Homemade Yakimochi (Grilled Mochi With Soy Sauce & Nori) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Cooking candy glutinous rice in a rice cooker permits you to management the hydration of the rice, which ends up in evenly cooked grains and extra constant texture.
  • “Pounding” the rice in a stand mixer with a mix of the dough hook and paddle attachments simulates the pounding and mixing motion of a standard massive picket mortar and pestle.
  • Drying the lower mochi squares develops a pores and skin on the outside, which facilitates puffing when the mochi is cooked.
  • A blowtorch simulates the warmth and char of a grill.

Yearly, just a few days after Christmas, some households in Japan collect to have a good time Shogatsu, the Japanese New Yr, by pounding sizzling, steamy rice into mochi. Utilizing a big picket mallet referred to as a kine, they take turns hitting the steamed grains in a one-meter diameter usu (mortar) carved from a tree stump, rhythmically turning the rice by hand between strikes, till the rice transforms right into a clean, sticky dough. “It’s a household affair,” says Nancy Singleton Hachisu, who has resided in rural Japan since 1988 and is the James Beard Award-winning creator of Japanese Farm Meals and Preserving the Japanese Manner. “Mochitsuki is a time for group and gathering.”

What Is Conventional Mochi? Why Ought to You Make It?

Comfortable, chewy, and sticky, mochi is a rice cake that  may be served in a large number of how: grilled, boiled, wrapped round anko (pink bean paste), dipped in kinako (roasted soybean flour), and even deep fried. Its identify, “mochi,” comes from mochi gome, the kind of short-grain glutinous rice it’s created from.

Mochitsuki (mochi pounding) is a practice courting again to at the least the eighth century, with origins going again a lot farther to historic China. All through historical past, mochi has held cultural significance for a number of events, from celebrating the New Yr to childbirth and marriage, however by far the most typical time for making and consuming mochi is throughout Shogatsu.

Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

For a lot of, the notion of mochi evokes multicolored shapes (fruits, even animals) and molded confections well-liked in Japanese comfort shops and sweet retailers. For a lot of extra, mochi is likely to be most intently related to ice cream. However Hachisu is fast to level out that these meals are sometimes not made with mochi in probably the most conventional sense. “These [confections] are the furthest factor from mochi,” she says. “It doesn’t style the identical, as a result of it’s created from mochiko flour—not from freshly steamed rice.” The overwhelming majority of mochi you discover commercially is just not hand-pounded.

Fashionable meals processing has made it doable to combine mochi at house from a effective, boxed powder or flour. You combine mochiko (or shiratamako) with water, cook dinner it over the stovetop or microwave, and growth—mochi on the fly. However all that comfort comes at a value. “That stuff is just about flavorless as compared,” Hachisu says. There’s nothing flawed with it. However it lacks just a few issues: taste and texture, and in a extra sentimental sense, the sentiments of custom, course of, gathering, and group which make mochi such a particular meals within the first place.

The Problem of (and Answer to) Making Pounded Mochi at Residence

Creating a pounded mochi recipe for the house cook dinner presents a number of challenges. For one, I’m fairly positive most individuals don’t personal both an usu or a kine. Second, mochitsuki is historically carried out outside or in a big, open space with loads of room to swing a giant outdated mallet. “You’re by no means gonna be capable of do it at house,” Hachisu says. A minimum of, not within the conventional approach.

Third, there’s the communal facet of creating mochi. “Ideally, you’d make mochi with your loved ones, or with buddies, with folks within the neighborhood,” Hachisu says. “The concept of group is so important to creating mochi.”

Whereas I can’t essentially remedy these points—in spite of everything, recipes are sometimes written for a single person, and we recipe builders are typically loner sorts to start with, faffing round with culinary trivialities—I thought of just a few alternate options to the standard pounding course of.

