もち. Easy, ugly, tasty

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.

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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.

  • . 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.
  • . 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

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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:

mochi3

  1. Turn the もち out onto a surface powdered with lots of potato starch.
  2. Cover your hands with starch and sqeeze off golf size balls of もち.
  3. Flatten the dough balls, then fill them with something. Being a great traditionalist, I used peanut butter and orange marmalade.

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  1. Wrap the もち around the filling.

mochi%205

  1. 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.

  1. Day one. Super fresh, super light, super gooey おち.
  2. Day two. 24 hours in fridge. In some ways, improved. The inside was still gooey, but the outside had some “tooth” to it.
  3. 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. :slight_smile:

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Didn’t think it’d be that straightforward. Hmmm~

Doubt I’ll attempt in the near future, but…

bookmarks post

Glad you could enjoy your treat. Thanks for sharing, Koichi. ^^

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You didn’t do it with the big ol’ mortar and hammer-of-the-gods? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Or this fun skit from Gaku no Tsukai:

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what if you blender the rice before? Would it turn into rice flour good for mochi?

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Yes!

tap, tap, tap . . .
( ^ that’s the sound of me waiting impatiently for my share to arrive in the mail)

I really want to make a pb&j combination that goes well with rice - once I tried making a crunchy pb-filled grilled onigiri with jam on top, but the jam was too sweet and the onigiri fell apart. But your combo sounds and looks good!

While you were searching out recipes, did you happen to see any that didn’t need a stand mixer? I wonder if it’s something I could make in my kitchen without a stand mixer or giant mallet…

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It is actually possible to do it that way around too, but you still need to wash, soak and drain the rice well before starting. That’s actually a pretty common way to make homemade rice flour. :grinning:

If you’re really interested, I’m sure I can dig up some instructions somewhere around here… (peering over a giant stack of recipe cards).:sweat_smile:

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Ooh, thanks for sharing! I’ve been wanting to try making mochi myself and I knew it would be easy, but it’s really awesome to see the process pics! I’ll have to move it up the list of things to do and do it in the near future!

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I wanna try!@abertssquirrel

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I absolutely love mochi and I miss it a lot so I might have to try this!

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Thanks for the mochi related Kanji. I’m a huge hobby cook, so that’s super helpful.

Huge props to you fo going the rice kernel route rather than using the flour. I am just far too lazy to put in that much effort for my snacky times. (When I have the munchies, there’s a finite amount of time I’m willing to wait.) :sweat_smile:

And what a weird coincidence! I actually made mochi yesterday! :smile:
Here are the leftovers:
mochi-sm

Here my tips for mochi shaping:

  1. Use a well dusted rolling pin to make a nice thin sheet of dough. I use a marble pin, but if you have a wooden one, you can always wrap it in plastic wrap (makes cleaning up easier).

  2. Use a floured 9cm / 3.5" cookie cutter to make the discs.

  3. Plastic wrap is your friend! Take a disc & put a small dallop of filling in the middle. Start by bringing up four opposite corners of the dough and pinching them together. You’re basically pressing the exposed seams from the cookie cutter together - like grafting. You’ll be left with four pointy corners sticking out, which you’ll bring to the middle and pinch together. And you can finish shaping them by placing the ball in the middle of the plastic wrap and gently squeezing the ball into shape.

I’m a big fan of non watery berries (like strawberries, grapes and blueberries) in my mochi. I can’t wait for berry season to comes around. :drooling_face:

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That’s good to hear. I was reviewing a stand mixer version of the recipe recently and I didn’t have the hook attachement they started with.

I tried to make mochi once so far without luck. Day one was anko and mochi on the following day. I used flour (餅粉、もちこ)and a recipe that wasn’t designed for a stand mixer. Once I was deep into the process the consistency kind of went to hell and the recipe I was using relied on some time sensitive steps with heat so I kinda just pushed through but ended up scrapping it. Did you use any sugar, I didn’t see it mentioned?

Last night I got the hang of grilling octopus so maybe it’s time for a dessert recipe again. Thanks for sharing.

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Bookmarking for later. If I end up cooking it some time I’ll totally share my mistake here.

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Sorry that I am so late to reply to all of these! I posted the もち yesterday then got called onto work. When I got home, I headed straight to bed!

