I grew up eating mochi.
If you've had mochi from Fugetsu-Do in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo, you'll know what I mean. Brian Kito, the owner, is my cousin.
When I was little, I remember boxes and boxes of mochigashi from Fugetsu-Do at all the family gatherings, and everyone scrambling to pick their favorites when the boxes were unwrapped. The mochi manju are the prettiest, with beautiful pastel colors, but my favorites are the baked ones. (That gives me an idea for a future blog post!)
My friends Laura & Cherie came over yesterday to make mochi, and we reminisced about going to Fugetsu-Do when we were little on Hanamatsuri. The store would be so packed with people with a ticket in their hand for a complimentary sweet, that you could hardly turn around, everyone waiting patiently for their turn to be waited on.
Cherie is visiting from Virginia and we're making mochi because her family loves it, and Laura wants her to take some home.
Laura's like that.
Cherie's husband loves peanut butter mochi, so we started with this recipe Laura got from a friend:
Peanut Butter Mochi
1 1/2 cups mochiko flour
1/2 - 3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Peanut butter for filling
This is the mochiko flour.
Made from sweet rice.
Measure the amount of sugar according to your taste.
Cherie says it's good with 1/2 cup sugar.
I like it a little bit sweeter.
Mix the ingredients and cook on medium-high power in the microwave for 9 minutes.
While the mochi is cooking, and in-between batches, get your friends to play a game of Bananagrams.
It's really fun!
Laura & Cherie are the Takemoto girls, along with their mother Margaret.
I can't remember a time we weren't friends.
Or that they weren't there to support me.
All three of them.
When it comes out of the microwave, it's mochi!
Empty the bowl onto a surface covered with cornstarch or mochiko so the mochi doesn't stick.
The mochi is hot, so be careful.
Laura's really good at portioning the hot mochi into uniform pieces.
Scoop about a teaspoon of peanut butter onto a flattened piece of mochi.
Then fold the flattened piece of mochi in half,
and pinch together, with the peanut butter in the middle.
Then, gently shape the mochi into a ball.
Make sure your hands are covered with the cornstarch or mochiko so it doesn't stick to your hands.
Lay out on a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet or tray for the finished mochi to cool.
After making a couple of batches of plain peanut butter mochi, we decided to try adding some jam to the mochi, outside and inside.
Laura's a jam maker. If you see Lulie M's Sweets in Long Beach, pick up a jar. She's an artisan in her jam making--they're really good!
We used a 1/4 cup of her Plum Ginger jam for the mochi. The next time I make it, I'm going to add a 1/2 cup.
You can see some of the plum chunks in the mochi. A 1/4 cup gave the mochi a light tint of pink. We didn't have any red food coloring, but that might be a future addition.
Laura tried cutting the hot mochi with a knife.
That works, but she thought the more traditional way of cutting it by hand kept the pieces more uniform.
We added about a 1/2 teaspoon of jam alongside the peanut butter.
I really liked the addition of the jam to the mochi.
I'm going to have to tell my cousin Brian!
Here's the meal I had at Laura's the other night.
I always say that the best meals are homecooked meals that I don't cook. I love tasting the way other cooks season their food because it's different from mine, and Laura is definitely a foodie that knows what's good!
I got a special pot of my own without meat.
Thank you, Laura!
I appreciate the extra effort to make a vegetarian pot!
She set a lovely table.
And prepared a big tray of vegetables to add to the pot while it was boiling.
Cherie & Margaret brought a banana cream pie for dessert.
I think the crust is the best I've ever eaten!
Thanks, Laura & Poston, for such a nice evening!
No printable recipe for this one yet.