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How to Make Mochi: Traditional, Ice Cream & Donuts

How to Make Mochi: Traditional, Ice Cream & Donuts

Last Updated on 21st April 2022 by

I believe that sweet treats need to be pleasing to both the eyes and the mouth. This is mainly why I have taken a massive liking to mochi– and every variation.

If you still don’t know and haven’t tried mochi, then you’re definitely missing out on what this sweet Japanese treat has to offer and why it has taken the globe by storm, and for an excellent reason.

This Japanese sweet treat hailing from Asia is a treat to make with only a handful of ingredients. It will surely make everyone, kids or adults, be ecstatic about this colorful new addition to your dessert table.

So strap up as we discuss how to make mochi and how to make mochi ice cream and donuts– simply everything about mochi!

What Is Mochi?

Asia is well-known for consuming rice as a daily staple food, and mochi is a dish made of such rice. Technically, mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from mochigome (where it also got its name), essentially called glutinous rice.

Thanks to mochigome, together with water, starch, and sugar, they are pounded to make a paste and desired to create the desired shape. While mochi is eaten as a delicacy in Japan and all around the globe, Japanese people usually serve mochi during Japanese New Year as a classic traditional food, much like how Turkey is served during Thanksgiving.

Mochi comes in different forms and variations. For example, the sakuramochi which is a pink-colored mochi encapsulating a red bean paste wrapped with salted cherry blossom leaf mainly prepared during spring.

Another is the hishimochi, a rhomboid-shaped mochi colored with red, green, and white, and another is kusamochi made with Japanese mugwort kneaded into the dough.

Mochi can take in various shapes, forms, and kinds, depending on the way it’s cooked, prepared, and why it’s served, but all mochi are prepared the same.

What Does Mochi Taste and Feel Like?

Mochi, by itself, tastes just like rice, a little bit sweet and marshmallowy, and is very sticky, soft, and chewy. The real taste of mochi comes out with the endless variations and flavors it can come up with depending on how it’s used, whether filled with classic red bean paste, like a cake, or ice cream.

It generally also tastes earthy, nutty, and chewy, thanks to its main component, rice, and can also be coated with edible powder.

How to Make Mochi

Given its ties to Japanese culture, you may wonder how to make mochi from rice even at home.

To do that, let’s first find out how mochi was made traditionally.

The traditional process of how to make mochi is by pounding polished glutinous rice that was soaked overnight and then steamed. This is then pounded (called mochitsuki) usually by two people with wooden mallets, one pounding while the other wets the mochi until it forms a sticky texture.

Modern preparation of mochi has allowed common households how to make mochi with rice, as the following recipe:

If you have glutinous rice flour, here’s how to make mochi with rice flour. Combine rice flour, sugar, and water in a microwavable bowl and cover with plastic wrap—Cook in the microwave for one minute. Take the mixture out of the microwave, then whisk for any lumps. After all the lumps are gone, cook again for another minute.

Your mixture should be sticky, so use a spatula to stir them again, then put it back for another 30 seconds. After which, shape the sticky mixture onto a baking sheet covered with cornstarch and start shaping your mochi.

If you don’t have any rice flour, here’s how to make mochi without rice flour but using actual rice instead.

The first step is to cook glutinous rice using a rice cooker. Relatively easy at this point. Just cook like any rice as usual when cooking in a rice cooker.

When the rice is cooked, immediately transfer it to a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Knead and beat the rice with the stand mixer while still hot. This process will take about 20 minutes until your rice becomes smooth.

Now that your mochi is smooth prepare and shape them. Coat the mochi dough thinly with cornstarch, and then start shaping the mochi dough into small circular pieces as needed.

How to Make Strawberry Mochi

I love anything strawberry, and strawberry mochi is no exception. This is also usually found as a seasonal delicacy during spring in Japan.

On how to make strawberry mochi, prepare red bean paste (store-bought ones will do!), glutinous rice flour, sugar, water, and cornstarch. Don’t forget our star, the fresh strawberries.

Prepare the strawberries by cutting off the stem and washing them. Then, wrap each with red bean paste, leaving a tip uncovered.

After following our procedure on how to make mochi from glutinous rice flour above, wrap the red bean paste wrapped strawberry with the sticky rice flour with the tip pointing down. Make sure all sides of the strawberry are covered, then repeat the process with all pieces.

How to Make Mochi Ice Cream

To make mochi ice cream, simply follow the same procedure as in the preparation of the sticky rice flour. Roll them onto a parchment paper, so they make flat sheets, then place them for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Make circle shapes of the flattened mochi dough, then place one scoop of ice cream on each dough. Press the edges, so they cover the ice cream completely. You would want to do this quickly, so the ice cream doesn’t melt.

Place them in the freezer for a minimum of two hours before serving.

How to Make Mochi Donuts

Another creative way to make use of mochi is to make mochi donuts.

Prepare and combine glutinous rice flour, caster sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

On a saucepan, heat the coconut milk. Then, mix margarine and egg into the glutinous rice flour mixture in a separate bowl. Add the cooled coconut milk, mix, and once thoroughly combined and smooth, set the mixture aside for 30 minutes while covering with cling film.

Roll the dough onto your baking sheet covered with flour and shape it into doughnuts or dough balls as your preference.

Fry the doughnuts in a wok heated to up to 160°F, set to medium heat. Cook the doughnuts until golden brown, then cool before serving. You can add sugar or icing to the doughnut if you like for that extra sweetness.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here