In the United States, mochi are synonymous with ice cream wrapped in glutinous rice dough, but these rice cakes extend well beyond that. This recipe is for savory mochi, which are prevalent in Japanese cuisine but take center stage during New Year’s. Try them broiled for a quick snack or sliced and simmered in the sweet porridge known as zensai.
What to buy: Mochiko is glutinous rice flour that is commonplace in Japan. It can be found at Asian markets.
A silicone Bundt pan is very helpful in this recipe, as it facilitates unmolding the sticky and somewhat unwieldy dough.
While not essential, a pastry scraper is useful for cutting apart the dough.
Game plan: The mochi can be formed and stored, covered, in the freezer for up to 7 days. Be sure to let them defrost before using.
This recipe was featured as part of our New Year’s, Japanese Style story.
- Yield: 30 (2-1/2-inch) mochi
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 15 mins
- Active: 50 mins
- 1 (1-pound) box mochiko (about 3 cups), plus extra for dusting
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Pour into a microwaveable 10- to 12-cup silicone Bundt pan and place plastic wrap directly on top of mixture. Microwave on high until all water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a rack and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes.
- Turn mochi onto a dry surface heavily floured with mochiko. Divide dough into walnut-size pieces using a butter knife or a pastry scraper. Dust hands with flour and, using the heel of one hand, form dough into 2-1/2-inch circles.
- Dust rice cakes with mochiko and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or freezer, or use as desired.