Crispy outside, chewy inside. Crusty outside, gooey inside. Now how does it feel?
If you are the kind of person who gets excited by that sort of texture combination (I am!), this grilled mochi recipe is for you. Here, the rice cake squares are grilled for 3 or 4 minutes, dunked in soy sauce, then wrapped in nori seaweed. It is delicious.
Grilled for a few minutes,
dunked in soy sauce,
wrapped in nori seaweed.
About the 3 ingredients
1. Mochi rice cake squares (search by “Kiri-mochi”)
If I were to make mochi in a traditional way, I would first steam glutinous rice, pound it until smooth and sticky, roll it into a slab, cut it into little rectangles, and leave them out in the open until they’re hard and dry. Intense.
I like to use these packaged mochi squares, and they are pretty tasty. Yay.
2. Soy sauce
Please use your favorite Japanese soy sauce. I mean plain soy sauce. Kikkoman is perfect!
3. Nori (search by “sushi nori”)
I happen to like those pre-cut rectangular pieces (rather than the big square ones) because they are easier to store and somewhat cheaper. But you can use either, as long as nori is not “salted” or in any way flavored. Please use plain nori for this recipe.
How to eat grilled mochi
However you like, really. It’s perfectly acceptable to eat mochi with your hands.
Some people roll a mochi square with a long piece of nori. I am more of a sandwich-one-mochi-between-two-little-pieces-of-nori person. What kind of mochi eater are you?
If one is in the mood for life’s gooey side.
Upbeat nori wrap.
I’m not sure what I was trying to prove with this picture. But it was delicious.
Me admiring my last two bites. As I work through my food, the mochi becomes a bit firm and the nori moist, which is my favorite part of this particular journey.
You do you.
Get nori and soy sauce out.
Put mochi into the oven, and bake/broil/grill for 3 to 4 minutes.
Take mochi out of the oven, dip it in soy sauce, and wrap it in nori.
About the 3 tools
1. Toaster oven/regular oven
Bake, broil, or grill, doesn’t matter. Mochi does not discriminate. If the bottom element of your oven doesn’t heat up, bake your mochi for a few minutes, flip it over with a pair of tongs, and continue baking until it puffs up nice and beautiful. It’s better to preheat your oven; if you’re using a teeny oven like mine, preheat 1 minute. If your oven is bigger, it might take longer.
2. Baking tray
Mochi is sticky. A nonstick baking tray or a non-nonstick tray lined with parchment paper makes cleanup infinitely easier.
You’ll need a pair of tongs (or chopsticks) for handling scorching hot mochi. Please don’t injure yourself.
– Mochi rice cake squares
– Soy sauce
– Nori roasted seaweed
I don’t know how hungry you are. Or how many mochi squares your stomach can take. You decide. The best way to find out is to grill a couple, dunk them, wrap them, eat them, and repeat until.
- Preheat the oven to 230C or so. If you are using a toaster oven, 1 minute will be enough. If your oven is bigger, it might take longer to heat.
- Pour some soy sauce into a shallow dish.
- Remove mochi from its package and place on an oven tray. If you’re using a non-nonstick oven tray, you might want to line it with a piece of parchment paper to prevent mochi from sticking. Mochi squares will expand when cooked, so leave some space in between.
- Take nori out of its package. Seal the package immediately to keep the remaining nori crisp and fresh.
- Set timer for 3 minutes for thinner mochi squares, or 4 minutes for thicker ones.
- Place the oven tray in the oven, and start the timer. Don’t trust the timer though. Watch your mochi closely so you can make your own decision about its doneness. I like mine very crusty outside and very gooey inside so that they almost separate into two independent taste entities. It’s a conscious process. Also, I don’t want you to miss seeing a mochi square puff up. It’s super fun.
- When the mochi looks done, turn off the heat but do not open the oven door yet. Wait for half a minute.
- Remove the tray of mochi from the oven.
- Using tongs or chopsticks, dip a mochi square in soy sauce, then wrap with nori.
This post is dedicated to my friend A.
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