How are mochi made?


Not just Sushi

The Japanese sweets that Italians like

Globalization has favored the spread of fashions, customs and gastronomic habits from one part of the world to another. A typical Japanese dish that is literally becoming popular in the kitchens of various Italian restaurants is mochi. This dessert is popular, not only for the original flavor, but also for the characteristic exotic taste, also due to the azuki bean jam.

It is a Japanese dessert with white paste, often colored with food coloring. It is often served during the Japanese New Year. It is based on rice with a rounded shape. There are various types. They can be classic, filled with red azuki bean jam (typical sweet beans), green tea cream or with a scoop of ice cream. There are also several original recipes. Ice cream fillings are also available: from chocolate to caramel to coconut. In any case they are perfect as dessert. They close every meal with an original touch. This is why  mochi  are definitely something new to include in your menu. In fact, they arouse the curiosity of customers and tickle their palate.

How are mochi prepared?

Tradition and modernity: the two methods of preparation

They can be prepared in two different ways. The first is inspired by Japanese tradition and follows a more “romantic” but also more laborious process. The second is faster and involves the use of special machinery. The traditional Japanese preparation of Japanese rice balls is obtained following the dictates of the ceremony called ” mochitsuki “. The rice is placed in a water bath. It is then cooked. Finally it is pounded with a wooden hammer called a “kine”. This happens inside a large mortar, called “usu”. This process requires the use of two people. One crushes with the kine, while the other turns and moistens the rice. Maximum coordination is required during operations. In fact, we must avoid hindering each other. It is therefore a good idea for the preparation to be entrusted to a well-matched couple. Often it is a husband and wife. However, it is possible that two friends who are used to working together may be involved. In reality this practice is falling into disuse. It is in fact quite demanding and takes a lot of time. In Japan, it is therefore reserved only for important ceremonies. The other technique is simpler. It involves the use of special machinery. Glutinous rice, after being dried, is reduced to powder. Afterward, water is added to turn it into  mochi paste .

The mochi ingredients

The basic components for the preparation of mochi

So far we have talked about the tradition and preparation of  mochi . The rice ball can be filled with a wide range of toppings.

But what are the basic ingredients to make this traditional Japanese dessert? Let’s see how to prepare homemade mochi.

  • rice flour
  • glutinous
  • sugar
  • waterfall
  • potato starch

You need to combine the glutinous rice flour, previously soaked and then cooked, and the sugar in a saucepan. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon to obtain a lump-free batter. The mixture must then be transferred to the heat. It is then cooked for 15 minutes until it thickens and forms a sticky ball. You must therefore distribute a little potato starch on the work surface and on your hands. The rice mixture must be worked until it becomes homogeneous and until a white paste is obtained. The green color is obtained by adding mugwort leaves to the mixture. The base for the preparation of  mochi  is ready at this point. The desired filling is then added to give the finishing touch. The traditional filling is adzuki bean jam. Your mochi is now ready to be enjoyed.

Mochi in various declinations

Discover all the variations of delicious Japanese mochi!

Thanks to their versatility in the kitchen, they are also used to make exquisite cakes. Among the most famous is  Dango , a dessert made of mochi strung on a skewer. Another well-known dessert is  Daifuku . It is a round ball of mochi with a filling of appropriately sweetened red bean paste. This dessert is also well known in the  ichigo daifuku version , i.e. filled with strawberries. A very popular spring dessert is  Sakura mochi . This is characterized by a sumptuous presentation (it is in fact wrapped in a cherry leaf). Last but not least, mochi ice cream could not be missing , one of the latest trends in Japanese pastries and sweets. Several restaurateurs have fun with new experiments. They serve them filled with sweet creams or typically Italian ice creams, giving life to a meeting of multinational flavors inspired by Japanese cuisine!

If you want to give a nice breath of fresh air and an exotic touch to your place, mochi  are  the ideal solution. Every customer, reading the word “mochi” on the menu, will be intrigued. He will ask you questions and, in all likelihood, he will want to try it. What’s new affects the customer, encouraging positive word of mouth for your business.

If you are still not convinced and are looking for another alternative, try dorayaki , the most famous dessert in Japanese pastry making.

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