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Mochi

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The other day, an aquaintance gave me a pack of mochi (rice cakes). We had them for tonight's supper. They contain kombu and salt and we all found them very delicious. To my surprise, my daughter ate three of them.

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gallery_16375_5_1101948113.jpg

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from the back of the package I gather it is called kombu mochi?

Is this a Niigata speciality? :biggrin:

I don't recall ever seeing this before..

how did you prepare them?


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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from the back of the package I gather it is called kombu mochi?

Is this a Niigata speciality? :biggrin:

I don't recall ever seeing this before..

how did you prepare them?

Sorry to tell you that it's not a Niigata speciality. This particular product is from Komatsu, Ishikawa prefecture, but I think kombu mochi is available everywhere in Japan.

How did I prepare them? Just the usual way, not innovative at all - We heated some in the microwave with some water until soft and ate them with kinako and sugar, and toasted some in the toaster oven and dipped them in soy sauce and wrapped nori around them.

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[Kakumochi, grilled

Kakumochi, boiled

Marumochi, grilled

Marumochi, boiled

An mochi (mochi with anko in it), boiled

Red miso soup

Sumashi (light soup)

White miso soup

Azuki bean soup

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Today I bought this:

gallery_24165_402_1102295690.jpg

Okomoni Mochi!

with kelp

with yomogi

with kuromame (black soybeans)

How should I eat it? I want to accentuate the mochi, not put it into anything else (like okonomiyaki or ozoni)

Actually, is there a specific purpose for this?

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I would just grill them and dip them in soy sauce, yum!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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great pictures!

I think the only way to prevent the kinako ones from getting "sweaty" is to coat them with unbelievable amounts of kinako and eat them really fast. :biggrin:

We had a small mochi tsuki party last week with a bunch of neighbors, we used a machine though.....

we can kinako mochi, mochi with home made anko paste (tsubu kind), and mochi with grated daikon and soy sauce (my favorite) and mcohi with nori and katsuobushi and soy sauce. It was a great lunch but I forgot my camera....


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Also, the day before we pounded our New Year's mochi, MIL and I went to her friend's house, and we "pounded" mochi, using her friend's mochi-making machine. She also had this little apparatus to squeeze the mochi through afterwards, so we could make uniform sized mochis. These mochis were very pretty looking (too bad I didn't take my camera).

So you would think that after all that practice, the mochi we made on the next day for New Years would come out looking nicer.... hmm... Maybe I need that mochi-squeezing apparatus.....

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On January 1 and 2, a total of four people, all elderly, died from choking on mochi in the Kanto area alone.

I think you already know the risks of eating mochi, but just in case you don't, make sure you cut mochi into small pieces before serving them to the elderly and small children. Don't let a wonderful experience with mochi turn into a tragedy...

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my kids were begging for mochi today so I boiled up some maru mochi (round ones) and covered them with kinako and sugar mixture. We had seconds.....

gallery_6134_91_1104739157.jpg


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Also, we were told by MIL's friend that everything in the ozoni (including the mochi) was supposed to be round (for good luck or harmony).  What do you think?

I googled to find that the friend's statement is true of some households especially those in the Kansai area. I also learned that maru-mochi are formal while kaku-mochi are semiformal.

What are some other traditional times for pounding mochi besides New Years? ... How does Girl's Day (March 3) or Boy's Day (May 5) sound?

That sounds fine. According to one source, mochi pounding is practiced on events such as o-higan (equinoctial week), gods festivals, housewarming, and sekku (seasonal festivals). Sekku include Girls' Day and Boys' Day.

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We also make mochi at our Buddhist Church and regarding your question as to why kinako mochi got sweaty - did you use _ample_ cornstarch when shaping mochi? After shaping with cornstarch then add kinako. Fresh mochi absorbs quite a bit of cornstarch, but do not taste like cornstarch.

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We also make mochi at our Buddhist Church and regarding your question as to why kinako mochi got sweaty - did you use _ample_ cornstarch when shaping mochi?  After shaping with cornstarch then add kinako.  Fresh mochi absorbs quite a bit of cornstarch, but do not taste like cornstarch.

We used katakuriko (potato starch) to kind of roll it in first, but I tried not to use too much or my kinako wouldn't stick to it.

Maybe I need to use more and then "drown" my mochi in kinako? I will try using more next time and see how it comes out.

Thanks for the tip.

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How do you keep mochi from becoming moldy?

This morning, I found the remaining mochi, carelessly left in the original plastic bag under the sink at room temperature, were moldy. The mochi contained citric acid, and I had assumed that they wouldn't get moldy. Fortunately, they just started to gather mold, so I scraped off the moldy portions with a knife.

In 1960s, when I was small, my mother still used the traditional method of storing mochi - keeping them in water. Such mochi are called mizu mochi (lit. water mochi). They get moldy sooner or later even if stored that way.

Note that mizu mochi can mean a completely different thing:

http://www.tenkoudou42.com/mizumoti.htm

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Spent Saturday afternoon running a bit amok at a local Japanese grocery, and picked up an item that looked interesting, kirimochi (as per the not particularly informative added-on English label).

