Mochi/餅 is probably the most ancient sweet/cake confectioned by humans in Japan as its main ingredient is glutinous rice.
It is the more popular as it can be eaten and made all year round.
Kinako/黄粉 is a powder made from roasted soy beans (next article).
The combination of the two and other ingredients such as sweetmeats/anko/餡子, also made from soy beans, make for a valuable, tasty and nourishing food!
Read notes below!
Here is a simple way to make mochi.
Bear in mind that mochi can be eaten fresh as it is, especially with wagashi cakes, and that it can be mixed with other ingredients for colouring. It can be also dried and grilled and also included in soups and other recipes such as mochi pizza!
Glutinous rice: 3 go (Japanese measure): 540 cc (2.8 cups)
Kinako (to taste)
Notes on kinako and glutinous rice:
Kinako (黄粉 or きなこ), also known as soybean flour, is a product commonly used in Japanese cuisine. In order to create the soybean flour, soybeans are toasted and ground into powder. Its flavor is commonly compared to that of peanut butter.
Kinako, being composed of soybeans, is a healthy topping and flavoring which contains B vitamins and protein. It can also be used as a drink;. For example, warabi mochi is a famous kinako-covered sweet.
I will introduce a recipe soon!
Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous (Latin glūtinōsus) in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.
Wash the rice and let it soak in water overnight.
Pour water in steamer. Bring to boil. Set a clean cloth inside. Drain rice. Pour rice inside cloth. Dig a “well” in the middle for better cooking.
Steam over a medium fire for 20~25 minutes.
Pour hot water inside pestle bowl and leave the wooden sticks inside water for long enough to have all of them well impregnated with water. Throw water away just before next step. This will insure a better mochi!
Check rice for an even cooking. No water should be left or the mochi will be runny. If you make a small quantity, softer rice than usual is better as it will tend to dry faster than a large quantity.
Now this is the hard part!
You will need three adults to press hard on the rice with the wooden sticks at the same time to crush the rice completely. It might take as long as 10 minutes.
Now that the rice has been softened, one can continue on his own or work in shifts. Pound the rice in the middle 10 times. Turn over the rice from outside to inside and continue always around the clock.
Important: always pound in the middle, never on the sides or you will break the bowl!
That is how it should look. Make balls by twisting rice out.
Roll mochi in kinako mixed with sugar to taste. They are ready to be eaten!
This is how they are served in Japan for children (and adults!)
If you want to preserve them for a while before eating, roll them in rice powder. Rice powder will come in useful if you want to fashion the mochi into thin sheets or else.
That is how they look grilled!
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery