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The Rice Cake of Death


Jinmyo
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Every New Year elderly Japanese, usually men, succumb to mochi, the rice cake of death. Mochi is rice pounded into a paste that is then grilled or served in soup. It is very sticky and difficult to chew but a beloved treat. By taking too big a bite, one winds up with a ball of goo that sticks in the throat.

Hm. Drunken old fart husband, New Year's treat, portion size matters...

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I was reading an article in the LA Times about a 100-year old family owned Mochi business in LA's Little Tokyo.

New Year's Delicacy is Bittersweet for Family

They do a version with the mochi balls topped with a tiny tangerine, filled with sweet red bean paste, etc. As much as I love sushi, tonkatsu, udon, etc., I've never had a fondness for Japanese sweets.

HOWEVER:

I'm sure this is probably an Americanized version (correct me if I'm wrong) BUT has anyone tried the ice cream mochi at Trader Joe's? The gummy rice exterior takes some getting used to but I've become very attached to the Green Tea and the Mango ice cream mochi!

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Hm. Drunken old fart husband, New Year's treat, portion size matters...

Jin, That's some hard trip. Although women used to control their men by what they cooked for them. :unsure:

Edit: removed an unnecessary "did"

Edited by Nickn (log)
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As a caucasian who married into a Japanese family, I was a little overwhelmed at the first Japanese New Year's feast when I was given this soup that had the moochi in it and it took me a little over an hour to get it down. I got two peices because I was a BIG man! Lucky me!

Seven years have past since that orginal New Years and I can tell you that it is an aquired taste as I have come to really like this dish and I now eat it many more times a year than on January 1st. The sweet moochi with the red bean centers took a little while longer to get a taste for, but even they are now enjoyable. For beginners I would recommend taking the moochi, rolling it in sesame seed and deep frying it as it makes it much more paletable.

Enjoy!

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For us wheat sensitive, mochi filled with ice cream at Nobu is the dessert of choice.

Careful, Steve. That's information some would pay for.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Think, "baked Alaska," Steve. :biggrin:

Years ago, there was a Japanese restaurant in the East 50's with a counter facing an open grill. I can't remember the name of the place, but it served the grilled mochi that I mentioned earlier. I haven't seen it offered anyplace else.

Edited by Sandra Levine (log)
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I haven't had this in years, since before my uncles died. They used to make huge batches of it around New Year's. My mother would freeze some and saute them until there was a crust on both sides, then serve them with soy sauce. I remember being told each was the equivilent of a bowl of rice as my cousin and I had an eating contest.

Now I want one. . . . :smile:

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LML, grill it. The exterior gets toasted and the interior puffs up.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Last night, I saw Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and his challenger do some pretty neat stuff with mochi. However, I still don't understand it. Does one acquire a taste for it and begin to crave it? Or is it just one of those things that someone persists in manufacturing, so you have to do something with it like it or not, sort of like Spam?

--

ID

--

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LML, grill it. The exterior gets toasted and the interior puffs up.

After grilling it brush it with soy sauce and wrap it in a piece of nori.

One of my favorite winter snacks!

It is also great plopped into a bowl of soup either miso or dashi broth based after grilling.

This is known as ozouni the traditional soup eaten in Japan on New Year's morning.

The version we always eat is a dashi based broth with thinly sliced beef, daikon, carrots, burdock root and topped with mistuba and a huge piece of grilled mochi in the middle.

In Japan the the newspapers during the first week of the new year run daily counts of the # people dying from eating mochi. Usually it ends up being around 15-20 people, you think they would learn to take smaller bites?!! :sad::biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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...In Japan the the newspapers during the first week of the new year run daily counts of the # people dying from eating mochi. Usually it ends up being around 15-20 people, you think they would learn to take smaller bites?!! :sad:  :biggrin:

Do they have a similar section for blowfish-related deaths?

What is the number one killer food in Japan? :huh:

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...In Japan the the newspapers during the first week of the new year run daily counts of the # people dying from eating mochi. Usually it ends up being around 15-20 people, you think they would learn to take smaller bites?!! :sad:  :biggrin:

Do they have a similar section for blowfish-related deaths?

What is the number one killer food in Japan? :huh:

I think they just do the mochi at the new year because that is when it is most commonly eaten and there are a lot of deaths in a short period of time.

They do a similar thing during the 1 week summer holiday with reporting the # of deaths by drowning.

Cases of fugu poisoning would be random occurances and would probably make a small note in the newpaper although I never never seen one, of course I don't read the newspaper cover to cover.

A couple years back there were quite a few deaths of young children dying from eating a small molded jelly made from konnyaku. The kids would pop into their mouth whole and then get it lodged in their throat, killing them because unlike jello it doesn't dissolve.

I have no idea what food causes the most deaths but from what I have seen I think mochi is a much bigger killer than fugu.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My Japanese friend, an accomplished "housewife" cook, made mochi for her children by rolling it in sweet soy flour, then toasting it in her toaster oven. We love it as a dessert prepared that way.

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