Mochi is a chewy and delicious Japanese sweet. It is made of a ball of sticky rice cake filled with different fillings. This recipe demonstrates a simple rice base with a red bean filling. We made these one night, and the next day, they were pretty much gone!
Traditional mochi is made by pounding cooked sticky rice, but this is a simple way of doing it in the microwave. If you do not have a microwave or don’t want to use the microwave, then you can cook the rice cake like in the Rolling Donkey Asian Sweets (驴打滚) recipe.
1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour (this is sticky rice flour; don’t use regular rice flour or else the mochi won’t have the chewy and sticky texture)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
OPTIONAL: 2 drops food coloring (to dye your mochi different colors)
1/2 cup cornstarch (doesn’t have to be exact measurement)
1 cup red bean paste (about 200g)
In a microwave-safe container with a secure lid, mix together rice flour, water and sugar. Cover with lid and microwave for 2 minutes. Then, take out and stir as much as possible. Microwave for an additional minute or until mochi inflates in the microwave and then deflates when removed. Also, mochi should be slightly shiny and translucent.
On a surface, place cornstarch. Dump mochi onto it. Using floured hands, coat mochi with cornstarch. The mochi is extremely sticky, so the cornstarch helps prevent it from sticking to the surface or your hands.
With a sharp knife, cut the mochi into 16 pieces. Take one piece and flatten out using your hands. Place a teaspoon sized amount of red bean paste in the center. Then, gather the edges of the mochi around the filling and twist to seal. Repeat with all mochi pieces.
Keep Mochi in an airtight container for 2-3 days without becoming hard and up to a week or two with it getting hard. After a while, the Mochi loses it’s stickiness and chewiness. But, a few seconds in the microwave will remedy that. Enjoy!
Green tea: add 2 tablespoons green tea powder before microwaving.
Strawberry: when cutting mochi into pieces, only cut 10. After placing red bean paste in the center, place a small strawberry on top and coat with more red bean paste. Then wrap mochi around the strawberry.
Colored: add 2 drops food coloring before microwaving.
Sesame: prepare a plate filled with sesame seeds. After making mochi, wet your hands with some water. Then roll mochi around in your hands. Then roll mochi in sesame seeds.