A traditional Japanese food enjoyed particularly around the new year, steamed glutinous (sweet) rice is pounded to make mochi. Mochi is white and smooth with a chewy texture.
A favorite in Japan, mochi is a chewy treat made from pounded sweet rice that’s high in gluten. For some people who are particular about texture and not familiar with its tapioca-like mouthfeel, eating mochi might feel a bit strange at first. But its texture, taste, and versatility means mochi can be used to make a bunch of delicious snacks.
Mochi is commonly found in the sweets aisle – filled with sweet red bean paste, sesame paste or other sweet fillings. Another popular filling is ice cream. In our freezers, you will find a wide selection of mochi ice cream brands and flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, green tea and mango.
Plain mochi, which comes frozen or in individual shelf stable packages, is very versatile and can even be prepared savory, grilled, in soup, and almost endless other options. Grilled can be particularly delicious, as it combines a crispy outside with the chewy, soft inside. Mochi also has a special significance in Japan during New Year’s, when families gather for mochitsuki — the traditional process of making mochi — in which steamed sweet rice is pounded in stone mortars with large wooden mallets.
In addition to buying premade mochi, you can make your own with a mochi machine (like a bread maker) using sweet rice or even find fun recipes using rice flour powder.