Step-by-step Guide to Make a Fresh and Savory Mochi
|Mochi. Photo: dienmayxanh|
What is Mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome (糯米), a short-grain glutinous rice*. It’s naturally white, sticky, elastic, and chewy. It tastes like rice without filling or coating, but mochi is all about the texture. There is no other food that has this unique texture similar to mochi.
Outside of Japan, mochi seems to be associated with desserts like mochi ice cream and mochi stuffed with a sweet filling. However, when the Japanese hear the word “mochi”, it usually implies the plain mochi that can be used for both savory and sweets. Think of it this way: if steamed rice is one form of rice, then mochi is another form of rice, according to Justonecookbook.
Why Making This Mochi Is Better Than Buying It
Now, what makes this particular homemade mochi recipe the best one you've ever had is because you can personalize it! You can choose whatever ice cream or other fillings you'd like and customize the homemade mochi to taste like the best mochi you've ever had! In the video above, I chose to make mochi with vegan ice cream. It can be made with literally any ice cream you want! That's right, you know your favorite flavor of ice cream you always buy from the grocery store? You can make it into mochi! Check out the recipe below to figure out just how easy it is to make, Spoonuniversity reported.
Mochi Nutrition Facts
Mochi's super-dense rice concentration means one average-sized cake (which fits in the palm of your hand) packs a deceptive amount of calories. Many friends and colleagues have told me that one small ball of mochi has the calorie-equivalent of a full bowl of rice.
Research into this claim proved it to be false, however. One bowl of rice has about 240 calories. A ball of mochi has about 80 calories, one-third of a rice bowl. Though my friend's claim wasn't scientifically accurate, the wisdom is still there: eating mochi can add up. It's easy to eat and at 80 calories a pop you might find yourself overeating without even realizing it, Tofugu noted.
Before you start, keep these in mind:
- Accept that mochi is extremely sticky food. Embrace the gooey-ness and have fun!
- Don’t touch mochi with your bare hands/utensils. When kneading and pounding, always wet your hands and utensil. When shaping mochi, make sure your hands are dry and lightly dusted with starch.
- Soak the bowls and tools in water immediately. Mochi will come off easily by the time you clean up.
- 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- ice cream or filling your choice
How to Make Mochi
Step 1: Cook Glutinous Rice
Rice Cooker: You do not need to soak the glutinous rice in water prior to cooking. Just rinse and cook the glutinous rice just like how you would cook regular steamed rice.
Steamer: Traditionally, glutinous rice is steamed in a steamer because it’s considered the best way. You would rinse and soak the rinsed glutinous rice in water overnight, put the rice in cheesecloth, place inside the steamer, and steam for 30 minutes.
Instant Pot: You can use your Instant Pot if you have one. Soak the glutinous rice for 1 hour after rinsing, high-pressure cook for 5 minutes, and natural release for 15 minutes.
Pot on Stove: Rinse the glutinous rice, soak for 10 minutes, then put the rice and water in the pot. Start with high heat, and once boiling, mix the rice once and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to the lowest heat and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.
Step 2: “Knead” and “Pound” Using a Stand Mixer
At this step, you will need a few things:
- A stand mixer
- A timer (your smartphone would do)
- Hot water ready for use
- Silicone spatula (A flexible silicone spatula is easy to scrape down the mochi in the stand mixer)
- A 2-cup measuring cup for soaking the spatula
This stand mixer process involves 2 stages:
- “Knead” with a dough hook for 3 minutes – repeat 4 times [total 12 minutes]
- “Pound” with a flat beater for 30 seconds – repeat 4 times [total 2 minutes]
Step 3: Shaping Mochi Balls
Here’s what you’re going to do:
1. Thinly coat the mochi with potato starch (or cornstarch).
2. Pull up a corner and tuck in the edges underneath to create a small mound. Keep pulling and tucking until it’s thick enough.
3. Make a “C” with your well-dusted, left pointing finger and thumb, and then place the “C” fingers on top of the thick corner.
4. With your right hand, tuck and squeeze the mochi into the left “C” fingers from underneath and side to make a ball shape.
5. Once you get a good-size ball shape that’s slightly bigger than a golf ball, pinch the mochi with your left “C” fingers. Use the right hand to twist it off.
When pinching, do not pull the mochi because the sticky surface would appear and your hands would get messy. Instead, use Pinch & Twist motion to cut the mochi with two “C” fingers and right hand. Make sure your hands are dry and well-dusted with potato starch.
6. Quickly rotate the mochi on dusted hand to cover up the sticky new surface.
Handle the areas dusted by starch only and make sure your hands are dry and well-dusted.
Do not to “pull” the mochi, which creates a fresh sticky surface.
If you see any sticky surface appearing on mochi, lightly dust a thin layer of starch and brush the excess away. Too much starch would be troublesome when you stuff the filling and close the mochi.
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