Sweet mochi filled with red bean paste are a traditional Japanese New Year’s treat. We took that idea and satisfied our hunger for the mochi ice cream commonly served as dessert in Japanese restaurants by filling the rice cakes with red bean ice cream. To switch things up, you could fill them with green tea ice cream or any other flavor you please. But if you’re a traditionalist, opt for the red bean paste.

What to buy: Red bean ice cream is a milky dessert flavored with adzuki beans, and can be found in most Japanese markets or specialty food stores. Or you can make your own.

Instead of using a tablespoon to fill our mochi, we used a 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop.

Game plan: For optimum mochi texture, let the ice cream balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe was featured as part of our New Year’s, Japanese Style story.

  • Yield: 30 mochi ice cream balls
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Total: 35 mins, plus freezing time
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (2)

  • 30 (3-inch) Basic Sweet Mochi (An Mochi)
  • 1 pint Red Bean Ice Cream


  1. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper in the freezer for 15 minutes, and the mochi in the freezer for about 10 minutes, to chill before forming mochi ice cream.
  2. Remove 1 sweet mochi circle from the freezer and place 1 tablespoon of the ice cream in the center. Pinch mochi over ice cream to close and immediately place on the baking sheet in the freezer. Repeat with remaining mochi and ice cream.
  3. When finished filling all mochi, cover the baking sheet and allow ice cream to firm at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours before serving. Once ice cream is frozen, you can transfer filled mochi to a resealable plastic bag or a plastic container and store in the freezer up to 2 weeks.