I made mochi for the first time! It’s been on my recipe wish list for a long time. I’ve been nervous to tackle it because I thought it would be a big process. Turns out, it’s super easy.
Mochi is a sweet Japanese rice cake made of chewy glutinous rice. The key ingredient for this bite-size, snacky version of mochi is mochiko, a sweet glutinous rice flour you can find at any Asian market (or online). Other special ingredients include coconut milk, ground coconut flakes, and matcha green tea powder.
Why this recipe works with tea: Matcha is the ultimate tea baking ingredient because it performs just like any other ground spice. In this case, matcha’s bittersweet and grassy notes are a traditional flavoring for Japanese treats, so it’s not a stretch to use it in mochi.
I used fresh, organic matcha from Matcha Kari. This is a stunning, high-quality matcha sourced from the fields around Uji City near Kyoto, Japan, the birthplace of Japanese tea traditions. It was special to be able to use this matcha for my mochi project. Look at that amazing color it gave the mochi!
Like many of my favorite baking projects, mochi is simply a mix of wet and dry ingredients whisked together and poured into a pan to bake. There is a bit of time required for the baked mochi to fully set (overnight on the counter) and it took some patience to cut the set mochi into squares (it likes to stick to the knife). Any stickiness from the mochi goes away once you toss the squares in ground coconut to coat them.
My patience paid off. These squishy, flavorful bites are thoroughly addictive. Which is a good thing, because they don’t keep very long. You’ll want to enjoy these mochi treats within a couple of days for the best freshness and texture.
Happy cooking & sipping!
P.S. Thanks so much to Matcha Kari for sending me matcha samples to play around with in my Tea Foodie kitchen.
Makes about 32 pieces
Adapted by Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie, from a Food & Wine recipe.
1 1/2 cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flakes
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Whisk sweet rice flour with sugar, matcha, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk with water and vanilla extract. Pour coconut milk mixture into rice flour mixture. Whisk until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and cover tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Bake until top is set, about 1 hour; you should be able to tap a finger on top without the mochi jiggling.
3. Remove pan from oven and set on a cooling rack. Remove foil cover and let cool completely. Once cool, recover with foil and let sit on the counter overnight to completely set.
4. Transfer mochi from the pan to a cutting board; use a spatula to gently loosen edges and bottom if necessary. Cut mochi block into 1/2-inch squares.
5. Add coconut flakes to a food processor. Pulse about 10 times until coconut is ground into a consistency like Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a wide bowl.
6. Toss mochi squares in ground coconut to coat. Store in an airtight container. Best enjoyed within a couple of days.