January 01, 2004
Toasted Mochi

recipe thursdayMochi, cakes made of pounded rice, is an important part of the Japanese New Year. There are mochi-making parties at the end of December and everyone eats mochi in their soup on new year’s day. Many people have “kagami mochi”—two round balls of mochi topped with an orange—as a holiday decoration that is cracked apart and eaten in early January. But you don’t have to pound your own mochi, it’s sold in precut blocks or small rounds. Here is a simple and filling snack of mochi.

Toasted Mochi
serves 1

1 cake mochi, round or rectangle
1 tsp soy sauce
1 strip nori (seaweed paper)

Brush the mochi with soy sauce. Arrange on aluminum foil in the toaster oven. Toast until lightly browned and puffy. Remove from toaster oven. Heat the nori in the toaster oven for a few seconds. Wrap the mochi in nori and enjoy.

Posted by kuri at January 01, 2004 10:25 AM


I don’t know if you remember the story, but in 1999 Tara and I rushed home from the integration work and got there at maybe 10 minutes before midnight. We sat down and attempted (but didn’t entirely succeed) counting down to New Year’s in Japanese. Then we opened up the plastic “rice snowman” and took out the small rice cakes inside. They were a bit heavy, but since it was a tradition, we tried one each. I say tried because we simply weren’t able to eat them. We knawed at them a bit and chalked it up to a strange tradition - not the first. As Tara mentioned this to Kondo-san at work, he stayed quiet for a minute but his eyes got very big. “Oh, no, Tara-san. You are supposed to cook those!” :)

Happy New Year.

Posted by: Seth on January 2, 2004 05:45 PM

be careful - mochi has already killed 3 people this year…

Posted by: MJ on January 2, 2004 06:21 PM

Helen and I asked for mochi at the little restaurant we went to last night for our New Year’s gyoza. They didn’t have it, so we had green tea ice cream instead. Yum!

Posted by: Jenny on January 2, 2004 10:27 PM

I am sticky beaking into your life for a bit, I hope you don’t mind. I want to say hello to ease any feelings of voyerism! Although aren’t we all getting quite used to that now?

My boyfriend and I applied to go on the JET program to Japan. The interviews are soon.

I am reading your website, to catch the overspill of excitement at going to Japan. It sometimes happens when i am at work, with a spare minute, and internet access

Best wishes


Posted by: LK on January 29, 2004 01:27 PM
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