Many Wagashi are made from a mix of rice flour, Shiroan (white bean paste), sugar, and other ingredients. Of those Namagashi are among the most beautiful, shaped as little art pieces and then served in tea ceremony. The right mix can be kind of an art of itself, but I want to try molding and shaping these tiny sweats with material that is more readily available before I start to experiment with making a recipe that I have nothing to compare against due to no shop within 2 hours making them. In a similar circle, I know of no restaurant that actively advertised with them.

What makes a decent substitution that is purely based on moldability and handleability to train to shape Namagashi?

First 2 lines of Namagashi google-picture search

  • 2
    So you want to practice molding it, or are you trying to get a feel for what the right consistency is for when you make it yourself? Why not buy some pre-made wagashi?
    – GdD
    Oct 11, 2021 at 8:05
  • Availability prevents me from getting pre-made ones that are not a week old, and it's more the shaping feel I need to get the techniques down - I'm not looking for mochi or similar but for... the style one serves with tea ceremony. Those shaped with sticks and scissors to get flowers or fruit imitates. Namagashi.
    – Trish
    Oct 11, 2021 at 16:34
  • 1
    Many Namagashi are not able to be stored for more than a few days - and no shop within 2 hours does have them... and I know of no restaurant that serves them within that area too.
    – Trish
    Oct 11, 2021 at 16:45
  • 2
    Why is making your own dough infeasible? That would give you an inexpensive supply of dough to practice on.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 12, 2021 at 22:59
  • 2
    maybe play-dough would be useful to start out with practicing.
    – Mr Shane
    Dec 20, 2021 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


You only need rice flour, sugar and water to make a sweetened rice-paste with glutinous rice flour. This and other rice flours are widely available in specialty grocery stores, and surely available for delivery (I live in the middle of nowhere on the Counterweight Continent, so I know what it's like).

At a pinch, you could just pound some cooked rice into a paste yourself - this works fine, but takes a while.

I've not made White Bean Paste, but Red Bean Paste (also used commonly in Wagashi) is just Adzuki Beans boiled in sugar-water until soft, then mixed up to a paste (chunky or smooth are both traditional). It's tremendously easy to make. Any left overs can be frozen - so you could even make this days/weeks before the final Wagashi. If you can't get Adzuki, probably a lot of other bean types would work well enough to practice with.

Why not start out with something simple like Sakura Mochi:

Sakura Mochi

You can pound rice a little, a lot, or use rice-flour. You don't need the pickled Sakura leaves, although I pickled some cherry leaves (simmered in salt water for a bit), since it was the only thing available.

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