Mochi Day 2015 - Mochitsuki

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Happy New Year! Yes, I realize it is January 23, 2016, but I'm behind schedule... and many of my resolutions are already broken (one being to blog more, of course! :)

Anyway, I use this blog to tell you about some recipes, but also to keep a diary of "stuff that happens." It's fun for me to go back through old posts and remember what I was doing when I made that batch of chocolate chip cookies. Nowadays, I'm mostly documenting the trivial and delicious on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, but I wanted to capture moments from our annual mochi making day.

My Japanese American family has been making mochi every year for over 40 years. It's a family tradition. Often, it's the only time I see some of my cousins! Here are some photos of the process... for you to see, and for me to remember! My friend JustJenn make a short instagram video too!

Happy New Year!

A photo posted by Jenn Fujikawa (@justjennrecipes) on

Here's a short video of the process. Imagine this going on all day...

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
Yeah, that's 15 bags of rice for me to wash the night before mochi day.

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
We always have a crazy big potluck lunch...I made some Spam musubi!

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
The first batch...

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
Steaming hot rice goes into a grinder and it gets extruded (it's super hot) and someone cuts off a piece. Then someone grabs that burning hot dough and puts it into a muffin tin. The muffin tin is definitely not traditional, but it helps us keep the size consistent, and it's easy for newbies to join in the process.

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
Why hello there...lovely mochi!

What happens to all these 3,000+ pieces of mochi? It's traditional to eat a piece of mochi in a special soup called ozoni on New Year's get lots of good luck and health and all that good stuff. So we divide up the mochi and many people deliver some to friends and family so they'll have mochi for new years. I like to toast mine in the toaster oven and eat with soy sauce and sugar, or kinako and sugar. (The mochi is not sweetened - this is plain, pounded rice mochi).

Mochi Making Day Dec 2015
My friend Jun came with her family for the first time. Here is Sage enjoying fresh off the line mochi. He said, "oishii" (delicious)! Next year, he's going to help out!

How many people come to Mochi Day? I always thought it was about 40 people or so... this year we counted and there were 70 people! We have a bouncy castle in the front yard, mochi making on the deck, tons of food everywhere, two rooms for mochi cooling, one room for packing up the mochi, and, of course, a video game area for some of the kids! :) I have mochi in the freezer to eat throughout the year when the fun happens again.

Happy New Year!
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heather (delicious not gorgeous) said... [Reply to comment]

wow, this looks like a massive production for a family! i've been to temple mochitsuki's before, but i have a feeling there's less yield there than here (and the temple's not even that small!).

Jill said... [Reply to comment]

I love seeing this every year! Every family needs a tradition like this. We make an old cookie recipe that takes a little time to make and more time to age, then divide it up among everyone to cook among themselves.

Allison Day said... [Reply to comment]

I always adore seeing your mochitsuki posts every year! That's such a cool tradition, and every year I'm amazed by how much mochi you manage to produce. ^_^

Sunny Days Nora said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, that looks like so much fun! What a great tradition. I know what you mean about your blog being a place to document things- every once in awhile I find myself lost in old posts written in times and places in life that have been long forgotten. :-)

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