DIY Honey Mochi for a Sweet New Year

Honey Mochi

Honey-Sweetened Mochi

There’s a wonderful Mochi Tsuki festival on our island every January where anyone can take a turn pounding fresh steamed rice with a huge wooden mallet, and we make our own mochi using the much less traditional microwave method all year. I made a batch yesterday morning as our New Year’s Day breakfast, then I got to thinking about Rosh Hashanah…We eat apples in honey then to start our year on a sweet note, and I wondered if I could sweeten our mochi with honey instead of sugar.

Happily, the answer is “Yes!”

Honey Mochi:

this is my adaptation of Vegan Yum Yum’s Daifuku recipe

Honey Mochi Ingredients

Honey Mochi Ingredients

  • 1 cup sweet rice flour (yes, it must be sweet rice flour, not regular rice flour)
  • 2/3 cup water minus 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • Tapioca, potato, or corn starch
  • Microwave-safe bowl with lid (use a plate as a lid if necessary)
  • Clean cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Hands that can take a bit of heat
  • Fillings as desired – Optional but delicious: red bean paste, fresh or frozen berries, peanut butter, freezer jam, or whatever you want to experiment with.
Dust Your Cutting Board with Starch

Dust Your Cutting Board with Starch

Prepare your cutting board by dusting the center of it with at least 2 tablespoons of your preferred starch. Keep more starch handy – You’ll need it later.

Sweet Rice Flour & Honey

Sweet Rice Flour & Honey

Mix the sweet rice flour, water, and honey together well in your microwave-safe bowl. Scrape the bowl’s sides down as well as possible and use the back of your spoon to smooth the surface of the mixture. If you have a lidded bowl, so much the better – If not, turn a plate over to create a microwave-safe lid; you want steam to be caught in the bowl while it’s heating.

Cook in your microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Stirring Hot Mochi

Stirring Hot Mochi

Remove the bowl from the microwave to stir the mass together as well as possible. It will be a hot, sticky mess, but use some bossy pressure and a strong spoon to pull it all together into the smoothest ball possible.

Return to the microwave for 1 minute. Watch the ball during the final 30 seconds; it’s done if it puffs up like an overheated marshmallow during the final seconds. If you don’t see puffiness, heat it in 30 second increments until you do. The ball will deflate instantly as soon as the microwave is off, so you need to watch while it’s cooking.

Hot Honey Mochi Ready for Cutting & Shaping

Hot Honey Mochi Ready for Cutting & Shaping

Once the mochi is ready, turn it out onto your prepared cutting board. Use a spoon to help you, as the mochi will be molten, fully capable of giving you a nasty steam burn.

Dust your hands with starch and flip the mass of hot mochi over, coating it with starch on both sides. Add more starch as needed to the cutting board so that the mochi doesn’t stick.

Press the mochi into a flat rectangle about 1/2 thick.

Hot Honey Mochi, Pressed Flat and Ready for Cutting

Hot Honey Mochi, Pressed Flat & Ready for Cutting

Cut the mochi into squares, or roughly square-ish shapes – Precision isn’t necessary here, and you can make the squares whatever size you desire. When I’m adding red bean paste to our pieces, I make mine at least 1.5″ square to make room for the filling.

Hot Honey Mochi Cut into Squares, Ready for Shaping

Hot Honey Mochi Cut into Squares, Ready for Shaping

Working quickly so that the mochi is still hot, form each square into a circle. The surface touching your cutting board will become the top of each piece. Pick up a square so that the surface facing up stays facing up. If you’re adding filling, put a small dab of that into the center of the square.

First Corners Pressed Together

First Corners Pressed Together

Pinch the opposite corners of the square together in the center, then pinch the new corners into the center. Finish up by gathering any extra straight edges into the center, twisting all of the pinched corners together to make them stick.

Second Set of Corners Brought Together

Second Set of Corners Brought Together

Turn this finished piece over and set it onto a starch-dusted section of your cutting board. You should have a smooth, round piece of warm mochi, with the pinched edges hidden underneath.

Honey Mochi in Progress

Honey Mochi in Progress

Enjoy! My kids love these while they’re still warm, but they’re also tasty at room temperature later in the day. I store them in a little covered container so they don’t dry out. Whatever you do, eat them fresh on the day they’re made; fresh mochi is best.

Honey Mochi for a Sweet Year

Honey Mochi for a Sweet Year

7 comments on “DIY Honey Mochi for a Sweet New Year

  1. I’ve never seen these…looks very strange and very delicious and I’m a very curious person…yumm…

  2. love mochi! hmmm we can get glutinous rice flour here… I think that’s the same as sweet, do you know? no microwave but we’ll work around that. do you think we can swap out microwave for stovetop heating? would love to try this.

    • Hi Behan! It’s wonderful to hear from you – We’re having a great time following your trek! Glutinous and sweet rice flour are the same, so far as I understand it, so that should work…I’m less sure about the stovetop, but I’m hoping you’ll give it a try and report back! I think the trick will be getting the steam built up w/o burning the rice, so perhaps more water will be necessary? I’m hoping it does work!

  3. Another inspiring recipe!

  4. are you able to make them different colours with food colouring or would that not work with the recipe?

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