If you tried Japanese mochi balls and want to learn how to make them from scratch, you're in the right spot. In today's recipe, we'll show you how to prepare these soft and chewy rice cakes like a pro. You'll be so proud of them!
We filled our mochi with peanut butter paste, a popular alternative to the classic Japanese sweet red bean paste (aka anko). To prepare it, you just have to mix peanut butter with icing sugar. You'll get a paste dense enough to be moulded into a ball and wrapped in the mochi dough.
Preparing the peanut filling is much easier than making the traditional anko. This is perfect if you're new to mochi and want to start with an easy recipe — especially because you can use store-bought peanut butter. Easy, peasy! But of course, you can also make the peanut butter from scratch following our tips below.
Before starting the recipe, make sure you have the right type of rice flour for mochi. Mochi dough is prepared with glutinous rice flour, not regular rice flour. This flour is milled from Japanese glutinous short-grain rice, known as mochigome.
You could find glutinous rice flour at a well-stocked supermarket, but your local Asian food store is more likely to have it. Alternatively, you can buy it online. It's essential you get the correct rice flour, or the recipe won't come out.
As for the other mochi ingredients, you'll just need water and icing sugar. In the recipe below, we'll give you the option to swap sugar with zero-calorie erythritol. This safe, natural sweetener has zero sugars but tastes almost as sweet as sugar. It's perfect if you want to make your peanut mochi sugar-free or cut down on calories.
Oh, and one last thing: make sure you have plenty of starch at hand. Mochi rice dough is extremely sticky. But, if you dust your worktop and your hands generously with starch, it will be a breeze to handle. And you'll have so much fun shaping these cute balls.
So, put your apron on, and let's prepare these nutty, deliciously chewy peanut butter mochis together!
- Peanut Butter
- Icing Sugar (or sugar-free erythritol)
- Glutinous Rice Flour
- Icing Sugar (or sugar-free erythritol)
You can use store-bought peanut butter or make it from scratch using raw peanuts. Check how in the tips below.
If you want to use sugar-free erythritol instead of sugar, blitz it in a food processor for a few minutes until it turns into a fine powder, similar to icing sugar.
In a bowl, mix peanut butter with sifted icing sugar (or powdered erythritol) into a soft, pliable paste.
Then, let the peanut paste set and harden in the fridge while you prepare the dough; this way, it will be easier to shape into balls.
To make the mochi dough, make sure you're using glutinous rice flour, not standard rice flour, or it won't come out.
Combine glutinous rice flour with icing sugar in a pot. If you're using erythritol, then again, blitz it into a fine powder.
Then, pour in the given water and mix well until there are no lumps.
Turn the heat to low and constantly stir the rice mixture with a metal spoon as it warms up.
The rice mix will start to thicken and form lumps.
At this point, keep cooking it for 5 minutes, stirring it vigorously.
The dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and hard to stir, but keep at it to ensure it won't stick to the pot and burn.
At the end of cooking time, the dough should be smooth and uniform.
Dust your worktop thoroughly with cornstarch.
Then, transfer the hot mochi dough onto it and dust it with more starch (1).
The starch will make the dough less sticky, helping you handle it with ease.
Now, pinch off a small handful of dough, roughly giving it a ball shape (2). Make as many balls as the number of servings — that is, 10 for the default ingredients.
To shape one mochi, lightly flatten one dough ball into a thick disc (1).
Try to keep the edges thinner than the centre as they will overlap when you fold the dough over the filling.
Then, brush off excess starch on both sides of the disc using a pastry brush or with your fingers.
Next, scoop a spoonful of cold peanut butter, roll it into a ball, and place it in the centre of the prepared mochi wrapper (2).
To seal the mochi, pinch two opposite edges of the dough and pull them towards the centre to cover the filling (1).
Then, pinch and pull the other two as you would do for a dumpling (2).
Now, hold the mochi in your palm, keep pinching the edges together while you twist the mochi to make a tight ball (1).
If the dough gets sticky while you shape the mochi, dust your fingers with a bit of starch.
Finally, flip the mochi, seam-side down, onto a sheet of baking paper and lightly press it to give it a dome shape (2).
Dust off any starch and finish preparing the other mochi until you have used all the dough and peanut paste.
Your delicious peanut butter mochi balls are ready. Enjoy them right away or keep them in an air-tight container for 2-4 days.
To make peanut butter from scratch, spread whole raw peanuts flat on a baking tray. Roast them for 10 minutes at 180°C (355°F) and then let them cool down. Next, blitz them in a food processor for a few minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender in between pulses. The peanuts will form first a paste and then a creamy, lightly oily butter.