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How can I use dried mochi? 2008/5/21 22:35
I recently heard about mochi, and decided I really wanted to try some (as I always enjoy trying new things). I don't have any shops nearby where I can buy fresh ones (I am in the UK) and so I decided to purchase some ready-made mochi online, to avoid having to make it from scratch (I am a student and really don't have all the time to do that).

Anyway, I wanted to make sweet mochi with a red bean filling. I have a bag of mochi (round, flat and very hard) and the red bean paste in a can. But, the bag is purely in japanese. I had hoped that the shop would have provided a translation, as it is in England. However, they did not. There are 2 pictures on the back; one of an oven and one of a cooking pot.

Can anyone help me please? I cannot find anywhere where it gives me information on this.
by Patrick  

some explanation 2008/5/22 10:58
First of all, mochi is that thing you have now. That is the most typical form of mochi that most locals purchase to eat at home.

To eat it, all you have to do is heat it and it will soften automatically. Typically, locals would toast it in an oventoaster or stew it in soup-y dishes. Traditionally, you would grill it over low charcoal heat. You can eat it as soon as it gets soft enough that the inside starts to sort of blow a bit. Watch out though, because if you heat it too much, it will start to melt and get your toaster or pan all sticky.

Once you have your mochi softened, typically locals would season it with soy sauce or sweaten it by topping with azuki bean paste.

What you are trying to make is called "daifuku". It's a kind of "mochi-gashi (mochi sweats)" and not many locals make them by themselves. They buy it from the confectionary shops.

If you want to make daifuku at home, I think it's best to purchase a small bag of "shira-tama-ko" and a can of "yude-azuki". Shiratamako is a kind of rice flour, and if you mix it with a little bit of water and knead it, it will easily become a nice dough. Not professional, but it will do. Yude-azuki is azuki bean paste. Some cans are already sweatened, some aren't. If it is not sweatened, you need to heat it in low temprature and mix sugar into it, and that would be the filling. Make a flat round thing with the dough, put some filling in, and wrap it with the dough and shape it into a ball. If you're serving it to someone, you can put some edible flour or something like sesame around it so that it won't stick to the plate.

I don't think you can shape the kind of mochi you have now (although you can try). But like I said, you can top it with the paste and it will taste just like daifuku.
by Uco rate this post as useful

try zenzai 2008/5/22 17:07
As Yuko says, just heat both beans and mochi (the mochi on an oven tray and the beans in a saucepan) and pour the beans over the mochi- that's called zenzai and is what most Japanese people would do with those ingredients.

Making daifuku (putting the beans inside the mochi) is very tricky and best left to the experts.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Try zenzai 2008/5/22 20:14
Just topping mochi with azuki bean paste would be ok. But rather I'd like to recommend you to make "zenzai", of which recipe is simple, and taste and texture are better, so that locals would prefer it.

Just water down azuki paste and heat it. Put baked mochi in it and then simmer for a minute or so if you like softer texture. That's all! Try it!

Azuki bean paste can be replaced with sweaten black sesame or walnut paste, which are also very good!
by wagashi-lover rate this post as useful

Thanks 2008/5/29 23:37
Thanks for the information. I made some today, with red bean paste. It wasn't bad, the mochi is quite nice, though the paste is not quite to my taste. i will try to find something a little more...western for me. I wonder what sort of soups you can make with mochi.
by Patrick rate this post as useful

some ideas 2008/5/30 08:36
You can put mochi in any kind of soup, really.

Typically, you would put it in "yose-nabe" which is a pot meal, or "zouni (zoni)" which you eat in New Years. Look them up for recipes.

The most typical way to eat mochi is to simply pour soy sauce on them and wrap it with nori sheet. You can just sprinkle sugar on it, and that would make a sweet snack. A lot of locals would pour both sugar and soy sauce to make it into a sort of sweet-and-salty snack.

Not a traditional style, but in fact, cheese goes good with rice products. Place a piece of cheese on mochi as you bake/grill them and it will turn out really tasty. I often pour soy sauce on top of that then wrap it with nori sheet. Yummy!
by Uco rate this post as useful

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