Guest Author - Chidori Phillips
Years ago, I bought my mother an electric mochi maker. It works like a bread machine, except it gsteamsh the glutinous rice and then a little paddle gpoundsh or rather beats the rice until it is smooth. A long time ago, a friend of mine had a mochi maker (the brand is not longer manufactured) that extruded blobs of mochi, but my motherfs maker only produces a batch of mochi that must be formed into little cakes.
The mochi makers are not error-proof. Much depends on operator diligence. You have to add the right amount of water and soak it for the correct length of time or the mochi will suffer for it. Unless you love mochi and plan to make it often, a mochi maker will be one of those appliances that sit in the back of your cabinets, collecting dust. Like my momfs.
It took her a while to get it right, but she finally managed to make some delicious mochi with that maker. But soon, she deemed it too *medoukusai* (tiresome) to fiddle with and plus we all have diabetes or weight concerns and need to cut back on the carbs. When it is time to make mochi, she resorts to purchasing some or whipping up a batch using mochiko rice flour and the microwave.
No steaming or pounding is necessary. And if prepared properly, the mochi will be quite tasty. Microwave mochi is quick, easy and versatile. You can get creative and blend in interesting flavors that go beyond the traditional plain white mochi filled with sweet azuki bean an. I must admit that I adore all types of mochi, and there is nothing like the traditional an-filled mochi. But how can you not get excited about all the fanciful fillings, vibrant colors and endless flavors of todayfs mochi? The basic microwave method is simple. Mochiko flour is sold in boxes. It is powdery like cornstarch.
Basic Microwave Mochi
1 package (10 oz.) mochiko flour
2 cups water
1 cup granulated white sugar
Combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture into a greased microwave-safe tube pan. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium for ten minutes, stopping at 3 minute intervals to turn if your microwave does not have an automatically turning carousel. Run a plastic knife (the mochi will not stick to plastic) around the edge of the pan to loosen the mochi from the pan. Turn out the mochi onto a work surface coated with potato starch (katakuriko) or cornstarch. With hands dusted with cornstarch, pinch off pieces of mochi to form into discs or cool and cut into pieces.
This is the basic recipe for microwave mochi and the variations are endless. You can add food colorings and flavored extracts for all sorts of creative results. Cut and roll them into coatings like chopped nuts, seeds, toasted coconut and candies. Fill them whole fruit, chocolate truffles or sweetened bean paste.