for boys but it became a children’s day
for all boys and girls in 1948. Every 5th of May, children of all ages across Japan celebrate and wish for happiness and good health.
is made of steamed sticky rice wrapped artistically in bamboo leaves
and secured with twine. Others use different kinds of leaves to improve
chimaki’s aroma. Usually, this dessert is made like a triangle but it
differs in wrapping style and shape depending on which region the
chimaki is prepared. This simple dessert is now recognized as one of
Kyogashi. It is a known traditional Japanese delicacy that can be made
specifically in Kyoto.
are two types of chimaki. First is the sweet chimaki. It is made of
glutinous rice and gelatin called yokan. It can also be combined with
arrowroot powder. Second is the savory chimaki. It is also made of
glutinous rice but it includes meat and vegetables. The savory chimaki
is similar to China’s zongzi.
savory chimaki is usually available all year round. The sweet chimaki,
on the other hand, becomes in demand as Children’s Day approaches. It is
available in supermarkets and grocery stores but it can also be made at
How to cook chimaki
chimaki is uncomplicated but challenging. It requires some skill in
wrapping the rice. Follow these steps to cook your chimaki.
- Wash uncooked mocha gome or sweet glutinous rice. Rinse a few times until the water becomes a bit clear.
- Soak the uncooked rice in water overnight.
the uncooked rice along with other ingredients you desire in leaves.
You can use bamboo, banana, or reed. Secure each chimaki with twine.
- Steam the chimaki for 50 minutes or until fully cooked.
people would steam the rice first before wrapping them in leaves. This
is a lot easier and does not require too much technique. Moreover, it
lessens the cooking time of chimaki to approximately 15 minutes.
How to eat chimaki
the same way that there is art in cooking chimaki, there is art in
eating this dessert. To enjoy your chimaki, you must first untie or cut
the twine wrapped around and holding the chimaki. If you are serving
this to guests, you can either remove the twine yourself or let your
guests enjoy untying them.
you have untied the chimaki, the leaves wrapping it will unfold
naturally. Let it open by itself and savor the aroma it emits. Unfold
the chimaki on a plate.
the rice in bite-size parts before actually eating it. The rice will
hold together because it is very sticky. Hence, you can choose whichever
utensil to eat this delicious treat.
Decorate your house for kodomo no hi
May 5, it is not only the chimaki that is expected to be all around
town. During Children’s Day, you can also liven up your home by putting koinobori
or cloth carp streamers on poles and displaying them outside your
house. This is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the children
living within that house. You can also display kabuto, samurai dolls and
ornaments. Samurai dolls are seen as symbols of courage and strength.