Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy New Year 2016 mochi ricecakes

The soft chewy texture filled with red bean filling oozing with that first bite, that's when I fell in love with mochi. I vividly remember as an after school snack, mum would purchase these favourite treats of mine. Wrapped in clear plastic, 6 mochi balls of pink, white and green filled with red bean which I would devour in a few minutes.

To celebrate Chinese New Year 2016, I thought I would attempt to make rice cakes of some sort. This meant experimenting with different flours to attempt hoddeok, a sweet Korean pancake which reminded me of the street stalls in Korea selling these tasty treats filled with cinnamon peanut sugary goodness. With that down pat, my next experiment was to try mochi.

Scouring the internet for an easy recipe, they varied from baking the glutinous mix to some fiddly and time consuming methods. I adapted Maagchi's "Korean style mochi rice cakes" recipe for my purposes. I found that you'll need to work quickly with the mochi to make the most of the elastic quality whilst its warm to cover the balls of red bean or black sesame paste. The kids will love stretching out the mochi and attempting to enclose their filling of choice.

The Koreans call this dish chapssaltteok whereas the word mochi is a Japanese word that simply means “rice cake.” The Korean version of chapssaltteok uses the colour green which is created with green tea powder. I found that mochi came in three different colours, white (plain), pink (with 2 drops of red food colouring), and green (with 1 teaspoon green tea powder or 2 drops of green food colouring).

I would of liked to make the filling but due to time constraints, I opted to try the ready made pastes. Next task for me is attempt to make the white sesame filling that hubby loves so much.

You'll never buy mochi again once you discover how easy it is to make it. I recommend you devour a few before the kids and hubby have discovered that you have made these delicious delights.

Makes 10 mochi balls


Red bean paste
Black sesame paste

1 cup glutinous rice flour
sprinkling of potato starch/ or mung bean starch powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of water
2 drops of food colouring of your choice, I opted for green

Outside coating
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup black sesame powder


1. Roll your paste into 10 balls 2-2.5cm diameter for easy insertion into the rice cakes. I found putting the paste in the fridge to harden slightly made it easier to roll into balls. Or sprinkle a little starch powder to prevent the paste sticking to your hands when you roll into balls. Set aside to use later on.

2. Place glutinous rice flour, salt, sugar and two drops of green food colouring into a microwave-safe bowl.

3. Add water to the rice flour and mix well. (It may look like a liquid mix rather than dough, but don't worry)

4. Cover the rice mix with plastic wrap and cook on HIGH 3 mins in the microwave. (Watch the mixture slowly rise and fall before you have a ricecake)

5. Remove the rice cake from the microwave. (Be careful taking off the plastic wrap or else be blasted with hot steam, this happened to me). Mix the rice cake with a spoon for 20 seconds.

6. Cover the rice cake with plastic wrap and put back in the microwave for HIGH 1min.

7.  Knead the hot rice cake with a spoon as the best you can for about 1-2 minutes. This is the key part to get that soft chewy texture.

8. Sprinkle your choice of starch powder on your cutting board. Pull out the rice cake with a spoon into a sausage shape.

9. Wet your hands first, to stop the rice cake sticking to your hands. This way you can attempt to shape your rice cake into a rectangle about 15 cm x 5 cm. (Somehow I managed to flattened my rice cake into an oval shape that was 15cm long and 2-5cm in width) 

10. Cut the rectangle into half with a sharp wet knife and cut 5 even perpendicular cuts, to make 10 pieces of rice cake. Cover the rice cakes with plastic wrap to keep them from getting dried out.

11. Take one piece of rice cake, flatten and stretch out to a round circle about 5 cm in diameter.

12. Add a sweet red bean ball or black sesame ball to the middle of the piece of rice cake. Pull the rice cake over the ball and seal by dabbing a little water to join the edges with your fingers. Roll the mochi to look like a nice round ball. (If the rice cake starts sticking to your fingers, add a little starch powder to prevent this.)

13. I wanted to add an extra dimension of taste, so I dabbed water on the outside of my mochi and rolled this in coconut which the kids loved. Hubby is more of a black sesame fan, so I rolled a few mochi in black sesame powder for him.

14. Repeat this until you’ve made 10 pieces of chapssaltteok/mochi ricecakes.

15. Eat a couple before the kids discover them.

Handy hints
*Red bean and black sesame paste can be found at Asian grocery stores.
*Place paste in the fridge as this hardens this slightly and makes it easier to roll into balls
*Potato starch and mung bean starch can be used. I prefer the mung bean taste so I went with mung bean starch.
*It's extremely hot when it comes out of the microwave, so be careful with removing the plastic wrap.
*Work within 5-8 minutes of the dough being cut to make nice smooth round balls for presentation