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Make Japanese Mochi (Sweet Rice and Red Bean) Treats


Chazz is an Interior Decorator/Consultant/Retailer, amateur photographer, cook, gardener, handyman, currently restoring an 1880 Victorian.


What Is Mochi?

Mochi is a tasty Japanese treat available year-round but is traditionally made to celebrate the New Year. It consists of sweet rice pounded into flour that is steamed and used as dough to cover a ball of filling, typically red bean paste. They are usually covered in dry rice flour because they are sticky, but they can also be rolled in sesame seeds or ground nuts to add extra flavor. Personally, I like the contrast between the sweet chewy mochi and the crunch and texture provided by the sesame seeds or nuts.

While traditional methods are time-consuming, mochi can also be made quickly by using store-bought sweet rice flour, as I do in the recipe below.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Mochiko (sweet rice flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Filling optional
  • Sesame seeds or ground nuts for coating optional
  • Food dye (green and pink are traditional) optional


  1. Sift sweet rice flour into a bowl.
  2. Mix the sugar into the flour. Then, add the water. Add the food coloring now if you're changing the colors.
  3. Steam the mixture in a steamer or microwave. If you're using the steamer, pour the mixture into an oiled bowl and steam for about 45 minutes until the dough is gummy. If you use a microwave, pour the mixture into an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and microwave it for 15 minutes.
  4. Once the dough is ready, dust a board and your hands with some sweet rice flour and knead the dough until it has a smooth texture.
  5. Shape the dough into individual balls for use or flatten the balls and use them to cover a filling.
  6. (Optional) Roll the mochi in sesame seeds (white or black) after wetting the exterior of the ball. You can also substitute ground nuts (walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts work nicely) for the seeds if you prefer.
Ice Cream Mochi

Ice Cream Mochi

How to Use Mochi

In addition to the dishes above, mochi serves a prominent role in other recipes as well.

  • Ice Cream: Mochi ice cream is made by filling mochi with ice cream flavors like mango, chocolate, red bean, and green tea. Mochi ice cream is available in the U.S. at Trader Joe's and other grocery stores.
  • Soup: Pieces of mochi can be added to various Japanese soups such as Oshiruko, a sweet adzuki bean soup; Chikara, a soup with noodles; and Zoni, a traditional vegetable soup also eaten for the New Year.

How to Make Mochi

Mochi Facts

  • Mochi's roots stretch back to the cooked rice cakes of ancient China.
  • Mochi appears in Japanese literature as early as the 700s (the eighth century).
  • The word "mochi" likely comes from "mochizuki", which is Japanese for "full moon." In Japan, those looking up at night do not see the Man in the Moon but rather a rabbit pounding rice on his mortar.

Which mochi is better?

Your turn: What do you think of our Mochi recipe?

Did you enjoy reading this article? Would you like to leave some feedback, or just make a suggestion? I'm always glad to hear about what you'd like to see here!

© 2011 Chazz

Thanks for visiting!

Nadean on October 17, 2018:

Love Mochi cold with sweet beans or hot in soup

Nathalie on August 11, 2018:

I like mochi very much thx for sharing recipe l’ll try to make it

makeupbrush on February 04, 2013:

Yummy mochi! I love them a lot. I never thought of making them myself. Thanks for the recipe!

anonymous on December 14, 2012:

Wow, mochi looks really yummy. I newer heard of it before, but it sure looks interesting. Again, I learned something new on Squidoo:).

MiaMusement on December 02, 2012:

What a great lens! I enjoyed it thoroughly and even learned a few things about lensmaking at the same time. Thank you!

oegukeen lm on December 02, 2012:

My boyfriend is Korean and they have their own version of mochi. I am absolutely addicted to it. It is so different than anything we have in Europe.

Brandi from Maryland on December 01, 2012:

I've never tried mochi...looks delicious! :)

nifwlseirff on November 28, 2012:

I could each mochi every day, but it's so hard to find in Germany! Thanks for the recipe for making it at home -- after living in Japan for a while, not being able to get it easily means I have mochi withdrawal!

bender2003 on August 26, 2012:


I love mochi especially in wintertime in Hokkaido hot mochi is really delicious !

gatornic15 on August 14, 2012:

I stumbled across your lens on a treasure hunt for Japanese cuisine. I've never heard of mochi, but I may have to try it. Blessed

hessa johnson on July 13, 2012:

I grew up having homemade mochi at New Years. Love mochi manju also. Great lens.

anonymous on July 05, 2011:

Love Japanese food. Thanks for sharing.

jojokaya lm on February 09, 2011:

I love mochi..thanks for sharing

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