Must.. Make.. Mochi.
Attempt number two: start with sweet white rice, not brown sweet rice. End result? Still lumpy and inconsistent. At least the plates all survived. I can’t figure out how to smash the rice bits that get suspended in the mass. I need a bigger mallet.
Ok, after a trip to Tucson to examine a mochi maker machine, I have decided that our current bread machine may be capable of pounding the mass into something mochi-similar.
Here are two of the better kinds of mochi candy out there: The first is Daifuku mochi balls. They have a sweet red bean paste in the middle, and a thick mochi shell. Pass them up if they are not FROZEN. Very important! When you are ready to consume one, let it thaw on the counter for about 15 minutes until you can easily reshape it.
These are very incredible in small amounts, but if you eat too much the mochi expands in your tummy and you feel really strange. This is not pleasant. My favorite flavor is the green one with Mugwart bits to get in the teeth. (no, not green tea, MUGWART!) Try some!
The second and most wonderful for American taste buds is: Mikawaya Ice Cream Mochi. This is the grail of all things mochi. Perfect combination of east-meets-west. The Strawberry, Green Tea, and Mango are among the finest experiences your mouth has ever had. (Yes, these had better be frozen also!) Thaw on the counter for about a minute, only until the Ice Cream softens slightly.
Not sure what the picture on the box represents. They are supposed to look like little stumpy balls of stickiness with a light dusting of rice starch and a pinch point.