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i love it so mochi

Recipe: matcha green tea mochi ice cream

There is a period in summer when the sun is set on BROIL and I slink around barely tolerating the heat (or not tolerating it, as Jeremy might point out). The best I can muster is a combination of avoiding the sun and ignoring it. By the time the pine pollen has cleared in the mountains, we are chomping at the bit to get outside and run, hike, bike, anything. The snow pack is dwindling which isn’t abnormal for late June, but I cry on the inside to see it melt. Still, it means wildflowers are sure to follow.

a little ice remains on lake isabelle

That morning hike got the ball rolling on a day of many very excellent things. There was a package waiting for me when I got home – the very best kind of package. My friend, Jamie, gifted me several AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL custom-made cutting boards from her studio. Her craftsmanship and artistry left me speechless, as did her generosity. Also? She is totally badass. I am already sleeping with the little board under my pillow, I love it so much.

i shall cherish these

In the evening, I took Jeremy to dinner at his favorite restaurant in Boulder, Frasca, to celebrate his official notice of tenure.

congratulations, sweetheart!

And to top off an already terrific day, we were rewarded at home with lightning storms and REAL rain that washed away the pollen, soaked the thirsty ground, cooled the air, and smelled of mountain summer.

forked lightning

cloud to cloud strikes

We have since been enjoying milder temperatures, periodic rainstorms, and dramatic clouds forming over the high peaks. But I know the heat will attempt to return, as it competes with the clouds for attention. For the past few weeks, the only foods I’d been wanting to prepare were cold or frozen. Sometimes in late afternoon, the house would be so warm I’d open the freezer and cram my head and shoulders into the bottom shelf for a brief second, or two, or three… While I was in the freezer last week, I noticed a quart of passion fruit ice cream in the door and decided I ought to do something with it.

you’ll need potato starch (or cornstarch) and glutinous rice flour

Mochi is one of my favorite Asian treats. The slightly sweet rice flavor and chewy texture is wonderful with ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt. You have no doubt seen the mochi ice cream nuggets sold in Asian grocery stores or the Trader Joe’s freezer troughs. When I lived in Southern California, I was in an eternal state of overheating. I routinely poured my upper body into the Trader Joe’s freezers and when I approached the “now it’s awkward” time threshold, I’d grab a box of mochi ice cream to go.

Two things: 1) Glutinous rice flour doesn’t contain any gluten. I have to say this every time because someone out there freaks out every time. It’s just a descriptor for how dang sticky the stuff is. 2) Mochi is stupid-easy to make.

water, matcha green tea powder, sugar, glutinous rice flour

mix the matcha and rice flour together

add the water

Whenever I make daifukumochi (little rounds of stuffed mochi), I always use a microwave to cook the mochi. If you don’t have a microwave, I guess you could steam the mochi. Nuking seems like a much easier way to do it.

whisk in the sugar

cover with plastic wrap

microwave until the mochi darkens and gels (but don’t burn it!)

I’ve made this three times and the best results occur when you microwave the mochi for 2 minutes on high, stirring occasionally to keep hot spots from burning, and then microwave in 30 second increments until the whole mass is gelatinous and dark rather than milky (if that makes sense). Take care, this stuff gets HOT.

pour it onto a baking sheet full of potato starch

cut into nine pieces

Do you really need potato starch or cornstarch? Well, yes. If you don’t drop the mochi onto the starch and pat it down with more starch before you begin handling it, I guarantee that everything in the room is going to be stuck to that ball of mochi before it’s over. It’s difficult enough as it is with the starch. Flatten it into a square or circle with your hands to 1/4-inch thickness, then cut it into 9 pieces. Let the mochi cool completely. Meanwhile, quickly scoop out tiny balls of ice cream, about 1 tablespoon each and set them on a plate or tray. Pop those into the freezer to firm up. When the mochi has cooled, take one ball of ice cream from the freezer and wrap it in a piece of mochi.

i used passion fruit ice cream and matcha green tea ice cream

wrap quickly, as the ice cream will start melting immediately

Wrapping mochi is the biggest pain in the ass, especially when your ice cream is fast turning into a puddle. Pinch the dough together around the ice cream ball, press it into a spherical shape, and put it in the freezer to set. I had more success with the firmer passion fruit ice cream than the very soft green tea ice cream. This is why you want everything to be cold or at least completely cooled before assembling. Once frozen, the mochi is fine even with little ice cream leaks. Be patient and definitely get some practice before promising 4 dozen mochi for a potluck.

to serve, i place them in little cupcake papers

Making mochi is simple and easy. Wrapping mochi around ice cream in the heat of summer is a little crazy-making. Eating a homemade mochi ice cream is definitely worth the trouble (in my opinion).

a summer treat in a little package

Matcha Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream
[print recipe]
green tea mochi based on this recipe

1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 cups potato starch or cornstarch
9 1-tbsp scoops of ice cream (passion fruit or matcha green tea), frozen

