If you’ve never had poi mochi, you’re missing out. Deep fried balls of sweet rice flour and poi, YUM YUM YUM.
I don’t know who to credit as the original creator of the famous poi mochi, but I surely remember my first encounter with it. Years ago, a local family had a little pop up shop in front of one of the big box stores on the island. They called themselves Uncle Lani’s Poi Mochi. They deep fried these amazing balls of goodness and popped it in a little white box with a stamp of their logo on it. I could eat them by the dozen if my mom would have let me back then.
Then to my oh so broken heart they stopped coming to their usual spot and even to the outer island. Ahh now what was I to do? Well, naturally, you figure out how to make your own. And alas now I can just whip up my own batch when I’m craving some.
If you love mochi, check out some of these other mochi recipes
- Mochi brownies
- Red velvet mochi waffles
- Mochi pancakes
- Ube mochi waffles
- Ube mochi
- Mochi waffles
- Ozoni (mochi soup)
- Classic mochi
- Butter mochi
What is mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese sweet rice cake. It is made from a short grain glutinous rice that is pounded into a paste. In Japan, mochi is a sign of good fortune. It is often consumed during the new year. Today, there are many variations to the traditional mochi. Like this recipe for poi mochi.
What is poi?
Poi is made from steamed and mashed kalo (taro) root and thinned with water. Poi is the ultimate staple food of Hawai’i. Kalo is highly revered in the native Hawaiian culture. The kalo plant is believed to be the original ancestor of the Hawaiian people. My favorite would have to be Aloha Poi.
Poi can be left out on the counter preferably in an airtight container for a few days. Personally I love one or two day old two finger poi. If you know, you know. If you don’t know I’ll enlighten you.
Poi goes through a fermentation process when left out. This changes the taste. We call it sour poi here and how I prefer it. Heck I’ll eat poi any way, fresh or sour. My daughter on the other hand prefers it fresh out of the bag. Two finger refers to the consistency of the poi. The thicker consistency poi requires less fingers to scoop and eat. Okay okay, I’ll admit, as a grown adult, I eat my poi with a spoon. But if I happened to be utensil-less I would surely revert to using what I was given to eat. . .my fingers.
You can store poi in refrigerator in an airtight container to slow the fermentation process down and prolong shelf life.
Where can I find poi?
If you live in Hawai’i, as I do, you can find poi in just about any local grocery store. If you are on the mainland you may have a harder time. But you’re in luck, there are a few shipping options. Taro brand poi makes a dehydrated powdered form that is sold on Amazon. Another option I have seen is from orderhawaiianfood.com. I have not used this option, but thought I’d share it with you.
What are the health benefits of poi?
- Low in fat
- High in vitamin
- Easily digestable
- Makes great baby food
- Gluten free
Now on to why you’re here, the star of the show. . .POI MOCHI.
What is poi mochi?
It’s just that, mochi made with a poi base. Its crispy golden brown shell and sweet gummy center makes for great pupus (appetizers) or dessert.
What’s in poi mochi?
- POI (well obviously)
- Mochiko flour
Where can I find mochiko flour?
Mochiko flour can usually be found in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store. But as we’ve seen the trend, you can also purchase it on Amazon. I like to use Koda Farms brand of mochiko flour (not sponsored), but you can use any you like.
How to store poi mochi?
Poi mochi is best eaten fresh. You can eat it in a day or two later, but at that point it’s pretty soggy. If you aren’t planning to eat an entire batch in a day or two I suggest mixing up the batter, cooking what you need, and storing the rest. You can store the batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it in a zip top bag for 4-6 months. When ready to make another batch, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. You can also defrost under warm water or in the microwave.
How to make poi mochi?
Heat cooking oil of choice to over medium high heat to about 350-375F. Meanwhile combine, poi, water, sugar, and mochiko flour. Mix until well combined. Dough will resemble that of thick muffin batter. Using a small cookie scoop, place about 1 tablespoon of dough into the hot oil. Fry for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown turning halfway through the cooking time. Remove poi mochi from hot oil and place on a paper towel to catch the excess oil. Cool ever so slightly and ENJOY!
- Heat cooking oil of choice to over medium high heat to about 350-375F.
- Meanwhile combine, poi, water, sugar, and mochiko flour. Mix until well combined. Dough will resemble that of thick muffin batter.
- Using a small cookie scoop, place about 1 tablespoon of dough into the hot oil. Fry for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown turning halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove poi mochi from hot oil and place on a paper towel to catch the excess oil. Cool ever so slightly and ENJOY!
© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!
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