This is not really a recipe, but more a quick post about a product some people may not have heard of before. I recently did a poll in my instagram story to see how many people have tried mochi and it turns out, at least from my followers, that overwhelmingly it is a relatively unknown foodstuff. So here is a little information about the small rectangles of ricey goodness and a couple of ideas of how to serve them.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from a short grain japonica glutinous rice, which is pounded into a paste and shaped into blocks before being dried. Traditionally mochi is made in a labour intensive ceremony called mochitsuki and eaten to celebrate New Year, however the snack now enjoyed all year round. The traditional process involves the polished glutinous rice being soaked overnight and steamed. The steamed rice is then mashed and pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). The process takes two people, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. A steady rhythm must be maintained to avoid injury from the heavy kine. Mochi are enjoyed in a variety of ways, in soups, sweet stuffed with red bean paste, ice cream or even a whole strawberry or as a savoury snack. When cooked the mochi puff up, becoming crisp on the outside, while gooey and soft in the middle.
Isobeyaki are mochi dipped in soy sauce and wrapped in sheets of nori. They are incredibly easy to make, but taste delicious. You will need
Mochi (I used Clearspring brown rice mochi)
Soy sauce or tamari ( I used Clearspring single strength tamari)
Nori (I used Clearspring nori sheets)
Cook the mochi by placing under a hot grill, roasting in a hot oven or heating in a dry pan (or if you like, you can add a little sesame oil to the pan). As the mochi heat up they will begin to puff up and crisp on the outside. It should only take roughly 8 – 10 minutes.
Dip the cooked mochi in a small bowl of tamari. Cut a sheet of nori roughly the width of your mochi and wrap around the rice cake. Seal the nori by wetting the end with a little extra tamari.
No ingredient list needed here. Simply cook your mochi as above and serve with a scoop of your favourite ice cream, chopped toasted nuts, and a generous amount of fresh fruit. I finished the dish off with a drizzle of Clearspring rice malt syrup.
I was gifted the products used in this post from Clearspring.