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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.

Mochi is white and smooth with a chewy texture. Freshly made mochi can be enjoyed plain, dipped in soy bean flour, sugar and soy sauce or filled with sweet bean paste. Mochi is also delicious grilled, producing a crunchy exterior around a soft, chewy interior.

In Japan, families and communities gather around new years to participate in the traditional mochi-tsuki. Steamed rice is placed in stone mortars and pounded with large wooden mallets. People must work quickly to pound and then shape the mochi while the rice is still hot. The finished product is used in the traditional new year’s soup, o-zoni. Japanese tradition says that on New Year’s Day each person should eat one mochi for each year of their life.