  • Massive Mortar and Pestle: A mortar and pestle appeared an apparent selection to duplicate the pounding and kneading of mochitsuki. I had satisfactory outcomes with small volumes of rice, however the yields have been pitiful; a typical mortar merely doesn’t have sufficient capability. And due to that small capability, the rice tended to chill down too rapidly earlier than forming a cohesive, clean paste. The fast cooling made pounding prohibitively tough because the paste thickened. This methodology took upwards of quarter-hour for a cup of dry rice, and the outcome was grainy and unappealing.
  • Mochi-Making Machine: For these intent on repeatedly having fun with pounded mochi at house, you should buy devoted mochi-making machines from respected rice cooker firms like Zojirushi and Tiger. Marketed as all-in-one rice cooking and mochi-making units, these machines set you again wherever from 200 to 500 {dollars}. Whereas I used to be tempted to strive these machines out, I concluded that the majority house cooks wouldn’t be keen to drop that form of cash for such a specialised piece of kit.
  • Stand Mixer: After I instructed utilizing a stand mixer to duplicate the pounding and kneading course of, Hachisu was skeptical. “You understand, I had a kind of KitchenAid stand mixers as soon as. I’m fairly positive I threw it out,” she joked. In her estimation, the mochi dough would possibly overwhelm the mixer, burning the motor out. “I’m unsure that it will work,” she stated. “However I’ve additionally by no means tried it. So be happy to show me flawed.”

The stand mixer does, the truth is, work. Utilizing a mix of the dough hook and the paddle attachments yielded the very best outcomes. The dough hook completed the preliminary kneading and helped to type a cohesive mass; whipping the dough with the paddle attachment broke the grains additional aside, yielding a smoother outcome. And the very best half? The work may be accomplished rapidly whereas the rice retains its warmth.

Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

There are nonetheless limitations to this methodology. In comparison with the feel of store-bought mochi or mochi made the standard approach, the ensuing dough isn’t completely clean—simply ever-so-slightly grainy should you maintain a cross-section as much as the sunshine. However when it comes to consuming high quality and the dealing with of the dough, that graininess is imperceptible. Moreover, I discovered that there was an higher restrict on the quantity of rice my 7-quart KitchenAid mixer may deal with—round 3 cups of dry rice. So relying on the mannequin and capability of your stand mixer, your mileage could fluctuate. 

Different Keys To Mochi Success

Kind of Rice

Good mochi begins with choosing the right rice selection and high quality. For one, mochi gome, or short-grain japonica glutinous rice, is important. Glutinous rice is almost 100% amylopectin, one in every of two major polysaccharides present in starch, together with amylose. Amylopectin tends to type a sticky, viscous however flowing gel. Increased amylose rice varieties, equivalent to jasmine rice, will not be appropriate for making mochi, since they don’t type a sticky gel when blitzed aside or pounded.

Rice Cooking Strategies

The standard methodology for cooking rice is twofold: the rice is first soaked in a single day in water, then it’s wrapped in muslin material and steamed for about an hour underneath a heavy picket lid over an iron pot of water till the grains are tender. Soaking ensures that the rice cooks evenly when steamed, and a few research counsel that it reduces the protein content of the rice and likewise improves each shine and consuming high quality.

I attempted to duplicate this steaming methodology with cheesecloth and both a bamboo steamer or a heavy-lidded Dutch oven. Whereas the Dutch oven produced good outcomes outcomes, it was a finickier course of that required having to constantly examine the grains by opening up the cheesecloth. The bamboo steamer, alternatively, didn’t produce evenly cooked grains, and tended to stain the grains barely brown.

Hachisu additionally really useful utilizing a rice cooker (with out soaking the grains beforehand)—although that is removed from a standard method. This gave me constant outcomes, so I may actually dial the ratio of water to rice to imitate the feel of correctly steamed rice. I used to be curious if omitting the soaking step affected the feel and look of the dough, however I discovered the variations too minute to inform. In the event you’re a purist, persist with steaming. In any other case, rice ready in a rice cooker works simply effective.


