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How To Make Kiri Mochi From Scratch

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Making kiri mochi at home is easier than you think. All you need is a few ingredients and tools to make yourself a delicious treat.

3 types of kiri mochi on a black plate

Soft, chewy kiri mochi made all in the comfort of your own home. What used to take traditional tools and lots of work can now be made at home with little effort. Amazing!

Mochi is definitely a Japanese dish, but has become such a huge part of the local Hawai’i culture and cuisine. Many families ring in the New Year making mochi. Ozoni or mochi soup is also a popular New Year’s dish here in Hawai’i.

ozoni japanese mochi soup

Chichi dango mochi is also very popular in Hawai’i and can be found at most grocery stores.

Traditional mochi is made by steaming sweet rice. Once the rice has been cooked it’s placed  in a large wooden/stone bowl called an uru and then pounded with a wooden mallet called a kine. It can then be made into kiri mochi.

Today many people use a mochi making machine and even some bread making machines can do the job too. Most people don’t have these at home and they can be a little pricey. This recipe will be made with a rice cooker and a stand mixer.

What is kiri mochi?

Kiri mochi is a type of rice cake. The Japanese translation to the word is cut rice cake. These are shelf stable, precut, dried mochi that can be found in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores.

kiri mochi

If you prefer to make things homemade then this is a great option to make kiri mochi at home.

Ingredients for kiri mochi

  • 2 cups* sweet rice
  • 2 cups* water
  • Optional toppings: kinako, shoyu, sugar, nori, anko

*Electric rice cookers come with rice cups which do not hold the same amount as a traditional standard US cup. A cup of rice using these cups is 180 mililiters, whereas a standard US cup is 240 mililiters.

kiri mochi sweet rice

The first step is cooking the rice. As previously mentioned, traditional cooking of rice is done by steaming, however making rice in an electric rice pot is so much easier. You can also cook the rice on the stove top or in the Instant Pot.

Once the rice has completed cooking it is then pounded into mochi. Instead of making the mochi base with traditional tools you can achieve a very similar texture using a stand mixer.

Of note, mochi is very sticky. When you are pounding the mochi be sure to wet your hands and kitchen tools to help prevent sticking. We’ll get to that in a bit. Once you are done making your mochi, soak your tools in water. You’ll thank me later when the clean up process is so much easier.

kiri mochi varieties

How to cook kiri mochi?

Kiri mochi can be cooked or heated through in a variety of ways.

  1. The first way is to toast the mochi in a toaster oven. Place the mochi on a greased (don’t forget this part) tray and toast until puffy and golden brown on top. Allowing mochi to cool on a rack helps keep the crunchy outer crust. If you place the hot mochi on a plate the heat will create steam and cause the crunchy outside to become soft.
  2. The next way is to place the mochi into boiling hot water. You can either heat water in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave or boil on the stove top. Once the water is hot remove from the stove. Place mochi in the water and heat until softened.
  3. Another option is to fry the mochi. Spray non-stick cooking spray to a frying pan set over medium high heat and fry until mochi begins to puff up and create a golden brown layer on top. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Ways to eat kiri mochi?

There are also a variety of ways to eat kiri mochi. It can be served both as sweet or savory options.

  • Kinako mochi. Kinako is roasted soybean powder and means yellow four in Japanese. Mochi is dusted with this powder and often a little sugar for a sweeter option.
  • Anko mochi: Anko is red bean paste that is popular in Japanese cuisine that is made from sweetened azuki beans.
  • Isobeyaki: Mochi that is grilled or pan fried and dipped in shoyu and often wrapped in nori.

Mochi is very sticky and chewy. Be sure to chew carefully.

kiri mochi toppings

How to make kiri mochi?

