Kyoto Cooking Circle monthly recipe
Mochi (Rice cakes)

Mochi (rice cake
Glutinous rice is steamed, pounded into a paste, and shaped into cakes. Traditionally, in eastern Japan the cakes are cut with a knife( kirimochi ), in western Japan they are shaped into circles by hand.  In recent years this distinction has become less clear-cut.  In either case they are eaten as is while still soft, and when they become hard are toasted and served in many ways, such as with nori or soy sauce or sugar. They are one of the essential Japanese foods, and havinga celebratory significance, are particularly eaten at New Year, when many people try to eat a lot of them.

They are served in zoni, the special New Year soup. They are very soft and sticky and every year a number of people, usually old people, choke to death on them.

Zoni (Mochi in soup)
An important New Year dish of mochi in vegetable soup. The recipe for the soup varies considerably throughout the country. In the Kansai (western) prefer white miso soup; in the Kanto (Eastern) prefer clear soup.

Richard Hosking, “A DICTIONARY OF JAPANESE FOOD” Tuttle Publishing

Kansai style ZONI (white miso soup)
Ingredients (4 servings)
100g daicon radish, 30g carrot, 800ml water, 2-inch square konbu kelp
7-8 Tbsp (1 Tbsp= 15ml) white miso, 4 rice cake
  1. Place konbu and water in a soup pot for 30 min., heat low and remove konbu just before water reaches a boil.

  2. Cut daikon and carrot into round, 5mm thick and cook until tender.

  3. Add and cook mochi until tender. Add dissolved miso
  • You can use dried bonito flakes stock. Some family put dried bonito flakes on the top.
  • Slice daikon and carrot into round shape conveying "peace and harmony".
  • In Kansai, they prefer white miso soup, in Kanto they prefer clear soup with toasted mochi.
     menu    menu

Other mochi cooking suggestion

  1. mochi-tempura
  2. Cut mochi into cubic (1cm) and deep-fry it with dried shrimp. Serve with salt or soy sauce.
  3. Korean Style toasted mochi
    Cut 4 mochi in half.
    Heat oil in a frying-pan, place and sautテゥ mochi on both sides.
    Then add sauce. (1 Tbsp grated onion, 1 Tbsp ground sesame seeds, 1/2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp soy sauce)
  4. Eat them wrapping with lettuce if you like.
  5. Mochi-pizza
    Place and saute thin sliced mochi in a frying pan topping tomato sauce and cheese.

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