I was supposed to wrap this extremely sticky mochi around a sphere of red bean paste containing one strawberry. The problem was that said mochi infinitely preferred to stick to my fingers rather than to the red bean paste. After the first attempt I thought this recipe was an epic fail. If I hadn't needed a photo for the blog, I would have given up right then. Eventually I learned to dust my fingers with potato starch at every opportunity and I think the mochi may have dried a bit as I played with it, because the rest of the dumplings came together with relatively little hassle.
Knowing what I did about mochi and red bean paste going into this endeavor, I did not expect to like these, but they are totally delicious. The strawberry is a juicy burst of freshness complemented by the earthy sweetness of the red bean paste set against the soft, chewy blandness of the mochi. Contrary to what the authors say about these being good for only five hours, they have kept well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and are just fine eating cold. Although I was tempted to eat them all within five hours.