  1. For the rice: Add rice and water to a rice pot of a rice cooker. Rinse the rice until the water runs generally clear. Place in rice cooker and cook according to directions.
  2. Once rice has completed cooking, remove from the rice cooker. Place cooked rice into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  3. Set the mixer to low and mix for about 10-12 minutes or until the rice starts to form a sticky ball. Stop the mixer every few minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a wet, rubber spatula.
  4. Stop the mixer, remove the dough hook, and put on paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping the bowl every 30 seconds, or until the dough is sticky and smooth.
  5. Remove the mochi from the mixing bowl and place into a zip top bag. The mochi is very sticky. Using a wet rubber spatula works well. Do not zip the bag yet. Lay the bag on a flat surface and use a rolling pin to flatten out the mochi.
  6. Allow mochi to cool slightly. Zip up the bag and place in the refrigerator laying flat. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once mochi has hardened remove from the freezer. Keep the mochi in the zip top bag and cut into rectangle pieces.
  8. Heat mochi with your method of choosing. *See notes below*.
  9. For the kinako mochi: Mix kinako and sugar in a small bowl. Boil mochi according to the directions below. Once mochi has softened remove from water and allow excess water to drip off slightly. Then place in the kinako mixture to coat the mochi. Flip mochi and coat the other side.
  10. For the anko mochi: Heat mochi with your heating option of choice as listed below. Once mochi has been heated through, place the anko on the mochi. It can be eaten like this or folded in half.
  11. For the isobeyaki: Mix shoyu and sugar in a small bow and set aside. Cut nori sheet into about 2 inch strips. Heat mochi with your heating option of choice as listed below. Once mochi has been heated through, dip in shoyu sugar mix and wrap in nori.
kiri mochi varieties

Kiri Mochi Recipe

Yield: 24 pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Making kiri mochi at home is easier than you think. All you need is a few ingredients and tools to make yourself a delicious treat.

Ingredients

For the mochi

  • 2 cups sweet rice
  • 2 cups water

For kinako mochi (4 pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon kinako
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For anko mochi (4 pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon anko (red bean paste)

For isobeyaki mochi (4 pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon shoyu
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 sheet nori (dried seaweed)

Instructions

  1. For the rice: Add rice and water to a rice pot of a rice cooker. Rinse the rice until the water runs generally clear. Place in rice cooker and cook according to directions.
  2. Once rice has completed cooking, remove from the rice cooker. Place cooked rice into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  3. Set the mixer to low and mix for about 10-12 minutes or until the rice starts to form a sticky ball. Stop the mixer every few minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a wet, rubber spatula.
  4. Stop the mixer, remove the dough hook, and put on paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping the bowl every 30 seconds, or until the dough is sticky and smooth.
  5. Remove the mochi from the mixing bowl and place into a zip top bag. The mochi is very sticky. Using a wet rubber spatula works well. Do not zip the bag yet. Lay the bag on a flat surface and use a rolling pin to flatten out the mochi.
  6. Allow mochi to cool slightly. Zip up the bag and place in the refrigerator laying flat. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once mochi has hardened remove from the freezer. Keep the mochi in the zip top bag and cut into rectangle pieces.
  8. Heat mochi with your method of choosing. *See notes below*.
  9. For the kinako mochi: Mix kinako and sugar in a small bowl. Boil mochi according to the directions below. Once mochi has softened remove from water and allow excess water to drip off slightly. Then place in the kinako mixture to coat the mochi. Flip mochi and coat the other side.
  10. For the anko mochi: Heat mochi with your heating option of choice as listed below. Once mochi has been heated through, place the anko on the mochi. It can be eaten like this or folded in half.
  11. For the isobeyaki: Mix shoyu and sugar in a small bow and set aside. Cut nori sheet into about 2 inch strips. Heat mochi with your heating option of choice as listed below. Once mochi has been heated through, dip in shoyu sugar mix and wrap in nori.

Notes

  • Mochi heating options: 1. Toaster oven: Place mochi on a greased tray and toast until puffed up and golden brown on top. 2. Boil: Heat water in the microwave or on the stove until boiling hot. Place mochi in water for 1-2 minutes or until softened. 3. Fry: Place mochi in a frying pan and cook until golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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kiri mochi pin


By on January 18th, 2021

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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16 thoughts on “How To Make Kiri Mochi From Scratch”

  1. I LOVE mochi, and making kiri mochi looks like such a fun afternoon activity to do at home. I really like how you gave three different options for both cooking and flavoring. I can’t wait to try this recipe out soon!

    Reply
  2. Such an interesting post and dish! I’ve never had mochi but I’d love to try it. Going to see if I can order or buy sweet rice. I’ve not seen it here in Italy but am sure I can order online.

    Reply
  3. So do I use the “cup” that came with the rice cooker to measure the rice and water, or do I use a Standard U.S. cup? or does it not matter as long as I use an equal volume of each?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • I use a rice cup, but as long as it’s 1:1 it’s fine. You can make as much or as little as you want. I wouldn’t go much less than 2 cups if you have a large stand mixer as the paddle may not reach all the way down to the rice if the bowl is not full.

      Reply

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