The first time I tried it out, I used the recipe for mochi dough from The New Scoop, because I had a hard copy I could keep on the kitchen bench while I worked. My only variation was to cook the mochi in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, hoping that would do the trick.
So I took it off the heat and did the rest of the work. I kneaded my dough, briefly. I cut it into pieces, formed balls, and filled them with a mixture of rice bubbles, tahini and toasted sesame seeds.
All the while, I thought that all the dramatic explanations of how to make mochi, with dire warnings about hot lava-esque dough that sticks to you and itself and everything, were a little over the top. Sure, the dough was hot, but it was a bit easy to work with, really!
The ease which marked my mochi experience was the first indicator that I had done it wrong. Biting into them was my second clue. Instead of sticky, chewy, gluey dumplings, these were soft and doughy. The flavour was a little bit chalky - not unpleasant, but similar to icing sugar.
A week or so later, I decided to try again. This time, instead of assuming a double boiler would work without actually looking up a specific stove-top recipe, I did a more thorough search. I found this gem of a video.
Short summary: instead of cooking the dough and then forming dumplings, this recipe turns the process upside down - steam the pre-formed dumplings. Revolutionary.
So I did! The only change I made to the recipe was to use corn flour rather than wheat starch, which may have been a mistake - these mochi did not stay soft at all.
1 1/4 c. boiling water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn flour
2 1/2 c. glutinous rice flour
filling of your choice
In a big bowl, dissolve sugar in boiling water. Add flours and mix them in. Knead for a minute or two, until the dough resembles play dough in texture.
Break off small pieces of dough, roll into balls, and flatten them. Place your filling in the middle and then pull the dough around the filling, sealing it in.
I used two fillings: in some, peanut butter mixed with icing sugar; in others, pieces of mango. The peanut butter, of course, melted as a result of being steamed for 10 minutes. So instead of nice, round mochi dumplings, I had flattish, blobby things.
Take the mochi off the steamer tray immediately, trying not to break them. This is where I got to experience the joys of molten, sticky mochi dough. A few busted open, so I ate them right away.
Put the (unbusted) mochi straight from the steamer into a container of coconut (or sesame seeds, crushed nuts, icing sugar, etc) and shake them around to coat.
Eat them within 12 hours. Fridging them made them firmer, but still chewy and nice - on the first day. By the second day they were hard from the fridge, and reasonable (but not great) when they came up to room temperature. By the third day, they were practically inedible. In future, I will cut the recipe down to make only what we can eat in the same day. This batch made 24, which in hindsight is only worth making to bring to a party or something.
|Mango mochi looks a little bit like a soft-boiled egg.|
|Yummy chewy mochi.|