Mochi (餅), Japanese rice cake, is made by pounding hot, steamed mochigome (glutinous rice) into paste and molded into round or cut into square cakes. Glutinous rice, sometimes called sweet rice, is used in rice dishes where more stickiness is called for. Traditionally, the cooked rice is pounded with a wooden mallet (kine) in a mortar (usu). Two people alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi, keeping a steady rhythm
lest they accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
Most mochi these days is machine made.
Sato Kirimochi is a high-quality mochi product from Japan. Some lower-quality mochi contains starch making them less sticky. Another advantage of Sato Kirimochi is that each piece of mochi is individually and aseptically packed so it keeps for a long time without getting moldy. Mochi is usually served hot. It gets hard when cool, requiring you to reheat it.
Grill, or use a toaster oven, to heat the mochi. The cake will soften and expand to three times its original size: crisp on the outside and soft and stretchy inside. A tip I found on-line is to put a drop of soy sauce on top to ensure that the cake will expand more evenly. To microwave mochi, cover loosely—remember, it will expand!—with plastic wrap and zap for a minute or two. Watch carefully or you’ll melt the cake into a pool of starch!
For soft and chewy mochi, cut the cakes into quarters, and drop into boiling water until they are soft and rubbery. They won’t expand when boiled. Drop individually into cold water until you are ready to add them to soup. Or serve immediately with soy sauce and butter. For a sweet snack, roll the mochi in kinako (toasted soybean powder) and sugar, or try ground sesame seeds mixed with sugar or salt.
These mochi seem to be scored, into quarters on the surface, and thirds on the edge.
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