The Difference: Ankoro Mochi vs Bota Mochi vs Ohagi
“Mochi (餅)” is a Japanese word for plain white rice cakes made of glutinous rice called “Mochi-Gome (もち米)”, and is often used in traditional Japanese “Wagashi (和菓子)” sweets.
Ankoro Mochi, Bota Mochi, and Ohagi
When Mochi is used in the Japanese confections, it is typically covered in something sweet. A quintessential example of such sweet coverings is sweetened Azuki red bean paste called “Anko (餡子)” or “An (餡)”.
The Japanese sweet consisting of Mochi rice cake entirely covered with Anko paste actually has 3 different names, that is, “Ankoro Mochi (あんころ餅)”, “Bota Mochi (ぼたもち)”, and “Ohagi (おはぎ)”, and as I wrote about the difference before, actually Bota Mochi and Ohagi are the same thing.
How Ankoro Mochi is Different from Bota Mochi or Ohagi
Then, how is Ankoro Mochi different from Bota Mochi or Ohagi? This time, I will talk about it.
Ankoro Mochi (あんころ餅)
One theory holds that Ankoro Mochi used to be called “Ankoromo Mochi (餡衣餅)” which was abbreviated to Ankoro Mochi later. Ankoromo is a compound word composed of “An (餡)” that is a sweet red bean paste and “Koromo (衣)” meaning “covering” or “coating” in Japanese, by the way.
Thus, Ankoro Mochi is a glutinous rice cake coated in a layer of Anko paste, and the mochi filling is soft, smooth, and somewhat sticky in texture.
Bota Mochi (ぼたもち) or Ohagi (おはぎ)
On the other hand, the rice dough in Bota Mochi or Ohagi is made from a mixture of the glutinous rice Mochi-Gome and the non-glutinous rice called “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)” or simply from Mochi-Gome.
Not only that, but unlike that of Ankoro Mochi, the rice cake filling of Bota Mochi (Ohagi) is coarse and a bit grainy. This is because in the producing process of the filling, the rice grains aren’t completely pressed flat, but lightly pounded.
It could be said that Bota Mochi and Ohagi are essentially the same thing as Ankoro Mochi, but the latter is distinguished from Bota Mochi or Ohagi especially in that it has a smooth, plain glutinous rice cake inside.