The Best Strawberry Daifuku Flavors from Japan!

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Rows and rows of strawberry daifuku.

Experience a fantastic fusion of Japanese and Western-style desserts with ichigo daifuku (strawberry daifuku). Ichigo daifuku is a seasonal delight usually consumed in the spring when strawberries are in season. It uses soft homemade sweet rice mochi wrapped around succulent strawberries coated in smooth red bean paste.

What is Ichigo Daifuku?

Ichigo Daifuku is one of the most famous Japanese sweets. This sweet treat is as visually appealing as it is delectable. The combination of fresh mochi, sweet red bean paste, and juicy and tart strawberry is a match made in heaven! Sweet and slightly sour flavors will melt in your mouth. 

Because it uses an entire strawberry filling, it is one of the fascinating variations of the classic Japanese daifuku. The earthy rice flavors of the daifuku mochi pair well with the sweetness of the fruit. The flavors create a wonderful harmony and make these Japanese sweets irresistible!  

Origin of Ichigo Daifuku

The history of eating ichigo daifuku dates back to the late Showa period in Japan. Apparently, this Japanese dessert first appeared in the 1980s. Many famous confectionery shops claim they created the first ichigo daifuku, but no one can say for sure.

Multicolored ichigo rice cakes of pink, green and purple on a plate.
Strawberry daifuku comes in all colors! Image via Shutterstock

But many believe that Wahei Osumi, Tamaya’s third-generation president, created the concept of putting a strawberry inside a daifuku in 1985. Despite being innovative, they expected it to take time to succeed. Sooner than later, the combination of soft mochi, anko, and fresh strawberry became a hit all over Japan. Because of this, a lot of strawberry daifuku have many unique flavors!

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Custard Cream

Custard cream ichigo daifuku is a sweet and chewy Japanese dessert! It uses explicitly homemade custard surrounding the strawberry and wrapped in glutinous rice cake. This version of the famous ichigo daifuku has an intense sweetness and moderate acidity flavor profile. 

Moreover, if you have a bit of vanilla bean paste or extract, it gives the cream an extra delicious and rich, creamy flavor. The vanilla-flavored custard cream sweetly scented with fresh strawberries is an irresistible sweet treat!  

White Bean Paste

This smooth white bean paste is an attractive option for a mild Japanese dessert filling to give an elegant sweetness. To put it another way, shiroan (white bean paste) is a sweet and thick paste made from finely mashed white beans, usually large butter or cannellini beans. Overall, it has a smooth texture and buttery mouthfeel, making it an excellent alternative to red bean paste.

White bean paste ichigo rice cakes.
Flavors such as white bean paste and custard cream give the daifuku a light taste! Image via Shutterstock

All things considered, the flavor of white bean paste is easy to pair with various fruits and other mix-ins. Not to mention, the slightly tart strawberry works perfectly with the sweet white bean paste. All in all, the fusion of the nutty shiro-an paste with the strawberry’s sweetness and the mochi’s soft texture is delectable. 

Strawberry and Cream

This strawberry and cream daifuku will be your new go-to sweet treat for those who love good old strawberries with whipped cream! To put it another way, this version of ichigo daifuku has whipped cream surrounding a strawberry for a beautiful twist on strawberries and cream. It undoubtedly offers all the rich, comforting qualities of the classic dessert.

Cream and ichigo daifuku on a plate on a wooden table.
Strawberries and cream are very refreshing. Image via Shutterstock

This strawberry and cream daifuku undoubtedly combines the refreshing sourness of strawberries with the mellow taste of whipped cream. The combination of silky and fluffy white cream, juicy strawberries, and chewy mochi is a match made in heaven! Generally, it pairs well with green or black tea, which is earthy and combines all the flavors!

Matcha

This matcha twist on the classic ichigo daifuku will surely delight any matcha lover. It featured a luscious strawberry wrapped in white chocolate and matcha ganache and encased in a daifuku mochi skin. Another delicious variation uses matcha green tea powder filled with heavy cream and anko. 

Matcha and strawberry daifuku on a plate.
Matcha pairs well with chocolate! Image via Shutterstock

Matcha ichigo daifuku is one of the most beautiful and aromatic Japanese confections. The matcha’s slightly sweet and earthy flavors make a wonderful tea-time dessert. Dust with additional matcha on top for the perfect finishing touch!

Sakura

A spring delight, this ichigo daifuku lets you taste sakura (cherry blossoms) elegantly. That is to say, it’s a sweet strawberry wrapped around sakura bean paste and covered in soft, light cherry-red daifuku skin. For the bean paste, cherry leaves from Shizuoka Prefecture’s Oshima cherry blossoms, and non-alcoholic cherry liqueur is used. All in all, the cherry bean paste has a gentle flavor of cherry blossoms with a light fruity flavor.

Sakura daifuku surrounded by cherry blossoms.
Sakura daifuku is very delicate. Image via Shutterstock

The soft texture of the daifuku that wraps the strawberry and bean paste is an elegant pale pink color that evokes the natural beauty of cherry blossoms. It makes this ichigo daifuku a perfect souvenir or gift that is both tasty and visually appealing.

Sweet Potato

This unique version of ichigo daifuku blends the sweetness from the strawberry with the naturally nutty and caramelized taste of sweet potato. The sweet potato’s earthy undertones make it a treat for your taste buds. The chewy and soft daifuku with the creaminess of the sweet potatoes makes a beautiful harmony of flavors and textures!

Matcha and ichigo daifuku next to a purple sweet potato.
Sweet potato strawberry daifuku is very creative! Image via Shutterstock

Another option is to use taro (earthy sweet potato) for a beautiful touch of color! Taro has a lighter flavor profile and subtle vanilla undertones that works wonderfully with the tartness and sweetness of strawberries. Ichigo daifuku is a relatively new wagashi (Japanese sweet). It is like a traditional Japanese confectionery with a modern twist since it was created during the ’80s.

A beautiful bite of spring, ichigo daifuku is wrapped up in an azuki paste, a whole strawberry, and mochi. Enjoy these sweet treats as an indulgent, truffle-like snack. Don’t forget to try out the indulging ichigo daifuku when visiting Japan!

Have you tried ichigo daifuku before? Do you have a favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments below!

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