Just Jenn Recipes

Mochi making 2010

Like an Olympic athlete I’m saving my energy for the big game – New Year’s Day Oshogatsu. Last year’s event was epic and I need to at least make it up to par again.

A key component in my party is fresh mochi, so off we went to Food Librarian’s house for their annual mochi making event. 50 years of tradition don’t lie – these people know their stuff.

It starts the night before with the soaking of the mochi rice. Normal people do this about 2 cups at a time – this right here is 150 pounds of rice being prepped…

Then it goes to the steamers!

Next, into the extruders, where rice goes in and mochi comes out

…and is grabbed by ‘The Catchers’. If you are asked to be a mochi ‘catcher’ you must have nerves of steel (or no feeling in your fingers) to perform this task.

The Catchers hands are sprayed with Pam because the fresh mochi is SO sticky, the Pam helps when then they form the burning hot mochi (no joke) into nice rounded shapes.

Then the mochi goes to the racks to cool down.

Then it’s off to the flour rooms. Here mochi goes to cool some more and then be covered in Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour) so that it won’t dry out.

This is ‘my’ fave task because I get to play in the flour like it’s snowing. The only white Christmas I’ll get in soCal is a mochiko one!

Then the little mochis go off to the packing room. Here the older generation sort and pack all 150 pounds of mochi into various containers for church, family and friends. This is where the love is.

Now I can enjoy the fruits of – er, everyone else’s labor – and eat! FRESH mochi with soy sauce and sugar the old skool way. There is nothing better in the whole world. And now to get ready for…New Year’s Day!

For different ways to eat mochi, go HERE.

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Mochi making 2010



12 Responses to “Mochi making 2010”

  1. Sandra Dee says:

    Amazing. Where do you do all of this? Who has the steamers and the drying racks and the space to accommodate an operation like this?

  2. Kasey says:

    I am fascinated by this post! What fun! What is the texture of the mochi like? It looks different from the mochi that my daughter used to get on her yogurt from Pinkberry.

  3. Tara says:

    wow, who knew. I love Mochi, but now I definitely have a greater appreciation.

  4. Gloria says:

    How do you make your ozoni? It looks so pretty.

  5. justJENN says:

    Everyone makes theirs different – mine is def NOT traditional. I start with a dashi stock and then add a BUNCH of things: tofu, char siu, kamaboko, mushrooms and of course toasted mochi! Really all you need is mochi. ;)

  6. justJENN says:

    Mochi is very sticky, VERY. People die every year in Japan from choking on it, no joke. The little bits they sell at Pinkberry are a little tougher and since they aren’t fresh and in small pieces – they are much easier to chow down on.

  7. justJENN says:

    Believe it or not they do it in their house and clear out the rooms every year just for this event! That’s commitment!!

  8. Dina says:

    Wow! that is amazing. I’m telling you I need more variety of friends! Seriously! I see there’s that extruder thing you mentioned is that in place of the pounding it and possibly flattening someone’s hand? B/c I don’t see that in your pictures

  9. Sandra Dee says:

    I am slackjawed in total amazement.

    I think it is an amazing tradition and one that I hope the next generation continues!

    Happy New Year & Happy Mochi to all……

  10. Sandra Dee says:

    Wow. I used the word amazing/amazement twice.

    Time to look for new words.

    Stunning. Awesome.


  11. Kasey says:

    So interesting! I am going to have to try fresh mochi one of these days!!! Crazy that people in Japan die from choking on it!
    Happy New Year! Looking forward to your post-party posts about your grand food celebration! :D

  12. Karen says:

    I enjoyed reading your post about the Mochi making, especially got choked up when you mentioned the room where the love is. At our house we always believe that love is a key ingredient in homemade food. :)
    You’re so lucky you have such fun and sharing friends.
    Thanks, Jenn!

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