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Mochi 2 Ways (Savory & Sweet)

by jenny sansouci on August 10, 2010

I can’t believe mochi just became part of my life. How did I ever live without knowing how incredible it is? I’d seen the picture of pan-fried mochi in Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, and always knew I’d cook it someday because it looked so-freaking-good. This week I happened to pass by some mochi at the store and thought, hey – let’s give this a whirl. I’m SO glad I did. It is chewy, gooey and seriously scrumptious.

First of all, you may be asking, what the heck is mochi? Well, quite simply, mochi is brown rice. Brown rice that has been steamed and then pounded into a “rice cake” if you will. You can see the picture above for what it looks like packaged. And here’s a link to the company who makes the mochi I used, for more information. It’s gluten-free since it only contains brown rice. It is also easy for the body to digest and is physically strengthening. That is fab!

Anyway, I made mochi 2 ways – savory and sweet. Both of them were equally amazing. The savory version came from a dumpling craving I was having the other night. The restaurant across the street from my apartment in Brooklyn has out-of-this-world delicious vegetable dumplings. Once in awhile I give into a dumpling craving, but I never feel good about eating the white flour. Looking for a better alternative (and preferably gluten-free), I decided to experiment with mochi.

Savory Mochi Dumplings

Ok – I’ll admit it. These aren’t actually dumplings. More like a dumpling explosion. But they taste just like dumplings (maybe even better). Instead of the filling being inside the dumpling, you just eat it with a knife and fork. Trust me on this one – it’s delicious.

What you’ll need (makes enough for 2 people as a meal):

  • 1 package of mochi (I used Grainaissance brand)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large radish
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 small handful of cilantro
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • a sprinkle of sesame seeds

First, dice up all of your veggies into tiny bits (the way the inside of a dumpling would be!) and mix together – EXCEPT for the cilantro – dice that up and set it aside.

Next, cut mochi into squares (mine made about 18 squares). Save 6-8 squares and set aside (to use for the sweet version later!)

Put your veggies in a pan with the rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium-low heat.

Put mochi in a separate pan with a drizzle of sesame oil. Be careful not to let the mochis touch, or they’ll stick together!

Cook veggies for 10 minutes or so, until they are tender. Cook mochi for a few minutes on each side, until they are brown and puffed up.

Put the mochi on a plate.

Top with the veggies.

Sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds. Drizzle with a little more tamari if desired. Eat with a fork and knife. Dumpling delight!!

Sweet Mochi Squares

This tastes like french toast, but better. You will LOVE THIS!

What you’ll need (makes dessert for 2):

  • 6-8 squares of mochi (leftover from your savory dish)
  • Drizzle of coconut oil for cooking
  • Drizzle of brown rice syrup

Cook mochi in a pan, same manner as before, but using coconut oil instead of sesame oil. Put mochi on plate. Drizzle with brown rice syrup.

Admire your beautiful creation.

Eat with fork. Smile.

I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with mochi in more ways in the near future! If you have a favorite way to eat mochi, please let me know! xoxo

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel (@Smile Out Loud) August 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I never knew what mochi actually was! Thank you for explaining, Jenny! Now I (think I can) make this recipe on my own πŸ˜€


Danielle August 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Wow. I had never even *heard* of mochi and now I MUST have it! Thanks for sharing!


Lindsey August 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I also love mochi and your recipes look great I can’t wait to try them. I have added mochi to vegetable or miso soup and it is delicious.


Sarah Jansen May 24, 2011 at 7:02 am

These recipes look great ! You are an inspiration !
xo Sarah


Maria August 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

i love coming across new and interesting ingredients that i’ve never heard of before–like mochi. sounds delicious! thx for sharing πŸ™‚


Darla November 6, 2013 at 6:30 am

I like how you found a new brown rice mochi but, Japanese mochi is actually white rice. I have lived in Tokyo for over ten years now and have never seen a brown rice mochi anywhere. In fact, in Japan, brown rice is rarely (if ever) eaten. The taste and texture would in fact be quite different from it’s traditional parent food. Please research what you are writing about before sending it out in public.β€Ž


Dorota March 5, 2015 at 12:25 am

Ok, person who lives in Tokyo for over ten years. Please read a post carefully before you bash someones effort to share a great recipe. Nowhere in her post does Jenny claim that the MOCHI used in her recipe is “Traditional Japanese” Mochi. Chill out.


Jim September 4, 2014 at 1:47 am

Interesting post β€” but a couple of clarifications.
Grainaissance β€” the company that makes the mochi you discovered is an Emeryville, California company that markets to the health food crowd. Their mochi is made from whole grain brown mochi rice and comes in several yummy flavors. It is, however, very different from the traditional mochi from the Asian diet, as that is made from white glutinous rice (BTW β€” gluten free) and has a much smoother texture and very different taste. Both are wonderful foods but the Grainaissance product is more of a speciality food rather than traditional.
Happy eating!


mike leggett December 24, 2014 at 10:03 pm

where can I purchase fresh mochi in the big square and then cut down? any help would be great.


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