How to Make Japanese Mochi

Written by nadia nygaard
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How to Make Japanese Mochi
Mochi are smooth, Japanese rice cakes. (Sabine Scheckel/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Mochi is a Japanese delicacy traditionally made from pounding cooked glutinous rice and forming the resulting sticky mass into smooth balls. They should be smooth on the outside and are often made with rice flour rather than beginning with the whole rice grains. The balls may be filled with sweet or savoury fillings and served with sugar or soy sauce for dipping. For Japanese New Year, the mochi are sometimes toasted and added to a broth to make a dumpling soup. There are several different kinds of mochi using different rice flours; here is a basic mochi recipe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 (454gr.) box Japanese glutinous rice flour (mochiko)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cornstarch
  • 10- to 12-cup microwave-safe silicone bundt pan

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    Making Mochi Using a Microwave

  1. 1

    Sift the rice flour into a large bowl. Add the water, sugar and salt and stir until the mixture is smooth.

  2. 2

    Pour the mixture into the silicone bundt pan. Place a piece of microwave-safe cling film directly on top the rice flour mixture. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the microwave with a dish towel or oven gloves and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.

  3. 3

    Dust a counter top or other flat surface with cornstarch or more rice flour and turn the mochi onto the prepared surface. Cut the mochi into 2- to 3-inch pieces.

  4. 4

    Knead each piece of mochi into a smooth ball. Dust each ball with more rice flour or cornstarch and place on a baking tray. The mochi can be used as is, filled with sweet or savoury fillings, or covered and frozen for up to a week.

  5. 5

    Make mochi without using a microwave by steaming the flour mixture. Mix the rice flour, water, sugar and salt as above. Oil a steamer insert and pour the mixture into the insert. Steam the mochi for 35 to 45 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Proceed as in Step 3 above.

Tips and warnings

  • To fill mochi, flatten each ball into a 2 1/2 inch circle, place a half-teaspoon of filling in the centre and bring up the sides of the circle to reform the ball.
  • Sweet mochi can be rolled in cocoa, chopped nuts or coconut for added flavour and texture.
  • For coloured mochi, add a few drops of liquid food colouring to the flour mixture before cooking it.
  • Be careful when handling the just cooked mochi. The mochi and pan will be very hot.

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