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Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi
GFJVNQ

Warabi Mochi is a traditional dessert enjoyed in Japan, especially during the summer months. Usually served chilled, it has a fun jelly-like texture. Chewy and “bouncy” textures are really popular in many Asian countries, celebrated for their unique and satisfying mouthfeel. From Taiwan’s boba drinks to Korea’s tteok (rice cakes) and all the different ways mochi is used in Japan, these textures add a playful and enjoyable element to a wide variety of traditional sweets and snacks. True Warabi Mochi is made using bracken (a type of fern) starch, which can be hard to find in the states, so I use the more widely available warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch).

I keep the traditional toppings of Kuromitso, a black sugar syrup, and kinako, a Japanese roasted soybean flour. Like most Asian desserts this isn’t cloyingly sweet. Instead it has the perfect drizzle of  sweetness from the syrup with a toasty goodness from the nutty roasted soybeans. It’s about to be your new favorite summer dessert. This is such an easy and pleasing confection, so let’s get into it.

the ingredients

Make the Kurimitso

I start by making the syrup so it has time to cool. It can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for whenever the mood for a little something sweet strikes. Japanese black sugar, known as kurozato, is a traditional unrefined cane sugar with a rich, molasses-like flavor and dark color. Unlike regular white sugar, black sugar retains more of the natural minerals and nutrients found in sugarcane, such as potassium, iron, and calcium. It often comes in solid blocks or granulated form, with a crumbly texture that can be easily grated or dissolved. It can be found at most large Asian stores or online and is worth seeking out for its unique taste. Dark brown sugar or muscovado can be used instead, but they are sweeter so I would omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

the sugars and water in a saucepan

simmering until liquid is syrupy

Cool the syrup to room temperature and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Making the Warabi Mochi

kinako for warabi mochi

whisking warabi mochi flour and water together

stirring the warabi mochi mixture on the stove

Making Warabi Mochi is identical to making a “pudding” in the pot and then pouring it out to let it set. And like any pudding, it comes together very quickly once the liquid starts to gel. Make sure you are constantly mixing/stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon as the warabi mochi cooks, so you can ensure a smooth consistency. Once the mixture starts to thicken and gel up, the color will change from snow white to translucent.

Then it’s ready to pour out onto the kinako lined baking pan.

pouring and shaping the mochi

Put it in the fridge to chill to at least room temperature, it will be easier to cut.

cutting mochi into cubes

Now it’s time to serve! Drizzle the kuromitsu sauce on top and serve with some extra kinako on the side.

pouring the syrup on top

I’m excited for you try this popular Japanese sweet, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And to see your pics, don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen.

Love Asian inspired treats? Check out our Almond Jello, Halo Halo, or this Mango Sago.

 

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picture of the warabi mochi dessert

Warabi Mochi

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ cup (82 gram package) warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch)*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup water

Kuromitsu (Black sugar syrup):

  • 4 ounces black sugar*
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

Topping:

  • ½ cup kinako* for the pan plus a little more for topping

Instructions

Make the syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the black sugar, sugar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Lower the heat to medium low (so it’s at a gentle simmer) and simmer it for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced slightly and has a light syrupy consistency, like maple syrup.
  3. Cool the syrup to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The syrup will last for several weeks or even months if stored in the freezer.

Make the Warabi Mochi:

  1. Sprinkle a ¼ cup of kinako on a small baking tray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the warabi mochi flour, water, and sugar and mix well. 
  3. Put the pan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer while stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. Once you start to see the mixture gelling up in the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and keep stirring with a wooden/silicone spoon, mixing/beating the mixture constantly, for about 5-8 minutes. The color will transform from white to a translucent color and the mixture will be thick like a pudding.
  5. Pour/scrape the mixture out onto the prepared pan, trying to keep it in a thick rectangular slab, about 1 ½ inches thick.
  6. Sprinkle another ¼ cup of kinako across the top of the warabi mochi.
  7. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes until it is slightly cool. (I  just leave mine on the kitchen counter until it’s room temperature because I’m weird and like it a little warm.)
  8. Cut the warabi mochi into small cubes and divide it into small serving dishes, making sure to get the kinako in the pan. Serve with the syrup and extra kinako on the side.
  9. You can make the wasabi mochi ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge for several hours.

Notes

*If you cannot find Japanese black sugar, feel free to substitute muscovado or dark brown sugar. However, these sugars are less bitter than Japanese black sugar so you can omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

*When I’m feeling lazy, I just mix confectioner’s sugar into the kinako and don’t bother with making syrup. Sift the confectioner’s sugar over the kinako and stir to combine. I use ¼ cup sugar (or more to taste) for every cup of kinako.

*Kinako is available in Japanese grocery stores. Koreans also use soybean flour; however, the flavor is milder and not as roasted. 

*Warabi mochi is best consumed the same day. If you refrigerate leftovers overnight, they will become hard. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on 50% power for a couple minutes to bring back the chewy bouncy texture. Add a little more kinako before serving and you’re good to go.

Keywords: sweets, dessert, mochi, japanese, treats, warabi


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