Simple Recipe: Super Soft Mochi

Frock Files | Easy Mochi

Every Girls’ Day when I was growing up, my grandma brought over a plate full of mochi. I’d ration it out over a week because I knew I’d have to wait months until having it again. As I got older, I’d buy mochi from shops and farmer’s market stands, but none of them ever compared to my grandma’s. After all that searching, I eventually broke down and decided to make it myself. That’s when the real secret was revealed to me: it’s really easy to make. All you do is mix the ingredients and bake them on low heat.

If you’ve never had mochi, the closest thing I can compare it to is Turkish delight. Of course, perhaps you’ve never had Turkish delight either, so I’ll say that it’s a bit like a chewy marshmallow. The ingredients — rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla — speak for themselves. And speaking of ingredients, mochi is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Double hooray!

Frock Files | Easy Mochi

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. mochiko (aka Sweet Rice Flour by Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Potato starch (or corn starch)
  • Food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the mochiko, sugar, and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, water, and coconut together. Then, blend the wet and dry ingredients, using your hands. Add food coloring, if desired.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Cover tightly and bake for 90 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and allow to cool completely. Once fully cooled, my grandma re-covers the mochi with foil and allows it to sit for 10-12 hours. I don’t have that kind of patience, but if you do, your mochi will probably be even softer!
  5. Using a plastic knife, cut into small pieces and roll in potato starch until lightly coated. Wrap in wax paper, if desired.

1 lb. mochiko 2 ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder   Mix well: 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups water 1 (12 ounce) can coconut milk

Aside from the fact that this recipe makes delicious mochi, it’s also really pretty once it’s finished. This would be an excellent dessert for St. Patrick’s day, since you can use any food coloring you want (it only requires a few drops). I love sealing them in glass jars and making deliveries to friends, since this recipe makes so many pieces.

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Comments

  1. Yum!!! I love mochi, but I’ve never even dreamed of making them myself! I can’t wait to try these.

  2. Derrick says:

    Deliveries are always welcome!

  3. YES! A recipe I can make! This gluten free gal loves mochi – cannot wait to try your recipe! My favorite are the little mochi shells with ice cream in them. Double delicious, but sinful.

    • I’ve never tried making these with ice cream in them, but i bet it’s do-able. Hmmm. I’ve had freshly made mochi ice cream in a restaurant before and it was SO soft.

  4. Is this the dessert where sometimes there is ice cream or like a bean paste in the middle? If so…I have to try!!

    I would love to know!

    • Yes! Sometimes people put azuki bean paste in the middle, but I’ve never been a big fan. In Hawaii, people also put fresh strawberries, cream cheese, or jam in the middle. I’m kind of a purist, though – I like it just as it is.

  5. Joy, seriously, this recipe makes my day! My husband & I both love mochi.. I’ll have to surprise him with this homemade treat one day soon :)

    … off to google our nearest asian supermarket!

    • That makes me so happy! You know, in Portland I could find mochiko at my local grocery store, so you might have luck there too. I know that Marukai definitely carries it – are you near one?

  6. Okay, you’ve convinced me – I will make these :-)

    I’ve always been curious about mochi and it does sound totally do-able. Thanks for sharing the recipe Joy!

    • Adina, if you can make gluten-free bagels successfully (they looked SO good!), you can definitely make these. :) xo

  7. These look amazing Joy! I’ve never heard of them before either. Are they like jelly or similar to Turkish Delight? Must try these and must say – your photography here is beautiful!! M x

    • They’re not really jelly-like, but they’re more like Turkish delight. Fluffy and a little sticky. And basically just the most delicious thing ever. You can find the ready made stuff in London at Go Sushi, I think, if you want to try it before making a whole pan. :)

  8. I loved this post and will have Auntie Shirley show it to Grandma! She will LOVE being famous.

    Your photography captures the mochi in all its softness.

    Love,
    Mom

  9. Love this post. The mochi look dee-lish! You really have captured the sweetness in your pretty photos :)

  10. I love mochi! Plain, with beans inside, or wrapped in a pancake…. any style. We also love the mochi covered ice cream treats from Trader Joe’s. Your pink ones look scrumptious!

