I had some mochi in the fridge I’ve been wanting to use, so I baked some up for a Sunday morning treat. What is mochi? It’s made from rice that’s pounded into a paste. It makes for a somewhat sticky, chewy substance. I haven’t had much exposure to it (I think I’ll work with it more in cooking school), but here’s what I’ve been doing with it.
First you cut the above plank into one-inch squares, which you bake for about 10 minutes. The plank is very hard and it takes a lot of pressure to push the knife through.
Above: The squares come out looking like tiny rice popovers (see below).
Above: To make the bites a little nicer looking, I trim off the edges so that they are more like uniform squares (see below).
Above: I started with a base of toasted sesame oil and ume plum vinegar. I could say more about those delicious ingredients another time, but for now let’s say they impart a very nice Asian-influenced flavor. I topped each square with small carrot matchsticks and a leaf of cilantro. Don’t you just love the tiny plate? I got it from Ace Mart Restaurant Supply.
Above: I finally found a reason to get out my Korean chopsticks, acquired from travel from years ago.
Above: I tried slicing the mochi open, making a sort-of mochi hoagie bun into which I inserted carrot, cilantro and a spot of sriracha sauce. The sriracha was a bit too strong, but I like the concept. Note the bandage from a minor knife mishap yesterday while slicing carrot for another meal.
Mochi is definitely fun. I like the bite-size quality of it because you can be playful and try different approaches to flavor. I think I’ll try a dessert-y approach next time.