20 Mon, 2010 § 1 Comment
Mochi recipes are always a bit of an adventure the first time. It is quite difficult to imagine what it is going to morph into. I end up stressing over the outcome, while Dave reassures we have never gone hungry over a complete culinary catastrophe…besides, there is also last resort take-out at our favorite Thai place ;). [Fortunately it has never come to that.]
Now that I know what to expect & LOVE the outcome, I am sure Dave often wonders how I ever survived before discovering mochi — & how I would survive if it suddenly became unavailable! Can he imagine a girl who once ate traditional waffles? How did I used to get my crispy, gooey fix?
Did I just lose you at “crispy, gooey”? 🙂 Or are you intrigued? What is Mochi?
Traditionally, the Japanese pounded steamed rice with wooden mallets in large wooden mortars; I have seen recipes for making your own [which I honestly have no interest in doing] or you find brands like Grainaissance in the cooler section at healthfood stores like WholeFoods. You simply take it home, cook & watch it become soft & edible again — & delicious. It puffs out slightly, gaining that delectable crispy exterior & chewy center. Mmm.
You can lay slices in a waffle-iron, pan-fry it or bake & stuff it like we have done here.
The strange “goo” below my thumb used to be the “innards”. As it puffs, the “goo” shoots seeps radiates out [we are not sure; we missed the phenomenon], leaving a bit of a hollow space for stuffing stir-fry. Ta-da. “Homemade” dumplings. The “goo” just may be the best part.
Simple Mochi Dumblings
- ¼ Onion, diced
- ~1C Cabbage, thinly sliced
- ~1C Broccoli slaw, a packaged combo of shredded broccoli & carrot we picked up at Trader Joe’s [I wish Utah had Trader Joe’s :(]
- Of course, you can shred your own “slaw” & add other vegetables, like sliced mushrooms or garlic, to the “stir-fry”.
- ~10 sprays/1T?? Bragg’s Amino Acid or Tamari/Soy Sauce
- 1T Mirin
- Cut Mochi into 2″ squares & bake at 400*F for ~15 minutes, watching closely after 10, until they puff out. [We used ~¾ of a cinnamon-raisin package, which made about 9 squares.]
- While the mochi bakes, heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute Onion & a substantial amount of powdered Ginger [fresh would be better ~½ T or more, grated] for ~2 minutes.
- Add Cabbage & Slaw along with Tamari & Mirin; saute 5-7 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Remove from heat.
- Once mochi has puffed, remove from oven & allow to cool slightly. [Be more patient than I or anticipate burnt fingertips :P]
- Gently slice open mochi puffs & stuff with stir-fry. You can try to close & seal them or call it good like I did!
- Enjoy with a dipping sauce of your choice or creation.
Here is ours:
- 2 T Tamari/Bragg’s Aminos
- a “dash” of toasted Sesame Oil [you can use more, but I am not a huge fan — I think the toasted oil can be overpowering to the other flavors]
- 1 tsp Brown Rice Syrup or other sweetener
- 1 tsp Red Chili paste, for a burst of heat
- a bit of Lime juice might also be good
Strange to imagine creating these puffed-out delights from a hard slab of mochi. For as simple as this recipe is, we had NO idea how it was going to turn out; but we tried to have fun waiting for them to puff, raising eyebrows over the “goo” & stuffing them with stringy vegetables.
p.s. Dave “hates” cabbage & really enjoyed these.