By Food E Fare

Mochi, a traditional Japanese rice cake, is made from glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice or sweet rice. Here's a basic method for making mochi:


  • Glutinous rice (also called mochigome)
  • Water
  • Cornstarch or potato starch (for dusting)


Rinse the Glutinous Rice:

  • Start by rinsing the glutinous rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch from the rice.

Soak the Rice:

  • Place the rinsed glutinous rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Let the rice soak for several hours or overnight. This soaking process helps soften the rice for easier grinding.

Drain the Rice:

  • After soaking, drain the rice thoroughly to remove any excess water.

Grind the Rice:

  • Transfer the soaked glutinous rice to a food processor or traditional Japanese mortar and pestle called an usu. Grind the rice into a smooth, sticky paste. This can take some time and effort, especially if using a mortar and pestle.

Steam the Rice Paste:

  • Once the rice is ground into a smooth paste, transfer it to a heatproof dish or steaming basket lined with cheesecloth. Smooth the surface of the rice paste with a wet spatula or spoon. Steam the rice paste over boiling water for about 30-45 minutes, or until it becomes translucent and glossy.

Knead the Mochi:

  • Carefully remove the steamed rice paste from the steamer and transfer it to a clean, flat surface dusted with cornstarch or potato starch to prevent sticking. Use a wet spatula or spoon to knead the hot rice paste until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Shape the Mochi:

  • Once the mochi dough is smooth and pliable, it can be shaped into small balls or squares. Alternatively, you can fill the mochi with sweet fillings like red bean paste or sweetened fruit.


  • Freshly made mochi can be enjoyed immediately, either plain or filled with your favorite sweet fillings. It's often served during Japanese New Year celebrations and other special occasions.


It's essential to work quickly with mochi while it's still warm and pliable, as it can harden as it cools. Store any leftover mochi in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day or two, or freeze it for longer storage. When reheating frozen mochi, steam it briefly until warmed through and soft again.

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