What is mochi?

A lot of people ask what mochi is. Mochi is a confectionery treat that is from Japan, however variations of mochi are very common and popular in other Asian cultures. Mochi is made out of a glutinous rice flour.  When glutinous rice flour is cooked, it has a sticky texture. When it is pounded into a fine flour, anything made with the flour will have a very chewy texture to it.

Making mochi used to be a very time consuming process, but now glutinous or mochiko rice flour is readily available at grocery stores, simplifying the process.

You will see variations of mochi in most Asian cultures. In the past few years, mochi has become very popular in the U.S. as well. It’s most commonly seen in the form of ice cream mochi or as a topping for frozen yogurt. Mochi flour is also gluten free, so it is often used in gluten free baking.

In Japan, mochi can be eaten as a savory dish, with white chunks of the dough put into soups and eaten like other ingredients in soups.  However, most of the time you will find mochi as a sweet treat. Mochi balls are usually decorated in various colors and shapes, and mochi makers create beautiful designs with these treats.

Mochi usually also have some sort of filling. Traditional fillings include red bean paste or white bean paste.