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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


  • 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


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


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.


*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