4 Traditional Mochigashi Sweets that Don’t Use Rice
“Mochi (餅)” is a plain glutinous rice cake known as traditional Japanese food, often used in Japanese winter dishes, and steamed or baked mochi is characterized by its strong stickiness and chewiness.
Actually, not only in Japanese cuisine but the mochi rice cake is also often used in Japanese confections, and in Japan, a wide variety of mochi sweets generally called “Mochigachi (餅菓子)” can be seen.
The majority of Mochigashi treats have a long history and are made of glutinous or non-glutinous rice.
For example, “Daifuku (大福)” is a quintessential Mochigashi sweet made of glutinous rice called “Mochi-Gome (餅米)”, while the main ingredient of “Kashiwa Mochi (柏餅)” is non-glutinous rice powder “Joshinko (上新粉)”.
However, some Mochigashi confections don’t use rice and are made from starch or wheat flour, by which those desserts recreate the texture like real mochi rice cake.
2 Popular Mochigashi Made from Starch
And today, for people who are curious about those Mochigashi sweets, I will introduce 4 representative examples. First, here are 2 popular traditional Mochigashi sweets that are made from starch.
First off, “Kuzumochi (葛餅)” is a simple jelly-like dessert traditionally made from kudzu (arrowroot) starch, sugar, and water.
In recent years, there are few supplies of kudzu starch, so many Kuzumochi available in Japan are made from potato starch.
Warabi Mochi (わらび餅)
With about 1100 years of history, “Warabi Mochi (わらび餅)” is a chewy, somewhat sticky, simple mochi-like sweet traditionally made from bracken-root starch “Warabiko (わらび粉)”, sugar and water.
Today, without using Warabiko, Warabi Mochi is sometimes made with “Katakuriko (片栗粉)” potato starch.
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)
First, “Sakura Mochi (桜餅)” is a traditional Mochigashi sweet with over 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 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) and doesn’t use rice.
Like Sakura Mochi, the wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) Kuzumochi comes in 2 types.
One is made with kudzu starch and represented as “葛餅 (Kuzumochi)” using Chinese characters or Kanji, while the other is made from wheat flour fermented by lactic acid bacteria, represented as “久寿餅 (Kuzumochi)”.