Monday, February 9, 2009


Mochi ice cream is a Japanese desert wrapped in a glutinous rice cake. I've seen it on the menu at several Japanese restaurants and the treat often pops up in anime, but I've never taken the dive and tried it.

Well that changed today! Thanks to a catchy little song, I recently learned that Trader Joe's sells 3 flavors of mochi. I picked up the strawberry flavor and...'s pretty good. Actually, the ice cream is delicious, but the rice cake shell is bland and unappetizing. Now, the box of 6 mochi only costs about $3.50, so maybe expectations about the quality of the pastry should be lowered. Regardless, I found myself wishing I could just remove the ice cream and eat it by itself.


SuiginChou said...

No idea, never tried it.

As to the issue of Japanese stuffings vs. Japanese wrappings, I can relate. I'm not the biggest fan of salty seaweed-paper or stale rice-paper, and would prefer things like sushi if it was just the fish plus the rice (w/o any seaweed).

But as for mochi ... you've confused me. Mochi is famous for being a cheese-like rice concoction that is very delicious. (I've been told it's one of the most delicious cheese-like substances on the planet.) They pound the rice over and over until it becomes this sort of doughy ... "thing." And that "thing" is the mochi. I've never heard of mochi as ice cream, per se.

SuiginChou said...

Loading up Wiki's page on mochi, here's what I've found ...

1. The top-right picture is what Japanese people (and anime and television and whatnot) are referring to when they say "mochi" as an ingredient. But it's this picture, specifically, that they're referring to 99 times out of 100 when talking about mochi as a pre-made snack. It's what I pictured myself. Those mochi blocks are kind of stretchy, sort of like string cheese. It's just super-pounded rice. Imagine when you take a piece of sliced bread and scrunch it into a tiny ball. And it becomes really quite doughy and chewy. I imagine that mochi's texture is something like that, but it's taste is something like cheese ... or something. (no idea, never ever had any)

2. Your ice cream mochi is mentioned in the lower half of the article under the heading "Popular uses for mochi."

Loading up Youtube, here's a good video which shows you mochi's texture: The mochi is shown up close at around 0:50, but if you want to see the full process, sit back and enjoy the video up until about 1:30.

Another video (which already starts you off with pounded mochi) is If you can tolerate the J-pop in the background ;) , this is a good one for showing you the texture/consistency of mochi. Really good. Almost every second of footage shows mochi.

Jay said...

I've never seen it as anything other than an ice cram treat, but by gum, you're right!