Tri-Colored Mochi

Tri-Colored Mochi

A centuries old Japanese tradition is the eating of mochi on New Year.  It usually starts around the new year when Japanese households and communities take part in a traditional Mochitsuki the pounding of sweet rice to make the flour.  The flour is used to make mochi which can be a sweet or savory treat.

In Hawaii mochi is definitely served on New Year specially by families of Japanese ancestry.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited by friends whose families practice this tradition.  I’ve had mochi as dumplings in a fish based soup, not exactly my favorite; fried and served with soy sauce; and sweet chewy squares, my favorite.

Mochi is also always available in Hawaii.  It’s found in many local grocery stores and some bakeries.  But most of the time I make Mochi at home.  One of my favorites is Chi Chi Dango, it’s a sweet square made with coconut milk and is usually pink in color.  Another favorite is this Tri-Colored mochi, which is really just a layered Chi Chi Dango in 3 colors, green, pink, and white.  I don’t make it often simply because it’s tedious baking 3 layers, the single color version is just as good.  But Tri-Colored Mochi does look pretty when served at a party.

By the way Mochi is made from glutinous rice flour and is naturally gluten free and since it uses coconut milk it’s also dairy free! It’s the perfect treat for any one with gluten, dairy, and nut allergies.

You can buy both Mochi flour (one of the brand names is Mochiko), canned coconut milk, and Katakoriko at any Asian market.

Tri-Colored Mochi

Ingredients:

1 Box Mochiko flour (1 pound)

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Can Coconut Milk

3/4 Cup Water

1 Tsp. Vanilla

2 – 3 drops each of red and green food color

Katakoriku (potato starch)

Directions:

Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Mix all ingredients except the Katakoriku in a bowl until smooth.

Divide batter into 3 equal parts. (I pour them 1 measuring cups)

Color one part pink with red food color, and one part green with green food color, leave third part white.

Pour Green part into your pan and cover with foil.

Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.  Uncover and cool for 15 minutes.

Pour white batter over green layer and cover with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven.  Uncover and cool for 15 minutes.

Pour pink batter over white layer and cover with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven.

Uncover and cool for at least 30 minutes.

Cut into squares – I use a pizza wheel to cut even strips then cut those strips into small rectangles.

Place Katakoriku on a plate and roll each piece of mochi in it.  This will dust the mochi so that they don’t stick together.

Store in airtight containers on the counter.  It should last about 3 days, that is if you can keep from eating it sooner!

 

 

Tri-Colored Mochi
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Butter Mochi

Butter Mochi

When I was growing up surrounded by family, mostly all were Filipino, this yummy dessert was called Bibinka.  It’s soft and sticky in the middle with a bit of coconutty crust on top.

When my family moved to Hawaii back in the late 1970’s what we called Bibinka was called Butter Mochi.  They are essentially the same thing and whatever you call it it’s delicious!

I looked up the recipe for both Butter Mochi and Bibinka and they are very similar.  In fact when I make it I often interchange the recipes.  My kids and grandkids love it which ever recipe I use.

Both ingredients use Sweet Rice Flour which can be purchased at an Asian Market.   They also so use coconut milk which again can be  purchased at the Asian Market.

Butter Mochi

Ingredients:

1 Box Mochiko Flour (Sweet rice flour)

2 Eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup melted butter

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1 3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Can Coconut milk

1 Can Evaporated Milk

1/2 Cup Water

Directions:

Oil a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Pour into baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the middle is firm.

Cool and cut into squares.

 

Butter Mochi
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Mochiko Chicken – Japanese Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken is a favorite dish in most familys.  Its tender and juicy on the inside and has that perfect satisfying crunch on the outside.  What’s not to love?

Most folks picture KFC like chicken or Southern Fried Chicken (that’s delicious by the way) when they think of fried chicken.  Of course Southern Fried Chicken served with homemade mashed potatoes, thick gravy, and melt in your mouth biscuits are delicious, but there are other equally delicious versions of fried chicken.

One of my favorites is Mochiko Chicken or Japanese Fried Chicken.  It’s battered with Sweet Rice Flour giving it a bit of sweetness along with a nice crunch on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.  Served with steamed white rice and Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy it makes a nice healthy meal.

This dish is marinated in the refrigerator overnight, that’s what makes it so tasty and gives it a nice crunch.

Mochiko Chicken

Ingredients:

4 Lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs cut into thirds

2/3 Cup Cornstarch

1/3 Cup Mochiko Flour

1/3 Cup Soy Sauce

2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce

1 Tsp. Sesame Oil

1 Tbs. Garlic Minced

1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions

2 Eggs

Oil for frying

Sesame Seeds and chopped Green Onion for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients expect garnish and oil for frying into a large ziplock bag.  Batter will be thick, it will thin overnight.

Shake bag to coat all chicken pieces.

Refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to fry you will find that the marinade has thinned and possibly separated.  Shake to recombine marinade and coat chicken.

Heat oil and fry each piece until chicken is cooked and batter is golden brown and crisp.

Drain on paper towel.

Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.

Serve with hot rice and vegetables of your choice.


Mochiko Chicken - Japanese Fried Chicken
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