Bebe Taian: Mochi. Or Rather, Daifuku.

June 3, 2011

Mochi. Or Rather, Daifuku.

It's Daifuku, isn't it? This kind of mochi cake. But it just says "mochi" on the box. Mostly, I think we call it mochi here in Florida. Most people don't use the proper 'daifuku' term.

It's my comfort food right now. Normally, I'm a big fan of taro daifuku, or of anko daifuku- that is, it's like... hn. Taro is like a potato-like root vegetable. Satoimo. Normally, it's poisonous, but it's not really once it's soaked and cooked properly. Anko, of course, is a type of red bean paste, pounded with sugar and made with azuki beans. It's very sweet and delicious! There was a kind that I LOVED, but I can't find it anywhere anymore: mango mochi! It's orange mochi filled with mango sorbet. Oh, so, so SO good. And cold.

Since I'm under the weather right now, this is what I'm eating. Not too flavourful, no strong smells, not too sweet or too salty. I'm avoiding the taro and anko kinds, since they're too sweet for me at the moment, but the peanut butter kind is soooo good. The mochi is lightly sweet, the peanut butter lightly salty, all of it chewy and smooth. It's carbs, it's protein, it'll keep me going for the day... provided I don't have to do anything. I've been seeing glutinous rice powder in the asian food stores, and I've been wondering how to make it myself, since six pieces of daifuku are $2- and when you're eating two or three a day, it gets expensive. At least, for a little while. My craving for mochi comes and goes.

Apparently, making mochi the "new" way is very easy! The "old" way involved cooking a certain kind of glutinous rice, like the kind used for onigiri, and pounding it in a mortar one way while a partner moistens it and turns the mortar the other way. It is especially a tradition reserved for the new year. Sometimes, especially in anime, you'll see a rabbit making mochi in the moon! <3 The new way, so, so simple.

I found this exact recipe in three or four different places online, and I'm not sure who published it first. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I plan on doing so very soon!

Daifuku Mochi:

- 3 c. water
- 1 c. sugar
- 16oz. mochiko (glutinous sweet rice flour)
- Katakuriko (potato starch), for dusting
- Food colouring optional.
- Some kind of filling, if you like. Peanut butter, chocolate, premade anko (youkan, bean paste bricks are excellent when halved), ice cream... use your imagination!
- Little paper cups are a good idea. The kind chocolates come in. Otherwise, use wax paper.

Bring water to a boil. If you want coloured mochi, add the food colouring now, with the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add mochiko a little at a time, stirring constantly. Continue stirring over medium heat until the lumps dissolve. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Place dough on a smooth surface dusted with katakuriko. Allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle and distribute with more katakuriko and knead a few times until smooth. Form into a log. Pinch off a 1 1/2-in. piece of dough and flatten into a circle. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center, usually around a tablespoon. Fold edges around filling and pinch shut to seal. Line up these delicious treats on wax paper or drop in those little paper cups. If using ice cream, of course, wrap mochi and freeze.

Makes about 2 dozen mochi.

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