Mochi Mochi and More Mochi

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

On December 29, 2007, our family held our annual mochi making day. Mochi is eaten on New Years Day in a special Japanese soup called ozoni. This type of mochi is formally called "komochi" and is plain; it isn't the sweeten mochi confectioneries that are filled with sweetened red or lima beans, or that surround ice cream. Eating mochi and ozoni soup on New Years Day will give you good luck and longevity. Happy New Year!

Lots of rice is steamed (I think we cooked over 100 pounds of rice!) and then put into a grinding machine. Hot, hot mochi comes out of a tube and the "cutter" position (my cousin Scott) cuts the mochi into bite-size pieces...

...after the Cutter cuts the mochi, they had it to the "Catcher" position and they roll the hot, hot mochi into rounds and drop them onto a cookie sheet. It is a fast process and your hands can turn red in a short time! My cousin's family from Vermont came to make mochi for the first time - Jen, Chris and Holly were all naturals!

My cousin Denise and her niece Kayla take the mochi off the cookie sheets and let cool. The powder on the table is mochiko rice flour.

My niece Hailey and nephew Christian are the next generation of mochi makers (and eaters!)

My aunt Kim is the master packer. Below, you can see the zillions of zillions of mochi that we made. Most families divide up the mochi and deliver them to friends and family so they can have fresh mochi on New Years day. My mom and I delivered mochi to 6 places on Saturday night!

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Judy said... [Reply to comment]

So they're little patties made of ground rice? I am always fascinated by the ways in which rice can be manipulated.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Ooooh I just love mochi. I love how the whole family gets involved!

t1n26 said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I was wondering where I can buy the mochi maker (the first picture)? I'd like to make my own mochi and I think it would be easier to use this machine...

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Christine, (#3)
Sorry for the delay in my response. Oh, we got our machine probably 30 years ago! It has been in the family forever. I have no idea where they got it. It has been rebuilt by my dad and uncle a few times as well. It is definitely an "heirloom" piece of equipment!

There are small mochi machines you can buy at Japanese stores. They look like rice cookers. Good luck! - mary the food librarian

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