How to make Taiwanese and Japanese Mochi (with microwave!)

Mochi holds a special place in the hearts of most Asian kids, as so many of us grew up eating them. It is a favourite street snack that is peddled in food carts and market stalls across Southern China, Taiwan, and even in Malaysia and Singapore.

 

What is mochi? And what does mochi taste like?

Sticky, stretchy and moist, not much is known about the origins of mochi. However, it is widely accepted that it traces its roots in East Asia. Over time, it became popular all across Asia, with different varieties becoming available to suit local tastes.

 

Unlike the Japanese style of traditional mochi which is filled with red beans, Taiwanese mochi (also called “Muah-chi” in Hokkien) is usually rolled in toppings such as toasted peanuts or black sesame. The stretchy texture is not unlike Japanese mochi and having it while it’s still slightly warm with the crunchy aromatic toasted toppings make it so enjoyable.

For the health conscious, you may be wondering “Is mochi healthy? Absolutely. It made out of unprocessed ingredients and steamed, which is why it is such a popular children snack all across Asia!

In the recent years, it is not uncommon to find mochi in all types of interesting flavours such as green tea, pandan and even pumpkin! Mochi ice creams are also increasing in popularity.

Here’s how to make a Japanese and Taiwanese style mochi from scratch at home with just a few humble Asian pantry basics and a steamer. For those of you who may not have a steamer at home, you may be asking “Can I microwave mochi? If so, how can I microwave mochi?” The good news is, yes absolutely! You can make mochi using a microwave!

 

TAIWANESE PEANUT AND SESAME MOCHI

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine glutinous rice flour with sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add vegetable oil and water. Mix with a silicone spatula until smooth
STEAMING:
Prepare your steamer and steam the mixture for 20 minutes. The batter is cooked thoroughly if you stick a toothpick in the middle of the dough and it comes out clean. Wait until the dough is cool enough to handle to continue.
MICROWAVING:
  • Microwave 1 minute (for 1100W microwave). Mix well with a wet silicone spatula.
  • Place mixture back into microwave for 1 minute again and mix well with a wet silicone spatula. Now the dough may start to resemble mochi, but it will still feel powdery.
  • Finally, microwave for only 30 seconds. Now the mochi mixture should look translucent.
  1. Grind the peanuts in pestle and mortar. Alternatively, you may also use a food processor.
  2. Mix the sesame powder with 1/2 tbsp sugar
  3. Place the peanut powder and sesame powder on two separate plates
  4. Dust your fingers with extra glutinous rice powder.
  5. Using a spoon or your hands, grab a section of the mochi dough. Shape into a bite sized ball before rolling it in the peanut or sesame powder.
  6. Serve warm.

 

JAPANESE STRAWBERRY DAIFUKU MOCHI

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse, dry, and hull the strawberries.
  2. Divide red bean paste into 6 evenly sized bite sized balls. Red bean paste gets sticky on your hands, so wash your hands and dry them completely each time you make a ball.
  3. Wrap each strawberry with red bean paste. Leave the tip of the strawberry uncovered. Wash your hands and dry them completely each time you wrap a strawberry.
  4. Mix glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour with a whisk in a bowl.
  5. Slowly add water in 3 parts. Stir with a spatula until the mixture has reached a thicker consistency.
  6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
STEAMING:
Prepare your steamer and steam the mixture for 20 minutes. The batter is cooked thoroughly if you stick a toothpick in the middle of the dough and it comes out clean. Wait until the dough is cool enough to handle to continue.
MICROWAVING:
  • Microwave 1 minute (for 1100W microwave). Mix well with a wet silicone spatula.
  • Place mixture back into microwave for 1 minute again and mix well with a wet silicone spatula. Now the dough may start to resemble mochi, but it will still feel powdery.
  • Finally, microwave for only 30 seconds. Now the mochi mixture should look translucent.
  1.  Sift corn starch on the tray and put the mochi on top.
  2. With silicone spatula or kitchen scraper, fold the mochi in half once. It will reduce the stickiness. Then divide the batter into 6 equal pieces.
  3. Dust some corn starch on your hands before flattening and stretching each mochi into a circle or square. Then place the red bean paste covered strawberry on top of each mochi. Ensure that the tip is facing downwards.
  4. Fold dough over the red bean paste covered strawberry. When the entire surface of the red bean paste covered strawberry is covered by the dough, twist and close the ends of the dough before rolling it into a ball. Repeat the process for the remaining mochi.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

If you aren’t too keen to make these from scratch, you must be wondering “Where can I buy mochi in Australia?”. Well, we’ve got great news. At Asian Pantry, we stock a good variety of Japanese and Taiwanese grocery online. Satiate your mochi cravings by shopping with us through this link here

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