I made my first ever もち today.
It was a remarkable experience. I have been making bread and pasta my entire life, but this dough could never ever be mistaken for wheat dough.
They aren’t real pretty, but they are very tasty and were much easier to make than I expected.
Let’s have some kanji first.
- 餅. もち. Sticky rice cakes, traditionally made by pounding cooked rice with a wooden mallet, and frequently eaten at New Years. Usually written as kana, but 餅 is still taught in middle school.
- 米. kun:こめ On:ベイ. Rice, USA. Wanikani level 5
- 糯米. もちごめ. Sticky rice that used to make mochi. A short grained, glutenous rice, but does not contain glutens in the sense that wheat flour does.
- 大福餅 だいふく. Mochi filled with red bean paste.
- 大餅 だいふく
- 粒餡 つぶあん. Red bean paste
- 餡こ あんこ. Anko. Red bean paste filling in 大餅
- お正月 (おしょうがつ). New Years, when おもち is traditionally made and eaten.
- 里芋 (さといも). Taro. Prolific vegetable frequently used to flavor もち.
Some words using these kanji:
- 米国. べいこく。 America. Wanikani level 6.
- 全米. ぜんべい. All America. Wanikani level 8.
- 米穀. べいこく. Rice. Wanikani level 56.
四字熟語. よじじゅくご. (four character idiomatic compounds)
- 餅は餅屋. もちはもちや. Get mochi at the mochi shop. I love this 四字熟語. The that I hear someone going to the wrong store, or using the wrong trades-person, I will use this!
Some expressions (courtesy of @babybird)
鏡 Kun. かがみ. Small mirror or a round rice cake offering. Wanikani level 13.
投 Kun. なげ。On. とう throw. Waniwani level 8.
How to make もち:
- Many of the instructions that I found online used a powdered mix. But I really wanted to experience the whole transformation first hand, so I started with rice. I used a stand mixer instead of a wood mallet. I wanted an easy recipe, so I stuck with the simplest possible methods.
- First, you must use 糯米. Some bigger American grocery stores carry it, but you will probably need to visit an Asian market. Also, you will need potato starch, apparently because it has less flavor than corn starch. I had a hard time finding it, but I finally found it in the organic section of my supermarket:
As you see on the bag, it is sold as 糯米. My local Asian store had several varieties.
2. Rinse the rice numerous times until the water runs clear. All of the instructions that I found included this step.
3. Cook the rice as you would normally cook rice. Use 1:1 rice and water. (most of the instructions that I found had lots of extra steps here, like soaking the rice overnight, but I wanted to see if I really needed those steps. Nope.) Let the rice sit covered for 15 or 20 minutes when it is done cooking.
4. Dump the rice into your stand mixer, and let it run. I intended to use a dough hook, but I ended up using my normal beater blade.
5. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a wet spatula.
6. Let the mixer run for around 20 minutes. Turn it up towards medium as it runs. You will be able to tell when it starts to change consistency:
- Turn the もち out onto a surface powdered with lots of potato starch.
- Cover your hands with starch and sqeeze off golf size balls of もち.
- Flatten the dough balls, then fill them with something. Being a great traditionalist, I used peanut butter and orange marmalade.
- Wrap the もち around the filling.
- Share with friends!
I am so happy with the results of this. The finished treats are nothing like the store bought ones, although I do enjoy those. They are also nothing like the ones they have at the register at the Asian store, wrapped in plastic wrap. Yet, I know that I got this exactly right.
More Results of the Experiment.
I stored my left over 大餅 in the fridge, covered with plastic.
- Day one. Super fresh, super light, super gooey おち.
- Day two. 24 hours in fridge. In some ways, improved. The inside was still gooey, but the outside had some “tooth” to it.
- Day three. 48 hours in fridge. Not very good. I still ate it, and still enjoyed it, but it was too solid to have any of the qualities of fresh もち.
I can’t wait to make more もち, a little neater this time! Plus, I learned some new kanji and words.
Share your もち stories here.