You may have seen mochi (pronounced mo-tchi) in your local Asian supermarkets before; these cute and delicious looking little balls of sweetness. ? Often stuffed with ice cream but traditionally filled with a sweet bean paste, this popular Japanese treat is not only naturally gluten free, but surprisingly easy to make at home. And for a fraction of the price!
They’re essentially sweet dumpling-like chewy sticky rice cakes that you can fill with absolutely anything you’d like. Or eat just like that on its own as well. In fact there are many types of mochi out there, but in this post I’m focussing on the sweet filled kind.
So today I thought I’d try my hand at making my own mochi and share my results with you. I roughly followed a bunch of tutorials on Youtube and although I need a bit of practice getting the shape right, I’m really happy with the result. I think it’s a really fun, unique and versatile recipe any gluten free people should try at least once. ?
Making the mochi dough is very simple. All you need is glutinous rice flour (readily available from any Asian supermarket – just watch out for may contains), sugar, water and either corn or potato starch. Then the cooking method is as easy as it gets. A lazy cook’s best friend: the microwave! Some use a steamer, but the way I see it is why complicate life when you don’t have to, right?!
1. If using ice cream as the filling (or anything soft and creamy), I highly recommend freezing individual balls in advance before assembling the mochi. Otherwise it can get quite messy and difficult to get the shape right! I ignored that advice and paid the price. ?
2. If using ice cream, freeze your mochi ‘sheets’ for about 30 minutes before (all separated with cling film to prevent sticking) to make the process easier.
How to make mochi:
- 100g (about ¾ cup) glutinous rice flour
- 55g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 180ml (3/4 cup) water
- Corn starch (or potato starch)
- Filling of your choice
- Optional: food colouring and flavourings
- Combine the rice flour (sieved), sugar, water and food colouring/flavourings (if applicable) in a bowl and whisk until smooth and lump free.
- Cover with cling film and microwave for 1 minute, then take it out and stir. Repeat for another minute and take it out again to stir. By now it should be starting to thicken up nicely. Microwave for another 30 seconds, stir and you’re done.
- Cover your work surface with corn starch, pour the mixture and dust some more flour on top. At this point you can use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Keep on adding corn starch to stop it from sticking on the surface (but not too much; it should still feel relatively gelatinous and be easy to seal).
- At this point you can either cut the dough into squares, shape the dough with your hands or use a cookie cutter to carve perfect circles (in which case repeat with the trimmings).
- Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush.
- Add the filling and carefully pinch the edges closed to seal the mochi. Note: as I said above, don’t do what I did, freeze your ice cream balls individually first! ?
- For non-ice cream mochi, you can simply store them in the fridge if you’re planning to eat them on the same day. Otherwise, wrap the mochi in cling film and store in the freezer (you can also use a clip to keep the cling film closed properly). As rice doesn’t keep for long, this is ideal for any kind of mochi.
Enjoy! And let me know what you think if you do give it a try!