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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mochi

Mochi....squishy, adorable tiny lumps of sweet gooey goodness!My first encounter with mochi was at a Japanese supermarket in Malaysia where candy and all sorts of snacks were sold. Being young and curious about all things "cute" I purchased a tray of 6 pretty pink mochi. I couldn't read the Japanese labels and didn't have a clue what they were filled with or even if they were sweet or savory. I didn't really care;...they were soft, round and cute; I was sold! *laughs*
I dusted the tasteless excess flour off the surface and took a satisfying bite right thru the center. Red bean paste!!! It's been my favorite mochi filling since.

Mochi is the Japanese variant of Chinese rice cake, which, like its Chinese origin, is made of glutinous rice, pounded into paste and molded into shape; however, unlike the Chinese variety, it is molded right after it is pounded, whereas the Chinese variety is baked once again after to solidify the mixture as well as sanitize it. Traditionally in Japan, it is made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. It may also be made in an automatic mochi machine, similar to a breadmaker. In fact, mochi can be made using a breadmaker if the rice is soaked and steamed separately and the machine can be started in a kneading mode. In Korea, a nearly identical food is called chapssaltteok . chapssal meaning "sticky rice," and is also spelled tteok, duk, dduk, duek, or d'uk. (wikipedia)
I had my first attempt at homemade mochi today....it doesn't take more than 10 minutes to make...but forming 6 perfect little round mounds could possibly take more than 30 painful minutes. Fellow Malaysian chefs who find "onde-onde" difficult to make...I suggest you get your mochi from the asian grocer. Haha. It's STICKY...and difficult...I personally feel im alright with handling all sorts of dough, cookie doughs, soft pastes, dumpling making, pastry dough kneading and the like, but making mochi is a different category all together. I wasn't exaggerating with the word sticky in bold....even with fingers, work surface, spoons and palms dusted with tapioca flour, I had difficulties keeping everything neat, pretty and ROUND! Out of frustration, I whipped out my mini muffin pan, dusted it with flour and pushed hot filled mochi's into tiny holes *proud grin* I love how resourceful I am *wink*
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup castor sugar
food colouring (if you like)
Pre/home made red bean paste cooked in syrup(store in refrigerator to make it easier to roll)
Beat all ingredients in a bowl with a balloon whisk till free of lumps. The mixture should be runny and pale. Pour mixture into a silicone loaf mold and cover with clingfilm. Cook in Microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove and tear off cling wrap. Leave to cool for 1-2 minutes before handling. Dust hands GENEROUSLY with potato flour/tapioca flour before handling hot mochi. Make round balls of ready made red bean paste and set aside to make wrapping and filling more convenient.
Dust rolled and filled mochi's with a light dusting of flour before storing. I placed mine onto pretty paper doilys and made tiny parcels of mochi with some ribbon.Tip: use a clean and dry paint brush to dust off excess flour from surface to neaten.

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2 comments:

::Jacklyn:: said...

looks good! i like mochi as well and i always order it together with a scoop of green tea ice-cream when i'm in a jap restaurant. yum! =)

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