Broadening your snack drawer's repertoire is much more challenging than it seems, but there's no other way out of a snack rut! If you're not familiar with the phenomenon, let us elaborate - your favorite go-to's don't taste as they used to, and they don't make binge-watching your favorite tv-shows as exciting as they used to. Huh, sounds familiar? You might need a quick refresh then. And, if you're not the victim of the snack rut yet, remember - prevention is better than cure. For that case, on Yummy Bazaar, we've gathered new and exciting snacks from Japan, but today we're determined to introduce you to Japanese mochi, in particular, a beloved rice cake with a moreish texture, often hiding a surprising center inside. We're sure you've heard about Japanese mochi, the super-chewy, traditional snack food - it has become viral amongst the foodie community quite a few times in the past. However, if you're new to its goodness, don't worry. We at Yummy Bazaar have gathered all the necessary information about Japanese mochi, types, and, of course, scoop about where to buy one (or two) online at prices you'll love! So, if you're up for giving the world a taste, Japanese mochi will be the perfect start.
Down to the Nitty Gritty: What Exactly Is Japanese Mochi?
Mochi is traditional Japanese snack food, especially enjoyed during festivities and holidays. It's made by pounding glutinous rice to yield a gooey, soft consistency, then shaped into a snack-sized cake. Some say it's a meeting point between marshmallows and gummies! Easy to guess, glutinous rice is the crucial ingredient of Japanese mochi, and different rice varieties achieve different consistencies. That means there are various Japanese mochi cakes and, naturally, more to love! Fundamentally, Japanese mochi only calls for a couple of ingredients: rice and water (and maybe air bubbles) to achieve desired consistency. However, making mochi at home is definitely a labor of love.
Japanese mochi isn't made from ordinary, everyday rice. To yield the unique soft and gooey texture, it's mochigome rice you should get your hands on. Mochigome is Japanese short-grain rice packed with amylopectin, a carbohydrate necessary for that signature sticky, gelatin-like texture. When making mochi cake, mochigome rice first needs to be steamed, pounded by wooden mallets or an automatic machine, and once a little bit of water is added, mochi can easily shape-shift. Pounding mochi rice is a time-consuming task and has emerged as an important custom in Japan during the New Year. At the end of December, the country hosts Mochitsuki - a massive event of collectively pounding rice for mochi-making!Mochi cake has been an inseparable part of Japanese cuisine for quite a long time; however, its origins are mysterious. Dating back to the 8th century, Japanese mochi has been used as a religious offering to ask the Gods for good fortune. According to culinary lores, mochi cakes might even have been the go-to snacks for samurai, too, loved for their convenient size and shape. We guess everyone needs their pick-me-up, right?!
In modern times, Japanese mochi cakes emerged as quick dessert options, flavored with signature aromas of everything from yuzu to green tea. There are even savory renditions with cooked beans inside. These rice cakes are enjoyed worldwide, year-round, but they get pride of place during Japanese New Year, cherry blooms, Children's Day, and Girls' Day, also known as Hinamatsuri. However, keep in mind that with mochi, it's more about consistency than flavor. The authentic Japanese mochi should be perfectly chewy and oh-so-gooey. Generally, pre-made Japanese mochi is tightly wrapped with special paper and freeze-dried for longer shelf life but turns soft when chewing. Keep in mind: there are some precautions you should take before indulging in - make sure you slice or bite off small amounts to make sure it's easy enough to chew.
Popular Types of Japanese Mochi
The beloved Japanese snack food can be prepared in myriads of ways with unique flavorings, fillings & more. Since the traditional mochi has been around for centuries, it has developed quite a few exciting renditions, ranging from questionably one-of-a-kind Mizu Shingen Mochi (it's completely see-through, hence the moniker - "raindrop cake") to temptingly beautiful Sakura mochi. However, we've decided to devise a list of all the popular mochi types, with a higher likelihood of getting them online without boarding a plane!
Daifuku Mochi - It's the most popular variation of Japanese mochi. Daifuku is shaped like a ball, which usually contains a sweet, creamy filling inside. The outer layer of daifuku is classic, chewy mochi. It's frequently infused with tempting add-ins for aroma and colorful looks. In our online Japanese grocery store, you will find a beloved Japanese producer, Kubota, offering nearly ten different varieties of daifuku mochi! With us, you can buy everything from sweet orange daifuku to classic red bean mochi!Kirimochi - also known as hard mochi, kirimochi is traditionally heated up before eating. You can toast, microwave, or grill it - the choice is all yours! After cooking, kirimochi should be chewy and perfectly puffy. Some like to boil them until soft and then top them off with red bean paste, also known as Anko! You can find kirimochi online at our grocery store. Bake it for 5 minutes, wrap your kirimochi in nori sheets, dip it into soy sauce, and enjoy it in true Japanese style.Sakura Mochi - also known as cherry blossom mochi, sakura rice cake is an eye-catching pink rendition. It's made with mochi rice and luscious red bean paste. Traditionally, it's wrapped in a pickled sakura leaf. Easy to guess, sakura mochi is a seasonal treat, enjoyed at the beginning of spring and during Girls' Day! Warabi Mochi - is a primarily sweet confection with a jelly texture, unlike regular mochi. It's made from bracken starch (called "warabiko" in Japanese, hence the name) and is frequently presented with soybean flour dusted on top. It's the summertime favorite, thanks to its cool and lighter texture. It's said to be Emperor Daigo's favorite treat!Mochi is versatile snack food, the ultimate blank canvas that is easy to embellish if you know your way around. It pairs well with umami staples, such as soy sauce, nori, red bean paste & more. However, mochi can be a delicious sweet snack too. Simply a look at our selection of daifuku will be more than enough to assure you - these colorful blobs of rice cake are perfectly moreish on their own or paired with your favorite summer drink! So, take a look inside our online assortment, pick your favorite flavors, and stock on your future go-to summer snacks with Yummy Bazaar.