Skip The Steaming Process And Microwave Mochi For A Quick Treat

A craving for mochi suddenly hits you. We get it. Who doesn't love the distinctive chewy and sweet delight that is mochi? We also understand it's easy to feel overwhelmed thinking about making mochi at home. Mochi is a beloved Japanese rice cake associated with steaming mochigome (or Japanese sticky rice) and hand-pounding it. When we refer to "mochi" in this context, we're referring to the bouncy, chewy, soft, extensible texture of rice cakes widely recognized today in the West rather than the ceremonially and traditionally prepared variety across Japan, using pounded sticky rice. Now that we have that established, for those who are either new to the world of mochi-making, don't have steamer setups (or find them daunting), or are short on time, a surprisingly simple alternative is available — using the microwave.

Start with 1 cup of glutinous rice flour mixed with 1 cup of liquid (water, milk, or plant-based milk), a little oil or melted butter, about a quarter cup of confectioner's sugar, and a pinch of salt or a dash of miso. Including food coloring or flavoring extract is optional, adding a touch of personal preference to the mochi mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap once your ingredients are seamlessly blended, puncturing a few holes in it. Place the mixture in the microwave. Cook the mochi in one to two-minute bursts. After each interval, stir the mixture gently with a spatula until a shiny, slightly translucent mochi dough appears, resembling the look of raw scallops.

Make quick microwave mochi for a variety of sweet treats at home

Allow the mochi dough to cool down to a manageable temperature before kneading or rolling and shaping it, using cornstarch to avoid sticking. Quick mochi, made in a microwave, can serve as a base for various treats, such as mochi bites, mochi ice cream, or daifuku. 

This versatile microwave mochi also has various delightful and practical applications. Roll it out to make strawberry daifuku or wrap it around ice cream for homemade mochi ice cream. Or, if you prefer simpler pleasures, enjoy your mochi as is or pair it with kinako powder and syrup. 

This approachable, respectful nod to a time-honored culinary tradition brings mochi-making joy to kitchens everywhere. It is a user-friendly introduction to those unfamiliar with its traditional preparation: Steaming Japanese sticky rice, then hand-pounding it until the mochi rice cake forms. Quick microwave mochi offers a swift, satisfying solution for sudden mochi cravings whenever they arise.