  11. Ok, Stephanie is definitely speaking our language here. Yum!
    Have you ever been to one of those fancy mochi shops where the mochi look like little works of art? They’re almost too pretty to eat. Well, yours look too pretty to eat. (It never dawned on me that mochi was GF. Great fact to keep in mind.)

  12. I have been looking for gluten free sweet treats and these look amazing! Can’t wait to try them!!

  13. yum yum yummm!! i made mochi last week and filled it with peanut butter and jelly! just finished the last of them and now i am sad :-( these look different though! i must try them, as i have a ton of rice flour left!

  14. OH my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh! You are my favourite person right now.
    I LOVE mochi. Thankfully we have Japanese grocery stores here so I’m never at a loss for mochi, but when I lived in Japan I fell in love with strawberry daifuku which, sadly, I’ve never since. I’m totally going to make it using this mochi recipe. So excited!

  15. Aw yeah – I love mochi. in fact, my sis and I were just talking about it the other day. Glad I found the recipe here.

  16. I am very excited to try this!

    I was wondering if the coconut milk was a substitute for something else?

    It doesn’t seem like a “traditional” ingrediant (forgive my ingnorance, if it is).

    Just curious! :-)

    • Aslo have you ever tried flavoring the mochi?

      • No, I’m kind of a purist. You know how it is when your grandma makes something really good — it’s hard to beat the original.

    • The coconut milk is actually always used as one of the main ingredients and isn’t a substitute. It gives it flavor and substance. I hope you’ll let me know how you like it!

      • Christine says:

        Just made this – it’s yummy!

        I don’t think the coconut milk part is traditionally Japanese (I don’t think they had a lot of coconuts back in the day), but possibly a Vietnamese or other Asian/Pacific Island style of mochi?

        • Christine, I’m thrilled to hear you made it! You must be right; this style of mochi is popular in Hawaii, where coconuts are abundant.

  17. Chelsea Weiler says:

    I was wondering if I could use corn starch instead of potato starch?

  18. Okay, I just got home from the gym and have 3 hrs. before work, I’m totally making these right now. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thanks

  19. I just made a batch and they are super yummy! The consistency was a little more cakey than I’m used to. Is that pretty normal with this recipe?

    • Hmm, I don’t think they’re usually cakey when I make them this way. They’re a bit smooth/gooey, actually. I’ve had friends who have had to extend or reduce the baking time, so I’m wondering if that’s what you’re encountering too…? You may try reducing the time by a few minutes to see if the consistency is more like what you’re used to.

    • i know what you did wrong! i made the same mistake today…you forgot to cover it with foil im guessing =P my last batch turned out awesome..but it turned out cakey hthis time becuse i forgot to cover it with foil..

  20. OMG! I’ve tried sooooo many mochi recipes, and FINALLY I am happy to have found this one! My daughter and I are big fans of daifuku/mochi, and while we love just buying them from the Japanese and Asian stores in our area, we’ve been dying to make mochi at home too! I guess you can say my daughter can be quite a mochi critic, and after we made your recipe, we both agree it’s a winner!!! I can see us making these for years to come. We are ready to make a second batch! ^_^ THANK YOU for sharing!

    • Amy, I’m so glad you like it! It’s totally addictive, isn’t it? It’s so easy. Whenever I have mochiko on hand it doesn’t last long because of this recipe.

  21. oh yum! reminds me of the delicious soft pink chichi dango from honolulu! are you located in hawaii? ^__^

    • Lyndsay, you’ve hit the nail on the head! This is my grandma’s chichi dango mochi recipe. I’m originally from Hawaii, but I’ve been living off island (London, Portland, Boston) for the past 10 years or so.

  22. I just made some with almond extract. It was like a marzipan candy. It’s so amazing, I had to share.

    There is a woman here locally who is world renowned. I may have to see what all she has and do some experimenting.

  23. I made this recipe–seriously delish, but so much! I shared it around after cutting it up but even then it took an hour to slice. If I halved the recipe, would it take half the time to bake do you think? Because one way or another, I am making this again!