One other elementary facet of mochitsuki includes sustaining warmth whereas pounding the rice. If the rice cools an excessive amount of earlier than the paste reaches the goal consistency, then pounding turns into more and more tough, and the completed texture isn’t ideally suited. It’s additionally a ache to deal with the dough when it’s chilly, so the blending, pounding, or kneading have to be accomplished rapidly. “It’s a race in opposition to time,” says Hachisu.

Thankfully, the stand mixer does the heavy lifting right here. However to keep up the temperature of the dough, I discovered it useful to maintain a inflexible silicone spatula dipped in boiling water close by. That sizzling, moist spatula made it simple to scrape down the edges of the bowl and fold the dough over itself, mimicking the motions of folding by hand.

Rolling, Shaping, and Katakuriko

Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

As soon as the mochi is blended, it’s often shaped into shapes and eaten straight away. It doesn’t matter what type mochi takes, it’s customary to coat the work floor with katakuriko (potato starch). In actual fact, with out potato starch, the mochi dough is almost unattainable to deal with due to how sticky it’s. A liberal dusting of katakuriko makes portioning, rolling, or urgent a comparatively painless endeavor.


For the particular model of mochi referred to as yakimochi (grilled mochi) proven on this recipe, it’s useful to dry the mochi earlier than chopping and cooking. These lower squares, generally known as kirimochi, are sometimes offered commercially in vacuum sealed packs. The drying course of kinds a pores and skin on the floor of the mochi, which permits the mochi to puff up dramatically over the grill or when toasted. The result’s a crispy, crunchy exterior that offers strategy to a smooth, chewy inside.

Serving Options

There isn’t any scarcity of serving choices for mochi. Whereas this recipe produces a mochi dough appropriate for enrobing or rolling into varied shapes, I needed to supply mochi in its extra unadorned type. “My favourite strategy to eat mochi is simply toasted within the oven, perhaps brushed with a bit soy sauce,” says Hachisu. “Mochi is all in regards to the rice, that delicate taste.”

Ideally, yakimochi are cooked on a Japanese grill referred to as a konro, ideally over binchotan coals. To copy this at house, I go for the strategic use of a blowtorch to get these charred, smoky edges and encourage the mochi to puff on all sides (if you do not have a blowtorch, you should utilize a broiler, although it is going to be harder to get even browning). The grilled mochi are brushed with a easy tare thickened with potato starch, wrapped in nori, and eaten sizzling—a serving model generally known as isobeyaki.

In the event you don’t have a grill or a blowtorch, a toaster oven (or an oven) is your subsequent best choice. The broiler setting produces an analogous impact as a grill, albeit with much less pronounced blistering or charring.

In the event you choose sweeter choices, you’ll be able to drizzle the mochi with brown sugar syrup and serve it with some kinako (roasted soybean powder) or with globs of anko (pink adzuki bean paste).

Persevering with Traditions

A number of years in the past, Hachisu stumbled upon folks making mochi whereas touring by an airport. “It was most likely a PR occasion,” she says. They wore gaudy, extravagant Japanese costumes, which have been faux. They have been shouting in a touristy, obnoxious approach. “It was form of sickening, to be trustworthy. That’s not mochi.”

However throughout Japan, there are enclaves of individuals carrying on the true traditions of mochitsuki, principally in rural areas. “There are many younger individuals who come to our farming space, in search of a extra pure life,” says Hachisu. They study the custom, revive it, and carry it on. Past the motion itself, mochitsuki is about group and gathering.

How do you deliver that feeling to your property? Hachisu recommends inviting buddies over to make mochi—even should you occur to be utilizing a stand mixer, with no usu or kine in sight. And should you can’t collect? You would possibly as properly share. As we wrap up our interview, Hachisu remembers to ship a bit mochi to her son who’s moved throughout the ocean to Brooklyn—so he can get pleasure from a bit style of house.

Editor’s Observe

This recipe was initially printed as “kiri mochi,” which refers to chop and dried mochi. The title of the recipe has since been modified to “yakimochi” (grilled and brushed mochi) to extra precisely replicate the dish.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart