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How to Make Gluten-Free Mochi (Red-Bean-Paste-Filled Rice Cakes)

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Sasha likes sharing simple and delicious recipes that make life easier.

Though these desserts may look daunting, mochi are surprisingly easy to make!

Though these desserts may look daunting, mochi are surprisingly easy to make!

Homemade Mochi Recipe

This is one of my favorite East Asian desserts. This little cake is hugely popular in China, Japan, and South Korea. It has a slightly sweet, chewy "cake" surrounding a ball of delicious and sweet red bean paste.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

25 min

5 min

30 min

8 rice cakes


  • 1/2 batch Red Bean Paste
  • 1 cups sweet rice flour, also called glutenous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups water
  • Green tea powder (ceremonial-grade matcha) optional
  • Cornstarch
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  1. In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the rice flour, sugar, and salt. If you want the cake to be green with a slight green tea flavor, add a tablespoon of green tea powder.
  2. Add a cup of water to the flour mixture, and stir until completely blended.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap leaving a small crack for steam to vent.
  4. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Check dough. It should be even in color and somewhat translucent with no "raw" spots. Uncooked areas will be completely opaque. If you indeed have any uncooked areas stir the dough several times and return to the microwave for another minute. Repeat until cooked through.
  5. Once cooked stir the dough as best you can for 5 minutes. This is difficult since the dough is thick (my husband describes it as a giant booger) but it will ensure a delightfully chewy texture.
  6. Allow to cool a couple more minutes. While cooling roll red bean paste into eight 1 inch balls. Dust a clean work surface with cornstarch and have some extra for your hands and dusting the finished cakes.
  7. Plop your dough onto your prepared work surface and roll into a log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. (I made half batches in my pictures so I only cut them into 4 pieces) Use plastic wrap to cover your dough while you work.
  8. Use your hand to slightly flatten a piece of dough into a circle. Place a red bean paste ball into the center and bring up the sides and pinch together. The dough is sticky so continue pinching the seams until the filling is completely enclosed.
  9. Dust finished rice cake with cornstarch to keep it from being too sticky.

Red bean paste is the most traditional filling for these delightful cakes, but they can be filled and flavored in many many ways. One of my favorite versions is the Coconut and Tropical Peach one! Have fun exploring all the wonderful ways to make and eat these cakes.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can these mochi be made without the plastic wrap?

Answer: Absolutely! I made some just yesterday in glass Tupperware containers.

© 2012 Sasha Kim

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