Morning Mochi

Sunday morning dawned sleepy and soft golden pink.

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We put the kettle on and decided to make it a mochi morning.

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Note the centurion on the right. He looks out for us.

A few of you requested the mochi recipe from my new year post. I decided to document the process as we cooked, to share with you today.

However, you really should ignore every photo you see from here on. Because I neglected to engage my brain before cooking, and did everything bassackwards. Note to self: I’m glad you’ve decided to cut back on coffee, but it does actually help your head to work better in the early hours.

Mochi is a glutinous rice treat from Japan. I became acquainted with it in my early 20s, when I went strictly Macrobiotic for a few years. Mochi is short grain rice that is pounded until it becomes a sticky mass that will adhere itself to anything it comes into contact with.

It also puffs up to three times its size when baked and is deeeeelicious.

You can buy it in the store, where it comes in stupid plastic overpackaging and is way overpriced…

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This is the healthy version that I’m seeking to recreate…

You may also know of it as the white rice thing stuffed with ice cream.

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I’ve heard this is yummy. Never had it, since I became lactose intolerant before our introduction.

Mochi is a great alternative to muffins, and the toppings for it are endless. You can also mix in sweet or savory bits as you are pounding. Wait…I have to pound it? Yes you do, unless you have a kitchen aid. I have a kitchen aid. Last time she helped me, she ate her entire bowl of rice long before it ever made it into the oven.

So here’s how to make your own. I promise it’s not that hard, even though this last time I was a total dingbat.

Homemade Mochi

You will need:

1 cup short grain sweet rice.
Steamer basket and muslin OR rice cooker OR a sauce pan
A medium or large pestle.
Heavy wooden bowl or large mortar
coffee or grain grinder

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Sweet, short grain rice and a bitters bottle.

First, take your cup of rice and grind it in the coffee grinder. You are looking to at least break the grains in half. You don’t need to powder it. It should look like this:

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You are looking to save yourself some pounding work by breaking the sheath of the rice.

Next, cook your rice. If using muslin and a steamer, do this:

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Sleepy mama forgot to grind her rice the first time. Derrrrr…

Add water up to the bottom of the steamer basket. If using a cooker or sauce pan, add 2 cups water directly to your ric,e and cook for 40 minutes.

When done, it won’t look like this. See note above about forgetting to grind rice.

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It should look much fluffier. Add it to the wooden bowl (or large mortar) and grab your pestle.

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Pound for at least 10 minutes, and for as long as 20 minutes. You want to do this while it is still hot/ warm and you will notice that it starts getting pretty doughy fairly quickly. It will also get harder to pound. When it feels pretty stiff and glutinous, it’s good. About half way through, you can add other bits. We added mashed ‘naners and burnt toasted almonds.

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White rice mochi is typically “baby butt” smooth, and you can aim for that if you want. However, if you’re impatient and hungry like me, it’s fine if there are nubby bits of rice grain in your dough.

Make little flat balls of about 1 tablespoon worth of dough. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

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They’ll look kinda like this before cooking, but less mushy. Since I didn’t grind the grain, I put it in the blender with a bit of water. But then I had watery mush. Guess what happens when you cook watery mush? You get warm, slightly puffy, watery mush. But Fern ate them all, so it wasn’t a total loss.

They will puff up and some, depending on the size, may ooze out at the side so that half is puffed and half is oozed. That’s normal. The smaller your balls, the better chance of full puffiness.

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They’ll look more like this.

Take ’em out of the oven, slice open, add butter or earth balance and maple syrup. Or black bean soup and salsa. Or avocado and tomatoes. Or sesame seeds and oil and shredded carrot. Or chocolate sauce and ice cream. If it goes with rice, it’ll go with mochi.

Enjoy!

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5 thoughts on “Morning Mochi

  1. i love how clean and simple this recipe is, thanks for sharing! my kids have only ever had the ice cream type mochi when they are out with grandma and great-grandma, so we are going to have to try this kind (which looks way tastier to me, but maybe that’s cause i love warm bread and carbs so much). xo

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