You are welcome, HG. I will send you some telepathic tastes. :dango:

I love the hammer thing. That is part of the appeal of mochi. But I don’t have the hammer attachment for my stand mixer. :frowning:

@athomasm. Watched the episode. Really funny. The 卵 もち was disgusting …

I think that might work. I really wanted to see the whole dough transformation though.

The woman at the shop tried to sell me on the もち flour. That can be made without any special tools. For us, a stand mixer has become a necessity of life. My partner has debilitating physical problems, and a stand mixer is part of what allows her continue to cook, something that she loves doing. So, we use our mixer multiple times each week. We acquired it maybe 5 years ago, so we went most of our lives without one. So I know that it is something that many people do not have in their kitchen.
My advice would be to get the sticky rice flour. :slight_smile:

@katvonbirb It is definitely worth it.
@Kumirei. Be my guest! Just use the 餅 flour if your don’t have a mixer, or a mallet!
@paperbagchild. I hope that you give it a try!
@shea_bliss. Thanks for the tips. I am a hunger cooker too. But I also really enjoy cooking foods that have a complicated process. And making large quantities of food to give away. Mochi strikes me as a food that most people around here are entirely unfamiliar with. So, I am looking forward to perfecting my process and making a batch to deliver around. :slight_smile:
Very nice little dish that your お餅 is on, by the way.

@tombo. I only started with one cup of dry 米 and one cup of 水. If I had used more 米, the beater blade might not have worked so well. But I think that it would have been fine for 2 or 3 cups of 米。

Some of the もち recipes that I found on line really emphasized keeping the mixture hot while it kneaded. I couldn’t think of any easy ways to do that, so I figured that it would be plenty hot enough during the first 5 or 10 minutes that it worked, until it cooled down. And, in fact, that was exactly right. Within the first 10 minutes it had really started to turn into もち, and I guess that it really doesn’t need heat beyond that.
I did not use any sugar. I did use a pinch of salt. I figured that the sweets are inside the wrapper, and that contrast is part of the experience.
Good luck! It is definitely worth the effort. :slight_smile:

@Airdramon. Thanks!

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That’s amazing! I’ve never made mochi by myself, but my in-laws make mochi at the end of every year. It’s a big production with everyone helping, although the kids quickly lose interest after the first lot is done. Most of the mochi we make are plain, to be put in soup and whatnot, but we do make a few with sweet bean paste and even fewer with some chocolate. Over the winter months, my kids eat them with kinako or cocoa and sugar. I’ve also eaten them with pb&j, much to the disgust of my husband. (I also make rice pudding which he thinks it’s sacrilege)
Hmm, I think we need to have mochi for breakfast tomorrow.

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I am so happy that you posted this.
I am delighted to see pictures of someone making mochi the traditional way!
If you have any もち related words or kanji that you see or hear, I would love it if you would share them here.
Good luck here at Wanikani. Your language ability will improve very quickly. Enjoy the お餅!

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I made mochi ice cream a couple years ago for a party. I used 白玉粉 - the rice flour: I’m a student, with no stand mixer, and making my own rice and pounding it was not an option, I had ramen broth to make :stuck_out_tongue:

They were also slightly ugly, but also really good. Getting the mochi thin enough to wrap around the ice cream and not be impossible to bit into cold was a challenge, but it turned out yummy, so that’s got to count for something.

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もち words…
Probably not particularly useful、but part of Jp culture:

鏡餅 かがみもち The mochi used to decorate at New Year’s. It needs to be perfectly round and smooth! It’s then eaten a week or 2 into the new year.
餅つき大会 もちつきたいかい mochi making event Schools, various groups, families will have this activity where everyone participates in making the mochi.
餅投げ もちなげ Mochi throwing event held at many ceremonies, events and festivals. BE ruthless (and careful) if you ever attend one. The mad scramble to pick up the mochi is cut-throat, but you need to be wary of hard mochi raining down onto your head too! Anyone who thinks Japanese people are polite and quiet need only attend a mochinage event and you have your mind changed.

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Are the hands in the foreground here snapping to keep a rhythm/cadence?

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I like the expressions: I will post them up top.

There are no useless words when you are learning language. The things that you are interested in (food) will be the easiest to remember. :slight_smile:

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