The individually wrapped items are firm (very firm) slightly off-white blocks that measure about 10 x 3 x 1 cm. A picture of the package may be seen here if you click on the third button from the left (it's the package in the middle). Clicking on that package brings up an little chef (tossing something in an iron skillet), and clicking on the chef brings up all sorts of interesting preps.

So, what's the general idea here? Do I need to rehydrate the blocks in some way? Or does one leap directly to the saute/broil/fry step?

The back of the package shows both an oven (conventional? microwave) and a liquid-filled saucepan, presumably alternative methods of cooking.

Any and all suggestions helpful.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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In deep deadline panic here, so just one tip...

My boys' favorite way to eat them is to grill them with cheese sprinkled on top. They're done when they puff up. Moderate rather than really hot grill.

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In deep deadline panic here, so just one tip...

My boys' favorite way to eat them is to grill them with cheese sprinkled on top. They're done when they puff up. Moderate rather than really hot grill.

Cool. So no hydration step required beforehand, just heat and eat?

I'm most definitely not on deadline here, so no hurry with follow-up, but what sort of cheese? And are they pretty much palatable only when hot? Or is the cooled version (that I might pack in my lunch tomorrow, for instance) still edible?


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Therese, any kind of cheese will do.

There are three common ways of cooking those square mochi:

Grill - no need to use water etc etc

Microwave - don't cover, or they won't be able to expand. You can use a free-standing plastic cover if you want, though. US microwaves normally more powerful than in Japan, so it's hard to say how long - too long and they melt into pools of starch :shock: . Try 2 minutes???

Drop into boiling water until they are soft and rubbery - they won't puff up and be crunchy this way, just soft and chewy. When done, pull out one by one and either drop in cold water till you want them, or drop straight into preferred seasonings...soy sauce/butter; kinako (brown toasted soybean powder) and sugar; ground toasted sesame seeds and sugar or salt, straight soy sauce etc.

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First of all, Sato's Kirimochi is one of the high-quality mochi products available in Japan. Some lower-quality mochi products contain starch, are less sticky, and are somewhat translucent.

Mochi is usually served hot. It turns hard when cool, requiring you to reheat it.

If you want to know the details of any of the dishes shown on the page you mentioned, please let me know.

Here is a brief description of the dishes shown on the page:

1. Deep-fried wonton mochi

2. Okonomiyaki with mochi

3. Izobe (nori) mochi with butter

4. Porridge with mochi

5. Nori-wrapped, deep-fried mochi

6. Mochi pizza

7. Ramen with mochi

8. Diced and deep-fried mochi

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Microwave - don't cover, or they won't be able to expand. You can use a free-standing plastic cover if you want, though. US microwaves normally more powerful than in Japan, so it's hard to say how long - too long and they melt into pools of starch :shock: . Try 2 minutes???

I usually put one or two kirimochi in a dish, add a small amount of hot water, cover with plastic wrap, and heat it in the microwave for 40 seconds or so.

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And are they pretty much palatable only when hot? Or is the cooled version (that I might pack in my lunch tomorrow, for instance) still edible?

Mochi cooked in these ways in one of those foods that is definitely best when eaten hot or at least warm. They harden again upon cooling and I wouldn't recommend them as a next day lunch.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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And, don't forget the Toaster Oven thread. See post #1.

Grill mochi in your toaster oven!

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Thanks everybody for the timely and informative replies. Particularly glad to hear from Hiroyuki that my local Japanese grocery stocks a quality product---I guess if you're going to bother to import it it may as well be nice quality.

Anyway, I got up this AM and decided to try mochi with cheese on top, as per Helen's suggestion. So a put a piece on a plate, sprinkled it with parmesan, and popped it in the microwave, setting the timer to 90 seconds with some trepidation because this item really didn't seem like it had enough water in it to successfully microwave.

But 40 seconds later my kirimochi was blebbing all over the place (explaining a curious illustration on the back of the package that showed precisely this phenomenon) and the previously soap-like block had turned to a very nicely gooey serving of mochi. I added some soy sauce to up the saltiness/flavor aspect of the dish, and ate breakfast. Mmmm.

I have access to a microwave at work, so I think I'll be trying some variations for lunch, just cooking it here. Maybe a version in broth, or with any of the bajillion different Japanese condiments/dressings that I keep acquiring.

Of course, now I'm going to have to go back to the Japanese grocery, and this is problematic because I'm going to want to buy more daifuku and Pocky and salty snacks and...

Or maybe I'll be able to keep to the straight and narrow and just get kirimochi and konnyaku. :wink:


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Another advantage of Sato's Kirimochi is that each piece of mochi is individually and aseptically packed so it keeps for long and won't get moldy.

I usually use my toaster oven to grill mochi. That way, I can get a crust that is slightly scorched. Yum! :biggrin:

Daifuku is usually made from mochi-ko,

http://konny.fc2web.com/info/recipe_daifuku_e.html

but you can also make it from kirimochi.

I'll post a recipe if you like.

WARNING!!

Eating mochi can be risky, especially to the elderly and small children. When serving mochi to them, cut it into small pieces. Everyone in Japan knows that, yet there are several people who die of choking on mochi each year.

If I follow Helen's recipe, I will sprinkle some sesame seeds and bonito flakes, as well as soy sauce, after grilling. :biggrin:

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