Mochi Madness: Your Guide to Japanese Rice Cakes

Mochi Madness: Your Guide to Japanese Rice Cakes

How much do you know about mochi? Do you love Japanese rice cakes?

How much do you know about mochi? Do you love Japanese rice cakes? Although they originated in Japan and have plenty of ceremonies around them, they are wildly popular throughout Asia, particularly in China, Taiwan, and Korea. Let’s learn more about them! One more thing: mochi has been modernized, so it comes in many different flavors and is even available as ice cream! 

How Do You Make Mochi? 

Let’s start at the top: here is how you make mochi in the first place. Steam plain rice and then pound it flat until it is smooth. One traditional ceremony surrounding mochi production is called “mochitsuki” or pounding mochi. A big mortar is essential since it goes up to about waist-high. Some water is sprinkled on the steamed rice and then the makers use a large wooden mallet to pound the rice. If you want to make it at home, then you can use an appliance that you can find online.  

How Are You Supposed to Store It? 

Your next question probably has to do with how you are supposed to store the mochi before you are ready to eat it. It’s hard to store freshly-made mochi since it has a tendency to develop mold after only a day or two. You might assume that this means putting it in the refrigerator is fine. As it turns out, you shouldn’t do this. That’s because it will harden and then you can’t eat it as is or use it in recipes. What you should do is put fresh mochi in the freezer. That way you can re-cook it later without needing to defrost it first. 

It’s easy to find pre-packaged mochi and depending on the amount of storage space you have in your kitchen or pantry, this might be more convenient. Look for it at Asian grocery stores or supermarkets. You will find it sold in a flat round shape, in squares, or sometimes in cylinders; in any case, they will be stored in shelf-stable packaging to keep them fresh for months on end. 

How Do You Enjoy It? 

You can enjoy mochi as a snack. You can also put it in soup, believe it or not. And of course, it can also be served as a dessert. Because of how thick and chewy mochi is, you need to be careful when you munch on it. Take smaller bites and chew thoroughly so you can avoid the common choking hazard that mochi can present if you aren’t careful!  

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