I have worked it bakeries most of my life and thought i have seen it all.
but this beats it all
They obviously come from the Julia Childs "School of 1000 Slaps"!
Sure puts my somewhat measured and meditative kneading into perspective!
My jaw hit the computer desk watching that.
I think I was hoping for a blooper!
That is just FAR OUT!
but to take a sledgehammer to it?
It begs the question: "Was it green beforehand?"
They're actually making mochi, not bread. Mochi is a thick paste which sort of feels like bread dough, but not really. It's a mixture of glutinous (or sweet) rice and water which is pummeled (here by those gentlemen) for a long, long time. It's very tasty stuff. I made it once and then never again. I sat on my bedroom floor for hours pounding a small bowl of it with a mortar and pestle, not nearly as tenacious about it as those guys. From what I understand, in Japan restraunteurs make a sort of show out of it because of the amazingness of what you saw in the video. It's usually white, but some mochi (which you can buy packaged) is colored, I don't know why.
Yes, this is mochi making. It is a very common treat in Japan (my wife is half Japanese). The Chinese also make a similar product (called nor chi mai, I'm Chinese and I learned how to make the Chinese version from my mom). There are savory versions and sweet versions. To the Japanese, what we call the "Man on the moon" is the "Moon rabbit making mochi." Mochi is a very common part of Japanese New Year celebration. It is often served in a special New Years soup called "ozoni." In Hawaii, mochi has evolved into a variety of sweet flavored versions (such as coconut, pineapple, etc.).
While the traditional method is to pound the steamed glutinous rice (a very labor-intensive method), there are now home mochi making machines (a very common home appliance in Japan). Also, there is a short-cut way of making it in the microwave using sweet rice flour. It only takes about 10 min and there is no pounding. I've made many versions of microwave mochi and my boys really love it. One version that they really love is to make a non-sweet mochi and then put it in a waffle iron to cook. You then get a crispy-crunchy outside and a gooey inside.
...Do not try this at home
I buy Mochi at Whole Foods. You bake it and it puffs up-delish! I don't know if it is the same type.
Mr. Peabody- if it's not too far off this site's topic- could you share the simple mochi recipe? I'd love to try it.
Not at all too far off topic for here.
I'd be interested in the recipe too. I love mochi but have never tried making it at home.
...it was a Japanese version of Maryland Beaten Biscuits being prepared for a St. Patrick's Day celebration!
I'll try to type up the recipe sometime over the next few days. I've been jumping into this website rather than working on a research grant (bad, bad Mr. Peabody). One thing is that the texture of the microwave version is a bit different. The microwave version of the non-sweet mochi does not puff up when cooked (either by pan frying or baked) like the traditionally made version of mochi. My wife's aunt always gets us some of the traditionally made mochi every New Years. She helps out at the local Buddhist Temple who make it as a fundraiser every year. So, we have a ready comparison. Still, the microwave version is easy and tasty. And the waffle-cooking, while not traditional, is still pretty tasty.
I do think that the microwave version of sweet mochi actually comes very close to the real thing. Sweet mochi is typically not cooked again and is either eaten as is or used in various confections (such as filled with the sweet red bean paste - Ahn in Japanese or Hoon Howl in Chinese).
I learned to make these things because unfortunately my boys have food allergies. One of them is to sesame, which is pretty much ubiquitous in Asian foods (or at least the risk of cross-contamination is very high). My wife and I wanted to introduce them to some of the foods that we grew up eating.
The sesame allergy is also why I've hung out in this website so that my family can get decent tasting bread. We just can't buy a good artisan bread in a bakery for fear of cross-contamination with sesame, poppy, or nuts.
OK, here it is. I managed to find the computer file of this recipe. A few years back I typed out a family recipe book to preserve some of the old family recipes. Although I'm not Japanese, I worked out a Japanese version of mochi from various websites for my wife (who loves the stuff).
This is very sticky stuff. So, I tend to use microwaveable plastic equipment to cut down on goo sticking to everything. Also, I either lightly oil the plastic ware (or use those spray oil products). No matter what you do, though, clean up is a real mess. Also, as I mentioned before, this microwave version doesn't puff when cooke like traditionally made mochi, but I think it still tastes very good.
Ingredients for non-sweet mochi:
Slowly mix in water to the mochiko (sweet rice flour) so that all ingredients are well blended and no lumps remain. Pour mixture into a greased (sprayed with vegetable oil) microwaveable pan. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and microwave 4-5 min (depending on the microwave’s power output). Take out the mochi and whip it up with an oiled stiff spoon or chopsticks (I actually have some plastic chopsticks that I use). This whipping step is not exactly easy but do your best. Cover with plastic wrap again and microwave for another 4-5 min until it is cooked. It should have a translucent appearance (if it still tastes like raw flour, microwave longer, 1 min at a time until done).
Take out the mochi and whip it up again with the chopsticks. Avoid overcooking as this makes the mochi dough tougher, less pliable, and more difficult to shape. Let cool briefly until it can be handled.
Turn the still-warm mochi onto a large platter or a cutting board (I use a big plastic cutting board) that is well dusted with katakuriko. Lightly dust with more katakuriko. Don’t rush to handling the hot mochi until it has cooled enough to comfortably handle. Because it is so sticky, if it is too hot, it can really burn you (like molten lava, I know unfortunately from experience).
Cut into 2 to 3 inch square pieces, about 3/4 inch thick (a plastic knife is easier since it sticks less than metal). If desired, the blocks can be shaped into round cakes. Lightly coat all sides with more katakuriko. Cool mochi completely, wrap in plastic, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze in an airtight container.
