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Delicious Japanese mochi -- sweet rice and red bean New Years treats guarantee a sweet New Years

Updated on January 26, 2017
chezchazz profile image

Chazz is an Interior Decorator/Consultant/Retailer, amateur photographer, cook, gardener, handyman, currently restoring an 1880 Victorian.

What is Mochi?

Mochi is a tasty Japanese treat available year-round but traditionally made to celebrate the New Year.

Mochi consists of sweet rice pounded to flour that is steamed and used as dough to cover a ball of red bean filling. They are usually covered in dry rice flour because they are sticky, but they can also be rolled in sesame seeds or ground nuts for extra flavor. (Personally, I like the contrast between the sweet chewy mochi and the crunch and texture provided by the sesame seeds or nuts.)

Another plus is that mochi are Gluten Free!

While traditional methods are time-consuming, mochi can also be made quickly by using store-bought sweet rice flour, as in the recipe that follows.

Make your own mochi!

Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour (Pack of 3)
Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour (Pack of 3)

This is the brand we use but Mochiko is also available in other brands and quantities.


Ingredients for Mochi

  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Mochiko (sweet rice flour), plus extra flour for dusting
  • 1 cup Sugar

Optional Ingredients

  • Filling (usually red bean paste)
  • Sesame seeds or ground nuts for coating (optional)
  • Food dye (green and pink are traditional)


  1. Sift sweet rice flour into a bowl.
  2. Mix in the sugar, then the water.
  3. If you are adding food coloring, do so now.

4. Steam mixture in a steamer or microwave.

In steamer: Pour mixture into an oiled bowl. Steam for about 45 minutes until dough is gummy.

In microwave: Pour mixture into an oiled bowl and cover. Microwave for 15 minutes.

5. Once dough is ready, dust a board and your hands with the extra sweet rice flour and knead the dough until it has a smooth texture.

6. Shape the dough into individual balls for use or flatten the balls and use them to cover a filling, if you like.

7. (OPTIONAL) I like to roll the mochi in sesame seeds (white or black, your choice) after re-wetting the exterior of the ball. You can also substitute ground nuts (walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts work nicely) for the seeds if you prefer.

NOTE: If using a mochi maker,

follow the instructions

that came with your machine

How to Make Mochi Video Tutorial

Tiger mochi maker - Make your own mochi quickly and easily!

Tiger Corporation SMJ-A18U 10-Cup Rice Cake Mochi Maker
Tiger Corporation SMJ-A18U 10-Cup Rice Cake Mochi Maker

Heavy duty Mochi maker mixes, pounds and steams Mochi dough. It can also be used to make dough for miso and udon noodles. Non stick pan for easy clean up.


More About Mochi

• Mochi's roots stretch back to the cooked rice cakes of ancient China.

• Mochi appears in Japanese literature as early as the 700s (the eighth century).

• The word "mochi" likely comes from "mochizuki", which is Japanese for "full moon." Appropriately, in Japan, those looking up at night do not see the Man in the Moon but rather a rabbit pounding rice on his mortar.

Don't Want to Try Making These Sweet Rice Treats?

You Can Buy Mochi Ready to Eat

Stock Up On Mochi!

Popular Flavors of Mochi include Sesame, Red Bean, Green Tea, and (not pictured) Taro, Melon, Peach, Mango, Peanut and More. Available at
Popular Flavors of Mochi include Sesame, Red Bean, Green Tea, and (not pictured) Taro, Melon, Peach, Mango, Peanut and More. Available at | Source

Which mochi is better?

Homemade or Storebought?

See results

Homemade is always best!

Homemade is always best!

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    • Khaing Wutt Yi 4 months ago

      Thanks for your presentation. I want to know shelf- life of Mochi. How long will the mochi be fresh after making? Do I need to add preservative into Mochi if I make and sell it in the market?

    • MiaMusement 4 years ago

      I live in Japantown San Jose, and although I've never made mochi myself I've sampled both homemade and store-bought. The former was at a holiday fair put on by the neighborhood "aunties" and the latter was at our neighborhood sweets shop -- which the Emperor of Japan went out of his way to visit when in the Bay Area! Both were delicious... but I guess I have to choose a side...

    • michelle2002 4 years ago

      i want to taste them.they really look good.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      You have already said it right! Homemade is always best!

    • Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      You can never beat home-made food. Worth the effort to make it yourself.

    • tealmermaid 6 years ago

      Homemade is definitely the way to go, if possible.

    Store-bought is good enough!

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      • oegukeen lm 4 years ago

        I ate them store-bought and it is without a doubt my favorite sweets ever. How can homemade be better than that? Impossible :)

      • JohnMichael2 5 years ago

        I've never had them, so I'm not sure

      • Northwestphotos 5 years ago

        I have only tried store-bought mochi. I like to try to different flavors and varieties.

      • PurplePansy LM 5 years ago

        Homemade is usually better but not always. In my case I had some homemade mochi that wasn't very good, and I have had some store-bought mochi that was amazing. Someday I will try making my own homemade mochi and see if it turns out good.

      More Mochi Video Tutorials

      Your turn: What do you think of our Mochi recipe?

      5 stars from 1 rating of Japanese Mochi

      Do you like eating mochi?

      See results

      More Uses for Mochi

      In addition to the confections above, mochi serves a prominent role in other recipes as well.

      Ice Cream: Mochi ice cream is made by filling mochi with ice cream flavors like mango, chocolate, red bean, green tea, etc. (Mochi ice cream is available in the U.S. at Trader Joe's and other shops.)

      Soup: Pieces of mochi can be added to various Japanese soups such as Oshiruko, a sweet adzuki bean soup, Chikara, a soup with noodles, and Zoni, a traditional vegetable soup also eaten for the New Year.

      © chezchazz. All rights reserved.
      © chezchazz. All rights reserved.

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      Would you like to leave some feedback, or just make a suggestion?

      I'm always glad to hear what more you'd like to see here!

      © 2011 Chazz

      Thanks for visiting!

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        • makeupbrush profile image

          makeupbrush 4 years ago

          Yummy mochi! I love them a lot. I never thought of making them myself. Thanks for the recipe!

        • profile image

          anonymous 4 years ago

          Wow, mochi looks really yummy. I newer heard of it before, but it sure looks interesting. Again, I learned something new on Squidoo:).

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          MiaMusement 4 years ago

          What a great lens! I enjoyed it thoroughly and even learned a few things about lensmaking at the same time. Thank you!

        • profile image

          oegukeen lm 4 years ago

          My boyfriend is Korean and they have their own version of mochi. I am absolutely addicted to it. It is so different than anything we have in Europe.

        • Brandi Bush profile image

          Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

          I've never tried mochi...looks delicious! :)

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          nifwlseirff 4 years ago

          I could each mochi every day, but it's so hard to find in Germany! Thanks for the recipe for making it at home -- after living in Japan for a while, not being able to get it easily means I have mochi withdrawal!

        • profile image

          bender2003 4 years ago


          I love mochi especially in wintertime in Hokkaido hot mochi is really delicious !

        • gatornic15 profile image

          gatornic15 4 years ago

          I stumbled across your lens on a treasure hunt for Japanese cuisine. I've never heard of mochi, but I may have to try it. Blessed

        • hessa johnson profile image

          hessa johnson 5 years ago

          I grew up having homemade mochi at New Years. Love mochi manju also. Great lens.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          Love Japanese food. Thanks for sharing.

        • jojokaya lm profile image

          jojokaya lm 6 years ago

          I love mochi..thanks for sharing

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