    • Hmm I wonder why it took so long to slice. Did you use a plastic knife? That makes it so much easier, and should just glide through. I haven’t tried making half the recipe but I would imagine it would take about half the time. You might just check on it to see if it’s on the firm side. So glad you liked it! And we always figure that the quantity makes it fun to share. Plus that, we’re gluttons for it, so we eat a whole bunch of it ourselves!

  24. Hi Joy, these little mochi look amazing. I actually do not really know how they taste cause it is the first time I read about this kind of sweet treat. I want to make them. I was wondering what you mean by vanilla? Is it vanilla sugar, powder, or extract? Thanks a lot for the help.
    Best
    Lena from mahalolena.com

    • Welcome, Lena! Thanks for pointing that out – I hadn’t realized that I failed to specify the first time. Vanilla = vanilla extract. I hope you’ll let me know what you think of this recipe when you try it!

  25. Helena Shimizu says:

    If I add filling do I do that before or after baking? Can these be shaping into balls and rolled in sesame seeds and would that also happen before or after baking. Thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try it.

  26. Happy new year Joy! This recipe looks delicious – so glad I found your website via twitter! :)

  27. Tiffany M. says:

    Made this mochi for New Years and it was perfect. Only problem was I could not stop eating it as I cut it up!

  28. Thanks so much! Turned out great the first time making. Since it was all for me I just stuck it in some Tupperware instead of individually wrap em. Thanks again will surely keep this in my recipe book.

  29. Wow! does this recipe work with komeko too?

  30. I stumbled across your site after becoming totally obsessed with eating mochi during a recent trip to Taiwan. Your recipe makes it seem doable and I live in Istanbul where I will never ever find mochi as long as I live. Can you tell me how many cups or grams 1lb of the sticky rice flour is? Thanks!

    • Hi Jasmine – welcome! I’m not sure how many cups/grams of mochiko you’d need to use because I always weigh it. I know it’s a pain, but because of the way that the flour settles, a cup in one environment could be a lot different than a cup in another environment. It’s a lot safer to weigh the flour for this recipe, in order to achieve consistent results.

  31. Where can I find the sweet rice flour or can i just use any rice flour. Same with the potatoe starch can i use corn starch?

    • Sweet rice flower is sold as “mochiko” in Asian grocery stores. I usually buy the Bob’s Red Mill version, which is available in my local grocery store. You may have to find a grocery store with a big Bob’s selection! And, yes, corn starch is a good substitute for potato starch if you can’t find the latter.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    I was wondering what can you use instead of coconut milk? I’m allergic to coconut but would love to make mochi, I’ve never had it before. It sounds so yummy!
    Thanks!

    • Elizabeth, I honestly don’t have any experience making the substitution so I poked around the internet for an answer. The consensus seems to be that there’s no good substitute. However, there ARE other kinds of mochi you can make without coconut milk! Check out my mochi ice cream post for a simple outer mochi layer that you can make in the microwave. Spread that in a pan, let it cool, and you’ll have a similar end result.

  33. I have all the ingredients! Can’t wait to try your recipe out! Mochi has been at the top of my list for cravings <3

  34. michelle says:

    This was so yummy and so easy too! Was wondering if u have tried making other flavors like peach or some other fruit?

  35. Christine says:

    Hi Joy, I’d like to try this recipe. May I know how many ml is a can of coconut milk? And can I use rice flour instead of sweet rice flour? will it make any differences? Thanks :)!

    • Christine says:

      Oh, is sweet rice flour = glutinous rice flour? Thx again!

    • One can of coconut milk is about 398 mL. I’ve read that substituting rice flour for sweet rice flour is a really bad idea, although I haven’t tried it myself. I’d stick to the mochiko (sweet rice flour) because that’s what gives it its consistency!

  36. Does it get smaller after you cook it cause it filled the dish alot

    • It should be pretty high in the pan, but not overflowing. There should be about a half inch of room (or more) between the top of the mochi and the top of the pan.

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