I heard this question about a billion and five times over the weekend once I shared on my IG story that I was enjoying a few flavors before starting a new workout program and meal plan on Monday. I was shocked how few people knew what it was!!! Let me educate you, my fellow ice cream lovers, because you deserve to have some Mochi in your life.
Mochi is a Japanese treat that is basically a sweet rice dough ball with an ice cream center…..sounds delicious yet odd, right? In Japan, mochi is a symbol of good fortune while also representing sustenance for those who may be in need due to the fact it is incredibly filling. While it has become popular around the world and available for purchase year round, mochi has been an integral part of the Japanese New Year celebration, a celebration going on since the late 700s. No one can confirm the exact origin of this treat, but it is known that mochi was eaten exclusively by emperors and the aristocracy since the beginning of the Japanese New Year celebration, being nicknamed “the food of the gods.”
The main ingredient in mochi is Mochiko or Shiratamako rice (both variations of Japanese sweet short grain rice) that is used to create a dough to wrap around a ball of ice cream. The flavors are endless…..vanilla, coffee, strawberry, peanut butter, sesame, green tea….I could go on and on! And the best part…..each little ball is only about 100 calories! Yahtzeeeeeee!
I discovered this treat several years back while shopping at a Whole Foods Market and instantly fell in love. There are several ways you can enjoy it; I usually just cut into it with a fork and knife, but I have used a toaster oven to change it up from time to time. If you choose to do this, you only need to put it in the toaster oven for about 8 minutes or so (you want the dough to puff up a bit and turn a golden brown) and can top with a mixture of soy sauce and sugar for a more traditional taste. If all else fails and you find yourself without an eating utensil, you can just eat them whole!
One thing I’ve learned about mochi: many people have never heard of it, but once they try it they can’t imagine how they lived life without it. If you are into ice cream, go get yourself some! They are traditionally about $1-$1.50 per ball and located in the freezer section of stores. Not all stores carry them, so do some research in your area if you are on the hunt. I presently buy mine at a local Whole Foods 365!
Go get some and tell me what you think!