Mochi (Japanese: 餅; Chinese: 麻糬) is a Japanese and Chinese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.
Mochi is similar to the Chinese rice cake nian gao; however, mochi is shaped from cooked glutinous rice right after it is pounded, whereas nian gao is steamed directly to its final form from a batter made of uncooked glutinous rice flour. In the Philippines, it is called palitao in Tagalog and is coated with sesame seeds and grated coconut.
is the traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan
- Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
- The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
- The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).
Mochi may also be made in an automatic mochi machine, similar to a breadmaker. In fact, mochi can be made using a breadmaker if the rice is soaked and steamed separately and the machine can be started in a kneading mode.
Making mochi at home is possible without an automatic machine. Use a bamboo steamer or other apparatus that the sweets will not stick to while steaming. Add only enough water to allow the flour to stick together, form a small circle of the dough, then put a small amount of bean paste in the center. Close the dough over the paste and place in the steamer until the mochi congeals. Immediately upon removing the mochi from the steamer, coat the mochi in more sweet rice flour to prevent it from sticking to the hands of the maker.mochi isgood nana ate it and nana die
Popular uses for mochi
Many types of traditional wagashi
(Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. For example, daifuku
is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste
) or white bean paste (shiro an
). Ichigo daifuku
is a version containing a whole strawberry
Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with yomogi (mugwort). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku.
Small balls of ice cream
are wrapped inside a mochi covering to make mochi ice cream
. In Japan this is manufactured by the conglomerate Lotte
under the name Yukimi Daifuku
, "snow-viewing daifuku". In the United States
the grocery chains Trader Joe's
, H Mart
, and Mollie Stone's
sell mochi ice cream in flavors of chocolate, mango, green tea, coffee, vanilla, and strawberry. It is popular in California
, Atlanta, Georgia
and Portland, Oregon
, a Japanese-owned company operating in Los Angeles
, manufactures the variety that is sold by Trader Joe's and Mollie Stone's. The Pinkberry
and Red Mango
frozen yogurt chains also offer mochi as a "secret menu" (or in Red Mango's case, regular menu) topping on their desserts, available upon request from customers.
- Oshiruko or ozenzai is a sweet azuki bean soup with pieces of mochi. In winter, Japanese people often eat it to warm themselves.
- Chikara udon (meaning "power udon") is a dish consisting of udon noodles in soup topped with toasted mochi.
- Zōni soup. See New Year specialties below.
New Year specialties
- Kagami mochi is a New Year decoration, which is traditionally broken and eaten in a ritual called Kagami biraki (mirror opening).
- Zōni soup is a soup containing rice cakes. Zoni is also eaten on New Year's Day. In addition to mochi, zoni contains vegetables like honeywort, carrot, and red and white colored boiled kamaboko.
- Kinako mochi is a mochi dish that is traditionally made on New Year's Day for luck. This style of mochi preparation includes roasting the mochi over a fire or stove, and then dipping it into a mixture of soy sauce, water and sugar, before finally briefly coating it in kinako (soy flour).
- Dango is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour).
- Warabimochi is not true mochi, but a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered or dipped in kinako (sweet toasted soybean flour). It is popular in the summertime, and often sold from trucks, not unlike ice cream trucks in Western countries.
- More recently, "Moffles" (a waffle like machine used to cook mochi) has been introduced with much fanfare. Ref: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080319f1.html