One of the ladies at an ELB group I’m in mentioned a blogger making mochi like I did at the beginning of the year. Since I am making some that day, I figured I’ll just write about it too.
The holidays got a bit too busy to catch up with writing recipes (even though it was the perfect time as kitchens all over are definitely churning out yummy goodies non stop!). But I was able to snap photos (and videos!) along the way and I hope you’ll enjoy this read! Oh the beautiful chaos in the kitchen!
Mochi is traditionally eaten in Japan during New Year’s, it is added to soups like Ozoni, (made with chicken, vegetables and mochi) or Zenzai (sweet red bean soup with soft mochi pieces swimmimg around!) we also have kiri mochi, which is made from pounded sweet rice shaped into bars and dried. You toast them and dip in soy sauce. Yummy!! I like all those but I love stuffed mochi even more!
I had always used this brand of sweet rice so I’m not sure if there is any other brand out there. Filipino cuisine uses a sweet, sticky rice too but the appearance is different. These ones are almost round and the “malagkit” rice is more elongated. Not sure if they are interchangeable as I have both and never tried to replace one with another.
For my New Year’s mochi, I start the process a day before I want to cook and pound the rice.
I use 10 cups of rice. This is the maximum amount this mochi maker can handle and since I’ll be bringing some over to my mom, I figured I’ll just make a big batch. You HAVE to use the rice measuring cup that came with the mochi maker. Do not lose it!
Wash the rice thoroughly, until water runs clear. To do this, you place the measured rice in a big bowl, fill with water and run your fingers through it. I try to gently rub the grains together too. Drain and refill the bowl. Do this several times. Then fill the bowl with water one last time. Soak for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
After soaking, drain the rice and place in a strainer for 30 minutes. This is important as you do not want the rice too wet which will make your mochi too soft.
Add 2 1/2 cups water in the base of the mochi maker. This amount corresponds to the amount of rice you’ll cook. There is a chart in the manual. Reminder that you HAVE to use the cup that came with the machine to measure both the rice and the water.
Next, attach the bowl, twisting to set it in place. Place the impeller in the bowl turning until it settles in.
Carefully place the drained rice to the bowl.
Level out the top if needed.
Place the plastic cover over the bowl.
Press “steam”. It will steam until the reservoir runs out of water. When it is done, the buzzer beep loudly. Press “off”.
Remove cover, test rice for doneness. You should be able to crush it between two fingers.
Press “pound” and start a timer. This time, you DO NOT use the cover. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes. See the videos below to help you estimate the texture.
This is what the rice looks like in the beginning.
After a few minutes, a ball starts to form and the texture starts to look smoother.
In about 12 to 15 minutes, you would have a homogenous, smooth looking ball.
There should be no rice grains visible, just one smooth, white mass.
Sprinkle katakuriko (or cornstarch)on the cover or a clean board.
Invert the hot mochi onto the prepared surface.
Lift the hot bowl with pot holders and gently nudge all of the delicious mochi out of the bowl. Go ahead and taste some! I pinch a few pieces here and there and fill with an. See the last photo! Work (and eat!) quickly as this mochi hardens really fast.
You can roll them in the tray, sprinkling with katakuriko or cornstarch as needed.
Or you can transfer them into 2 plastic, one gallon freezer bags, snipping both sealed ends so you can roll the mochi all the way to the corners.
Leave bag open after rolling to dry the mochi a little. I leave it for several hours, turning it over and loosening the plastic a couple of times. Then remove from bag, cut into pieces and let dry a few more hours.
Store these in the freezer as it will get moldy rather fast at room temperature.
To serve, toast the squares until puffed and toasty. I use my toaster oven for this but a pan on the stove over low to medium heat, or even just microwaving till it puffs up, are both good too. Dip in lots of soy sauce and enjoy!
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