January 30, 2005

Making Mochi: A photo montage

Today, I asked my mother to make mochi. She seemed rather surprised that I asked her to make anything since I never really ask. I just eat whatever is there in her house and there's always plenty. Isn't that what parents are for, anyway? She was very obliging as she always is with any culinary requests and took out the rice cake maker. She asked me if I wanted to take the rice cake maker that my grandmother (my father's mother) used to use before she passed away two years ago. My grandfather, currently in the process of moving, gave it away and my mother already has one. I am taking it, of course.

Here's the rice cake maker. My grandmother was very fond of making rice cakes with brown rice. It's a Japanese model and my parents are very thankful for this clever invention. First, you have to soak sweet rice in water for several hours to loosen it up. When the sweet rice is bloated, you put it in the machine and let it do the work.

While we were waiting for the machine to do the work, my father came in with wheat bread from Great Harvest Bread Company which opened up last year in the neighborhood. He ate it with garlic olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce. M and I were familiar with the Great Harvest bread from our days in Michigan and we were really happy when they opened a store here. The bread tends to be a bit soft but who doesn't love soft bread? We also had shrimp that my parents had brought back from their recent trip to San Felipe, Mexico. The shrimp had been frozen at its most fresh stage so it retained its fresh flavor. My mother steamed them and we sprinkled a bit of lemon before we peeled the skin off.

The machine beeps when it is ready to knead the rice. The rice becomes a doughy clump and gets spinned around in the machine. Kids, including my niece, just love looking at this process. The movement is fast and jerky yet sensuous. Kids have no idea. I hope.

Anko from a can. To make it from scrach, you'd have to bloat and boil red bean and add sugar. For a very, very long time. I like anko with whole red beans instead of smooth paste but everybody's different.

Form a little ball with anko inside. The dough is very sticky so we use potato starch to cover the ball. It helps to have small but firm hands. These belong to my niece, who insists on being part of the assembly line cooking adventures at my mother's table.

Et voila!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You spelled the word scratch wrong