Mochi is common in some form or another in most asian cuisine, but Japanese mochi tends to be quite beautiful, with each one handcrafted into designs of flowers, fruit, etc.
I can never resist buying japanese mochi because they are so pretty. The outside usually has a bean paste layer to get the different colors and designs, similar to a fondant on cake.
There are a lot of places where you can buy Japanese mochi. You can purchase it from many japanese markets like Mitsuwa or Nijiya. If you are lucky enough to live near Los Angeles, there are two famous mochi stores: Mikawaya and Fugetsu-do. Both these stores also sell their mochi online, so you can purchase the beautiful treats even if you don’t live nearby.
Recently I paid a visit to Hogetsu, a small japanese mochi shop in San Diego run by a husband and wife. The husband creates all of the beautiful mochi. I ate most of them in the car. But I saved my favorite two for pictures:
This one is a traditional mochi with red bean filling. On the surface, there is a simple flower decoration. I love the simplicity of the design.
This one was more jelly-like. I like that there is a flower buried underneath a clear layer of jelly.
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