Tsukimi: Full Moon Viewing Celebration

full moon rabbit decoration image

(Image from Kimonoyasan)

When I think of frugal living I am constantly reminded of how people were able to create fun events and celebrations in the past, even without a lot of expensive stuff. Humans just seem to love celebrations, no matter what. Right now, we are having full moon viewing events all over Japan. Called tsukimi, the festival is really not very fancy at all. Just a couple of friends getting together, enjoying some simple food such as full moon noodles or dumplings (recipe below the fold!), maybe playing music or enjoying a dance performance. The word "frugal" seem to mean "to go without" but could just as well mean "enjoy to the fullest."

full moon sumida river japan image

Full moon festivals in the autumn are traditionally celebrated all over Asia, with many Chinese events spreading to Korea and Japan as well. For example, there is the idea here that you can actually see a hare or a rabbit on the face of the full moon. Chinese kids are told she is the Jade Hare, making medicines, while we tell tales about the rabbit pounding rice cakes here in Japan.

tsukimi japan photo

I like this simple recipe for making Full Moon Dumplings:


* 1 1/3 cup joshinko (rice flour in japanese)
* 3/4 cup warm water

For Sauce:

* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 1/2 tbsps soy sauce
* 1 1/2 tbsp katakuriko (potato starch) or cornstarch
* 1 1/2tbsp water
* *Bamboo skewers (or other sticks suitable for slow grilling over charcoal)


Put rice flour in a bowl and add warm water. Knead the dough well. Make small round dumplings. Place the dumplings in a steamer and steam them on high heat for 10 min. Cool the dumplings and skewer them in bamboo sticks. (3-4 dumplings each stick.) Mix water, sugar, and soysauce in a pan and put it on medium heat. Mix the water and katakuriko starch in a cup and set aside. When the sauce boils, add the starch mixture and mix quickly. Slightly grill the skewered dumplings and brush the sauce over them.

Serves 4 people

Brought to you by Martin Frid at greenz.jp

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