4 Traditional Mochigashi Sweets that Don’t Use Rice
“Mochi (餅)” is a plain white glutinous rice cake known as a traditional Japanese food. Often used in winter dishes in Japanese cuisine, the steamed or baked rice cake is characterized by its stickiness and chewiness.
Actually not only that, but Mochi rice cake is also used in Japanese confections. In Japan, there are various varieties of traditional Mochi sweets, which are generally called “Mochigachi (餅菓子)”.
The majority of Mochigashi have a long history and are made from glutinous or non-glutinous rice. For example, “Daifuku (大福)” is a quintessential Mochigashi sweet made from glutinous rice, while the main ingredient of “Kashiwa Mochi (柏餅)” is non-glutinous rice powder called “Joshinko (上新粉)”.
However, some Mochigashi confections are made without using rice, but made from starch or wheat flour, by which those desserts recreate the texture like real Mochi rice cake.
2 Popular Mochigashi Made from Starch
For those who are curious about those Mochigashi sweets, today I will introduce 4 representative examples. First, here are 2 popular traditional Mochigashi sweets that are made from starch.
“Kuzumochi (葛餅)” is a simple jelly-like dessert traditionally made from kudzu arrowroot starch, sugar, and water. However in modern times, many Kuzumochi available in Japan are made from potato starch, because today there are few supplies of kudzu starch.
Warabi Mochi (わらび餅)
“Warabi Mochi (わらび餅)” is a simple Japanese confection with about 1100 years of history. It is a chewy, somewhat sticky Mochi like sweet traditionally made with bracken-root starch “Warabiko (わらび粉)”, sugar and water. But today it is sometimes made using Japanese potato starch “Katakuriko (片栗粉)”, instead of Warabiko.
2 Popular Mochigashi Made from Wheat Flour
Lastly, here are 2 popular traditional Mochigashi confections that are made from wheat flour.
Chomeiji Sakura Mochi (長命寺桜餅)
“Sakura Mochi (桜餅)” is a traditional Japanese Mochigashi sweet with more than 300 years of history and comes in two types, that is, “Chomeiji Sakura Mochi (長命寺 桜餅)” and “Domyoji Sakura Mochi (道明寺 桜餅)”. Actually, the former, Chomeiji Sakura Mochi isn’t made without using rice, but consists of sweet red bean paste wrapped in a thin sheet of baked wheat flour dough, which is further wrapped with a pickled cherry leaf.
Like Sakura Mochi, the traditional Japanese confection Kuzumochi is actually available in 2 types. One is made with kudzu starch and represented as “葛餅 (Kuzumochi)” using Kanji Chinese characters as shown above, while the other is made from wheat flour fermented by lactic acid bacteria and represented as “久寿餅 (Kuzumochi)”.