A sticky blob of rice and bean paste may not be on top of everyone’s favorite dessert lists. But Japanese mochi, made with these two ingredients, is so delightfully sublime that centuries ago, only the aristocrats were allowed to have it. Mochi is entwined with Japanese culture and was made as an offering for the Shinto gods as gratitude for the harvest. These tiny sweet desserts signify good fortune and are usually eaten to celebrate the Japanese new year. While mochis can be made in several ways, here is a recipe for green tea mochi.
What is Green Tea Mochi?
Green tea mochi is a kind of mochi made with a flavorful matcha filling, enclosed in pressed sweet rice. This variety of rice is called mochigome, a type of Japionoca rice commonly eaten in China, Japan, and Korea. It is a short-grain rice that has a glutinous texture, which gets stickier and moist when cooked. In Japan, mochi-making involves a traditional ceremony called mochitsuki, where the rice is pounded into a paste and molded into desired shapes. Nowadays, for convenience, it is made by cooking glutinous rice flour, shiratamako, in a microwave.
Green tea mochi is a daifuku mochi, which signifies mochis that have a sweet filling made with white bean paste. However, you can fill mochis with anything including ice cream, custard, or sweetened fruit.
Also, a note of caution for people who are eating mochi for the first time. Mochis can cause people, especially older people and children, to choke because of their sticky nature. So it is better to cut into pieces and enjoy it!
How To Make Matcha Mochi?
This mochi recipe uses matcha powder, which is available readily in the market. Let’s look at the step-by-step method of making this sweet treat.
Delicious Green Tea Mochi Recipe
- 1 cup shiroan (white bean paste)
- 2 tsp matcha
- 3/4 cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water filtered
- 1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch
Green Tea Mochi Filling
- In a small bowl, mix the white bean paste and the matcha powder well. It should form a homogenous green dough.
- Cover with cling wrap and keep it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can keep it in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
- Once it is chilled, remove it and shape it into 6 evenly-shaped balls.
- In another bowl, combine shiratamako and sugar and blend well. Now, slowly add water to form a sticky dough. Whisk well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and microwave it for a minute at 1200W.
- Remove the dough and mix it again. Cover it a second time with a damp paper towel and microwave it for 30 seconds. The dough should look opaque by now.
Making Green Tea Mochi
- Mochi dough is extremely sticky. To work with it, cover your hands with potato starch or cornstarch. Similarly, spread cornstarch or potato starch on a baking sheet, so that the mochi dough does not stick to it.
- Divide the mochi dough into six pieces.
- Roll it into a sheet and cut 6 discs, using a small bowl.
- Place the mochi filling in the center of the discs. Pull gently to cover the filling, pinch, and seal. Place the sealed portion at the bottom. Cover again lightly with potato starch powder.
- Repeat with the other 5 pieces. Serve mochi at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Mochi stays for two days in the refrigerator but it is best had fresh.
- While they are delicious by themselves as sweet treats, you can also serve with green tea or Genmaicha tea.
The above recipe is for a green tea filling. Alternatively, you can mix the matcha powder in the mochi dough and add the sweet traditional red bean paste as a filling. That way, you will have a pale green-colored mochi.
You can also experiment with brewing green tea and using it to make the dough instead of water. However, it will give the mochis a very mild green tea taste. Matcha, on the other hand, helps bring out an intense green tea flavor.
Enjoy these delicious bite-sized treats and let us know in the comments below!