Plain unsweetened mochi is typically cooked before eaten. Sweet versions generally do not get further cooked.
Pan-Fried Mochi. Use a heavy skillet, brush both sides of mochi lightly with cooking oil, and with a medium flame cook mochi for about 6 min per side (or to desired amount of toasting). This is Debbie’s preferred way to cook mochi. She eats it with a dip of soy sauce and sugar.
Baked Mochi. Bake the pieces of mochi on one side for 8 min in a preheated 450ºF oven. Continue baking until they puff up and get slightly browned on top. The baked mochi is eaten with condiments such as kinako (roasted soy bean flour), manju (sweet red bean paste), soy sauce dip, and nori (seaweed).
Waffle Mochi. Not traditional, but tasty and it works well. Place one or two pieces of mochi in a hot, lightly oiled waffle iron for 8-10 min (depending on desired crispiness). When the waffle iron jaws touch, mochi is ready to eat.
Deep-fried Mochi. Deep-fry mochi pieces in cooking oil for 5 min until golden brown. Good with daikon radish and soy sauce.
Soups with Mochi. Mochi pieces are boiled in water and then added to a soup. The pieces are either cut from the prepared mochi blocks or are little mochi balls. Balls are shaped after the mochi dough has been microwaved and allowed to cool briefly. Pieces of the still-warm mochi are then broken off and rolled by hand into little balls. To boil the mochi, drop the balls into boiling water in a large saucepan. Turn the flame to medium and cook until all the balls are floating. Remove from the heat, drain the hot water and immerse the mochi in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Add the boiled mochi to hot soup. As a variation to miso soup, use boiled mochi instead of tofu.
BASIC SWEET MOCHI
Sweet versions of mochi are frequently colored with food coloring and are served as a sweet snack or a dessert.
Mix 1 c sugar with the mochiko before adding the water. A few drops of food coloring (optional) can be added. After mixing the dough, microwave as described above. Sweet mochi may take slightly longer to cook compared to the plain, unsweetened version. This is the Japanese version, the Chinese version is just less sweet, using only 6 tablespoons of sugar to the recipe.
MOCHI FILLED WITH MANJU (SWEET RED BEAN PASTE)
The mochi is filled with prepared sweet Azuki beans (this is available in a can. Koshi-an or neri-an is the smooth type; tsubu-an or ogura-an is the lumpy type - to each his/her own). I have also made this from scratch which is not hard.
Shape the koshi-an into walnut-sized balls (may be a bit smaller if you prefer); set these an balls aside. Make the basic sweet mochi dough. Whip the mochi midway through the microwaving and after microwaving. After the final whipping step, allow the mochi dough to cool for a until it can be comfortably handled (it should be still warm, if it cools too much it may be harder to shape). Spread some katakuriko on a cutting board and place the warm "mochi blob" on the board. Break off golf ball-sized pieces and flatten in the palm of your hand, leaving a shallow well in the center. Put the koshi-an ball in the center of the dough and bring the edges of the dough up and around the koshi-an. Pinch tightly to close.
HAWAIIAN VERSION OF SWEET MOCHI.
Very popular in Hawaii. To the sweet mochi recipe, add 1-1/2 teaspoon flavor extract (possibilities include almond, vanilla, pineapple, lemon, etc.). For Pina Colada mochi, add 1 teaspoon each of coconut and pineapple extracts.
Coconut Mochi. Substitute half of the water with canned coconut milk, add 1-1/2 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract, and 3 to 4 drops food coloring (if desired) to the sweet mochi dough. Coconut mochi tends to take 1 to 2 min longer to microwave than the other sweet versions.
Microwaving of Hawaiian mochi: Pour the mochiko/water/sugar/flavorings mix into a microwaveable container so that the mochi will be about an inch thick. DO NOT “whip” the mochi during or after microwaving. For the Hawaiian version just dump out the cooked sweet mochi onto the dusted cutting board and cut it up into small blocks. The Hawaiian Japanese-Americans just eat the blocks as a little treat.
P.S. Apologies for the formatting, I just dumped the file into the comment window and it seems that some of the formatting got moved around. I tried to fix them.
Thanks for posting these. After I made mochi from sweet rice, I purchased a bag of mochiko because I realised that mochi from scratch wasn't a realistic thing to do on a regular basis. Then I never made any from the mochiko. It's still in my cupboard waiting for the time when I get inspired enough to use it, which is now. Thanks!
I've never tried it the traditional way (pounding steamed sweet rice). I imagine that it would be quite a workout. My wife has vague memories of her grandfather and her uncles doing this on their farm in southern New Jersey when she was a little girl. Her aunt helps out the local Buddhist Temple for their New Years batch of mochi. The church bought a machine that does the automated "beating" a few years ago, making it easier on everyone. Before that, the church did recruit members to do the pounding. I've never witnessed this though.
Thank you for finding this. Now I have a new project to try.
It turns out that I had the computer files of my family cookbook here, so it was mostly a cut and paste job. So, it isn't as if I had to type the whole thing from scratch. BTW, if you notice, I also posted under blogs a recipe for a Chinese pastry that uses yeast (I felt a bit guilty that Mochi is non-yeasted). It took quite a while to translate that recipe because my Mom just makes things by "some of this"/"some of that" measurements. I had to watch her make it and repeatedly stop her to get reproducible measurements on the ingredients.