Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake)

Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake)

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
251 Calories
5g Fat
50g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 251
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 100mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mochi is a plain rice cake, a traditional ingredient in Japanese cooking. Mostly thought of outside of Japan as a small round sweet confection, plain mochi is very mild in flavor and can take on savory flavors as well. Mochi add a lot of texture to many dishes like ozoni, udon, or miso soup in addition to being made with sweet ingredients as a dessert or snack. We grill store-bought mochi and present it with three sweet toppings for a wonderful snack, side dish, appetizer, or breakfast treat.

Grilled rice cakes are probably one of the most rustic and traditional ways in which plain traditional rice cakes are enjoyed. When done, they're chewy and soft with a delicious toasted flavor. Usually bought already cut and individually wrapped, "kiri mochi" are shelf-stable dry rice cakes easily available in Asian markets or online. Pounding cooked short-grain rice at home is also and option, though a labor-intensive one.

Traditionally, grilled mochi is enjoyed either with soy sauce sweetened with sugar and wrapped in dried seaweed such as isobeyaki mochi, or with sweetened kinako soy bean powder for kinako mochi. The mochi flavors in our recipe are traditional but mochi can be enhanced with other interesting seasonings, such as ginger, ra-yu chile oil, togarashi red chile pepper, and sweet miso. Be mindful that mochi is extremely thick and chewy, so it is very important to take small bites and chew very well to avoid choking—a common hazard in Japan, despite the country's love of mochi.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 pieces mochi, fresh or packaged

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated white sugar, optional

  • 1 sheet nori seaweed, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon kinako, or dried roasted soybean powder, optional

  • 1 cup anko, or sweet red beans, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Using a griddle or grill pan, coat the surface with a nonstick cooking spray, and heat over medium-high.

    greased grill pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. When the grill pan is ready, place mochi onto the grill and allow it to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. The mochi is ready when it has puffed up a bit and has reached your desired color and texture.

    mochi pieces on a grill pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. For assembling, choose your toppings. You could either mix the soy sauce and sugar and drizzle it over the mochi and wrap it in a strip of nori, sprinkle the mochi with sweet kinako powder, or top the rice cakes with a spoonful or two of anko. Use the sweetened soy sauce can as a dip, too.

    Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake) on a plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Enjoy!

What Are Anko and Kinako?

Anko is a widely used ingredient in Japanese cuisine, a paste made of sweetened adzuki beans and sugar. It can be red in color from the husk of the cooked beans or lighter in color if the husks are removed before grinding the beans. There are also a dried version and one made of sweetened unground beans, but the canned or refrigerated sweetened paste is the easiest to find and use.

Kinako is roasted soy flour, also traditionally used in many Japanese dishes. The roasted beans are made into flour—some brands remove the husks before processing and some don't. It's used as a topping for sweet confections or added to milk or water to make a fortified beverage.

Experts Tips

  • Shelf-stable packaged dried mochi really puffs up when grilled. After allowing it to cool for a moment, gently smash the puffed mochi with the palm of your hand or a spatula so that it is a manageable height to work with.
  • Use your toaster oven to grill mochi, just be sure to place it on a piece of foil, especially if it's fresh mochi, as it tends to expand quickly after it puffs up and can drip everywhere.