Grilled Japanese mochi is probably one of the most rustic and traditional ways in which plain traditional mochi or rice cakes are enjoyed. They are chewy and soft with a delicious toasted flavor to them. It's great as a snack, side dish, appetizer, breakfast or meal.
Fresh round mochi is grilled until puffed and toasty. The same result may be accomplished using "kiri mochi" which are shelf stable rice cakes that are dried and sold at Japanese and Asian markets individually sealed and packaged. After the mochi is grilled, the mochi may be added to savory ozoni style soup, which is a traditional dish served on Japanese New Year.
The two most traditional ways in which grilled mochi is enjoyed are:
- With soy sauce sweetened with sugar and wrapped in dried seaweed (isobeyaki mochi).
- With sweetened kinako soy bean powder (kinako mochi).
Using a griddle pan, grill pan, or toaster oven, coat the surface with a non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
When the grill pan is ready, place mochi onto the grill and allow it to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. It's ready when the mochi has puffed up a bit and has reached your desired color of "toasty-ness".
If you are using shelf-stable, packaged dried mochi, also known as "kiri mochi", you'll find the mochi will really puff-up. After allowing it to cool a moment, you can gently smash the puffed mochi with the palm of your hand or a spatula so that it is a manageable height to work with, and later eat!
Add your choice of flavor to the mochi. Season with a mix of soy sauce and sugar, recipe or with a sweet dried kinako powder. You might also enjoy the mochi with sweet red beans, or "anko". Anko is available pre-made in the refrigerated section of many Japanese and Asian markets, or in cans.
Note: If you are using a toaster oven, place mochi on a piece of foil, especially for fresh mochi. If you are grilling fresh mochi it tends to expand quickly after it puffs up and can make a downright mess in your toaster oven if you're not watchful.
Types of Mochi:
Freshly pounded mochi
Kiri mochi (dried packaged shelf-stable mochi)
Hibachi style grill pan
How to Add Flavor to Grilled Mochi:
Kinako (dried roasted soybean powder)
Sweet red beans (anko)
Non - Traditional:
Ra-yu chili oil
Togarashi red chili pepper