Saiunkoku is a country with eight powerful houses governed by one emperor. However, the new leader, Ryuki Shi, cares not for his new role and is rumored to spend his days chasing after noblemen in his court. Enter Shurei Hong, a princess whose family has fallen upon hard times. Her dreams of becoming a government official are unattainable since she is a woman, but a twist of fate gives her the chance of a lifetime. If she agrees to become the emperor's consort and turn him into a respectable ruler, she will be greatly rewarded... Screensavers for Story of Saiunkoku (Click for larger image)
There are just some things that are meant to go together: peanut butter & jelly, fish & chips, movies & popcorn. In that vein what would be better when watching The Story of Saiunkoku
(short of the long-haired bishonen, Ryuki and Seiran, appearing before you) than being able to eat some Asian rolls inspired by the heroine Shurei’s culinary skills?
Sweet Red Bean Balls
• 2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
• ¼ cup of rice flour (mochiko) • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
• 2 teaspoons of dry yeast (instant or rapid-rise yeast)
• 1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup (or more) of warm (but not hot) water
• 3/4 cup sweetened red beans (azuki/adzuki) or sweet red bean paste (koshian)
• Powdered Sugar
• 1 tablespoon (or more) of fresh ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Blend the flour, rice flour, baking powder, yeast, granulated sugar and sweet red beans all together in a food processor until you have a uniform, crumbly mixture. If you opt to use ginger, also mix it in during this stage.
3. Gradually add in water to the mixture while slowly stirring. Continue to do so until the mixture is no longer crumbly, but has become dough. Start with a 1/3 cup of water and add more if needed. Be careful not to add too much water, or the dough will be runny.
4. Once the dough is uniform, roll it out and divide equally into about 10 or 12 squares. Then roll each of the square sections up into its own ball like shape.
5. Evenly space the balls onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the balls are golden.
6. Remove from the oven, and allow the balls to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Be careful not to burn yourself. For one last finishing touch, you can opt to sprinkle them lightly with sifted powdered sugar before serving.