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My mother-in-law gave us some mochi that she received as a gift. It's actually the size of a small hockey puck, white and pretty hard. (I've only encountered soft mochi in this shape and generally they had some sort of filling). The only other time that I've seen hard mochi is once when I bought frozen mochi from the store (sold as one solid rectangular block, about 1/2" high). With this frozen mochi, they suggested baking it. When baked, it browned on the outside and puffed up a little bit.

Has anyone ever seen the white mochi pucks that I've described? How do you eat it? I'm going to attempt to steam one and try to bake another to test. Is this the proper way to cook this type of mochi?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've actually found this post about mochi. They show the cakes that I've seen in the past and also the shape that I mentioned in my post.

It seems like you can:

  1. grill them - they will brown a bit and rise.
  2. boil them - they won't rise
  3. microwave them

And the ways to serve it is with:

  1. Butter+soy sauce (an interesting combo that I will try)
  2. Rolled in ground sesame seeds + sugar or salt.
  3. Rolled kinako (toasted soybean powder + sugar.)

UPDATE

Boiled

I cut them into about 1 inch x 1 inch pieces and threw them in boiling water. Boiled them for about a minute or so...then removed them to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Dressings

I tried butter+soy sauce (1 TBSP melted : 1/4 tsp soy sauce) - It's actually pretty good!

I also ground up some black sesame seeds with sugar (1 TBSP : 1/2 tsp sugar)...this was actually my favorite of the two.

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Try the kinaki(i didn't know thats what it was called in English), it is delicious and reminds me of my childhood. One of my favorite snacks that my grandma used to make for me is steamed/boiled rice doughballs covered in Kinako and the mochi fits the bill. –  Jay Jan 11 '12 at 14:09
    
Heck now that I think about it, I am going to make some for myself! thanks for making me aware of the name. Now i can have something to actually look up when I need a recipe. :) Thanks! –  Jay Jan 11 '12 at 14:10
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There are different version of mochi that serves refrigerated, room temperature, steam, shabu-shabu (hot pot), grill etc. From the shape, size and hardness you describe, it seems to me the type you're having are good for grilling on charcoal with flavoring as simple as oil and soy sauce.

enter image description here

[EDIT]
Rice cake can be cooked and served differently across asian cuisine. There is Chinese version of "NianGao": can be plainly fried or steam (sweet or salty), stir cry (salty), or boil in soup or hotpot (salty). The Koreans have "Dok". A popular way of cooking is with red spicy gravy or "DokBokGi". Korean also serve "Dok" in salty soup such as "Dok Goog" or "Dok Man Du Goog" etc, and sometimes serve as sweeten desert or appetizer that simply named "Dok" that comes in varieties of color and nuts filling.
The Japanese have the "MoChi": as desert the Japanese transform the MoChi to anything you can possibly imagine (with nuts, cracker, meat etc.), in cooking they grill, boil, hotpot etc, and even Mochi ice-cream.

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I'm Chinese and my mom's made something similar as well. I can't recall the name, but we've had it two ways:

Boiled in a soup, usually with a saltier broth, as the large 'mochi' block tends to be flavorless, it serves to balance what might otherwise be an overly salty dish.

Pan fried or deep fried, this method will make it puff up more like your link says. I've usually had it this way sweet. We only sprinkled on white sugar after frying, but now I realize there are several things you could do to add more complexity...sprinkle with sugar and brulee with a torch for extra texture, top with fruit and condensed milk, or serve it alongside ice cream instead of the traditional western pastry/pie.

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see my edited answer. there are differences between asians rice cake (NianGao, Dok, and MoChi). Essentially are made out of rice, but due to difference in the physical properties between their rice, certain rice cake are meant to be served in a certain way. –  KMC Jan 12 '12 at 8:25
    
@KMC That's not Nian Gao that I'm referring to. Nian gao is also a kind of rice cake, but it's made with glutinous rice, I believe. –  Eric Hu Jan 12 '12 at 23:39
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My aunt is married to a Japanese person, and she eats mochi with seaweed, soy sauce, cheese and pork/chicken floss.

Here are the steps:

  1. Bake the mochi until it puffs up, then dip both sides with soy sauce.
  2. Put it on top of a piece of seaweed (for shushi/ onigiri). Then add cheese (I use sliced cheese but any preferable cheese can be used).
  3. Put the chicken floss on top of cheese (any floss will do).
  4. Wrap it up
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When I was a child, I would eat this mochi baked, puffed up and dipped in a soy/sugar mix. Now all I can find are the blocks - I put them in water, microwave about a minute, then bake, dip in a soy/artificial sweetener mix and it's just like when I was a child.

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Yes, baking them is a right way for this kind of mochi.

A lovely version I know for making mochi: lightly oil an oven-safe glass pan so mochi does not stick too much. If mochi is frozen, defrost it in the fridge for a few hours. Break the smaller squares apart, there are usually 6 or 8 of them. Place them in the oiled pan and place in oven about 300/350 degrees F and bake for a couple of minutes (6-10). Watch them. When the squares puff up, they are ready. Eat them by filling them with jelly, nut butters, savory mashes or even salad.

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