Mochi Rice Cake Adds new Twists to Western-style Dishes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cheese fondue with mochi

Mochi rice cake can be used to add thickness to a dish when boiled. It can also be utilized as a major ingredient, as it becomes savory when grilled, culinary researcher Chinami Hamauchi said. She offered two Western-style dishes that take advantage of the versatility of mochi.

“As people want mochi rice cakes to be more sticky, the mochi has more water content recently,” Hamauchi said.

Given that, she came up with the idea of cheese fondue with mochi cakes. “If mochi is added to a sauce, it acts as a liaison,” Hamauchi said.

Vegetables can be any combination of items you have at home, such as daikon radishes and bell peppers. Miso, a fermented food like cheese, is used in a sauce and they go well with each other.

“With only a small amount of miso, the taste changes greatly. People who don’t like the smell of milk will find it easy to eat the dish,” Hamauchi said.

Cheese fondue with mochi

Ingredients (serves 1 to 2):

1 mochi rice cake (50 grams)

50ml milk

25 grams pizza cheese

½ tbsp miso

¼ broccoli

¼ cauliflower

⅓ carrot

4 sausages


1. Cut the carrot into sticks, separate the broccoli and cauliflower into florets. Put the carrot sticks into boiling water with 1% salt. When they soften a little, add the other vegetables and boil them. Add the sausages with incisions and cook until they get warm. Set them aside after water is drained.

2. To make the sauce, put the mochi and a tablespoon of water into a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap and heat it in a microwave at 600 watts for one minute. Remove it from the microwave and mix the mochi with a whisk until it becomes smooth. Spread it by adding milk little by little, until the mochi has melted to the point of being shapeless.

3. When the mixture thickens, add the cheese, cover with plastic wrap again and heat it in the microwave for one minute. Remove the plastic wrap and mix it with miso and a pinch of salt.

4. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and place it on a plate. Arrange the vegetables and sausages around the bowl.

If you do not have a special fondue skewer, a fork will do. The sauce features the richness of miso and cheese. With mochi rice cakes, you can easily make a delicious dish for guests.

Tomato stew with crispy grilled rice cakes is quite filling. “Mochi rice cakes that have a slight sweetness go well with distinctive flavors such as tomato sauce,” Hamauchi said.

The first thing to do is to brown the surface of the ingredients to prevent them from falling apart. “As mochi rice cakes tend to stick together when they swell up, place salmon and bell peppers in between,” Hamauchi said.

The sweetness of the stir-fried onion and the acidity of the tomatoes will enrich the flavor.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mochi and tomato stew

Mochi and tomato stew

Ingredients (serves 2):

3 mochi rice cakes

2 slices of fresh salmon

½ bell pepper

½ onion

150 grams tomato sauce

1½ tbsp olive oil

Italian parsley


1. Cut the mochi in half. Cut the salmon also in half and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cut the bell pepper into bite-size pieces and mince the onion. Put a tablespoon of olive oil into a heated frying pan and brown the mochi, salmon and bell pepper. Remove them and turn off the heat.

2. Put ½ tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. Add the minced onion and heat it to cook thoroughly. Add the tomato sauce, 100 milliliters of water, ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and bring them to boil.

3. Put the mochi, salmon and bell pepper into the sauce and simmer them at low heat for four to five minutes. Arrange the stew on a plate with Italian parsley.

As tomato sauce goes well with mochi, the dish will certainly stimulate your appetite. “Even everyday cooking can be fun if you change your perspective [of food items],” Hamauchi said. “I encourage you to make the most of mochi rice cakes.”