What is Mochi? We made mochi, a Japanese New Year’s tradition.
Written by aki
Hello, this is AKI.
At my parents’ house, we make rice cakes for the New Year.
What is Mochi?
According to Wikipedia…
Mochi (Japanese: 餅, もち) is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice, and sometimes other ingredients such as water, sugar, and cornstarch. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year, and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.
Here’s what it looks like.
The most common shape is square, but round shapes are also available.
On New Year’s Day, they are made into a round shape and displayed on the altar!
It is called “Kagami-mochi(鏡餅)”.
Kagami-moch(鏡餅)…mirror-shaped mochi, usu. a pair stacked in order of size with a daidai on top, used for funerals and New Year’s holidays
They are hard as they are, so they are eaten boiled or baked!
The “zoni” in the last blog post I introduced also contains mochi.
They are sold in supermarkets in Japan, but are often made at home during the New Year.
At my parents’ house, my grandma makes rice cakes for us! This time, I’ll show you a video of her doing it.
Let’s make rice cakes with a rice cake pounder.
First, wash and drain the glutinous rice.
When the rice is sufficiently dry, set the glutinous rice in the machine.
Yes, there is a special machine for making rice cakes.
Then, when I turn on the machine, the machine steams the rice for me.
After the rice is sufficiently steamed, the machine will make rice cakes directly!
Take a look at the video~.
Freshly made rice cakes are torn into bite-sized pieces by the grandmother.
I had it in five different flavors: kinako(soybean flour), anko, daikon soy sauce, green onion soy sauce, and sesame.
Sweet taste of kinako, anko, and sesame. Tastes like Japanese sweets!
Freshly made rice cakes are very soft and you can really taste the flavor of the rice.
I don’t think you can taste this freshly made rice cake at the store.
They used to make rice cakes with a mortar and pestle, not a machine!
At my parents’ house, we use a machine, but many other families still make mochi by hand.
What do you think of Japanese New Year’s traditions?
The Japanese New Year has a lot of interesting cultural aspects.
I hope to introduce Japan, with its various customs, in this blog again. Look forward to it!