In a medium bowl, whisk the rice flour and matcha powder together. Stir in the water until smooth. Stir in the sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave the mochi batter on high power for 2 minutes (give it a stir after 1 minute to prevent burning). Stir the mochi and cook 30 seconds at a time until there is no more liquid in the mochi. Layer potato starch or cornstarch on a rimmed baking sheet or pan. Scrape the mochi onto the starch. Sprinkle more starch over the mochi and begin to press the mochi out to a square or circle of 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the mochi into 9 equal pieces and let cool completely. Place one frozen scoop of ice cream in the middle of a mochi square and quickly wrap the mochi around the ball, pinching the ends together to seal the mochi. Try to avoid letting the ice cream melt or else the mochi begins to lose its stickiness. Place the mochi ice cream in the freezer. Repeat for remaining mochi. Let thaw a few minutes before serving. Makes 9 mochi ice cream.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

strawberry daifuku mochi chocolate mochi cake passion fruit mochi green tea ice cream

25 nibbles at “i love it so mochi”

  1. Kristin says:

    Pain in the a$$ or not, I’ve been wanting to try mochi, and this looks like fun (I say now, but I will probably be cursing you later).

  2. Kristin says:

    Oh! And congratulations to Jeremy!

  3. Susanne says:

    Congratulations to Jeremy – getting tenure is MAJOR!

    These mochi look so beautiful. I know that when I try to make them, it will totally turn into an I Love Lucy episode, but I’m going to give it a shot anyhow.

  4. Collette says:

    Congratulations to Jeremy!

    Love the lightning photos. And the mochi recipe. One day when I feel like handling the crazy… ;-)

  5. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    I have some leftover (homemade) green tea ice cream in the freezer and have always wanted to make my own mochi. This looks like it will be my next project! Congrats to Jeremy!

  6. farmerpam says:

    Never had mochi, now I’m curious. Honestly, it just never seemed too appealing. But, I’d never had pork bao buns either, and as I type this I have a 15 pound pork shoulder in the fridge destined to be turned into those yummy pillows of goodness for a 4th of July party we’re attending. The hosts of this party had tried the last ones I made this past Chinese New Year, and happily declared them “better than the ones we had in Montreal!”. ( And those Montreal pork buns were the yardstick to measure all buns by, according to them.) So, yeah, I’m now on a mission to find some of that rice flour. What else have I been doing without that the rest of the world knows about? Thanks again stranger friend. Signed, East Coast Butterling. :)

  7. Val says:

    Ahhhhhhhhh! This is seriously one of my FAVORITE things on the planet AND it is gluten free. I see a lot of green tea mochi in my future. Again, you hit the nail on the head for me. GORGEOUS lighting in your shots, just beautiful.

  8. Cindi says:

    I love green tea ice cream – but (of course) had never heard of mochi. It looks so good – and very pretty to boot! And yes, congrats to Jeremy!

  9. marissa says:

    I love “butterling” in the above comments! And yes, congrats to all whoot whoot to Jeremy. Love everything as always. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to subscribe to your blog. Oh, and off topic …. Made a kick @$$ bahnmi and wound up using anise extract just an fyi. Inspired by your previous blog

  10. Larissa says:

    The first time I had a mochi ice cream ball I didn’t know what to expect and I was totally freaked out. Now I love it and crave them all the time. However, could you please tell me where you get your matcha green tea powder? I’ve never been able to find it before. I live nearby in Denver.

  11. Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says:

    The mochi looks so perfect! Love them! I really like mochi with ice cream. It looks like they are not hard to make at all. I am going to make this next week!

  12. Denise says:

    Seriously, how do you continue to amaze me? Do you know this is my favorite kind of mochi? Do you know you are amazing? A huge congrats to Jeremy, what a fabulous way to start the summer.

  13. Emy says:

    Congratulations to Jeremy! This looks really yummy. I love the lightening shots and I look forward to seeing those gorgeous cutting boards in some of your recipe photos!

  14. jenyu says:

    Kristin – yeah, I can only wrap but so many before I start stuffing them in my mouth out of sheer frustration with the wrapping process. And thanks!!

    Susanne – thank you! Yes, that I Love Lucy episode is EXACTLY what went through my mind ;)

    Collette – thanks!

    Eva – thank you.

    farmerpam – wow!! You must be a pro at the char siu bao now! I’m coming to YOUR house :)

    Val – thanks :)

    Cindi – thank you xo

    marissa – thank you!

    Larissa – ha ha, I was curious the first time I tried it, but have since become totally addicted. I will warn you that they don’t LOOK hard to make, but they are some squirrely little melty balls of ice cream, so work quickly.

    Denise – awww, you’re so sweet!! Thanks, my dear. xo

    Emy – yeah, I’m excited to use these boards too. Thank you!!

  15. Anna says:

    Congratulations to Jeremy! And thank you for yet another wonderful recipe. These will come in handy with the hot summer weather :)

  16. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) says:

    Wow, those look lovely and perfect! I’ve still never tried making mochi from scratch (even though I’ve had the right kind of glutinous rice flour in my pantry for ages), and I definitely would never be ambitious (or, dare I say, crazy) enough to try wrapping my own homemade mochi around ice cream. In other words, I’m impressed! : ) Thanks for sharing the recipe and all of your tips.

  17. Eileen Thai says:

    I always get the green tea mochi ice cream at Trader Joe’s! Can’t wait to make it when the weather allows. Thank you for the tips, and congrats to your hubby!

  18. May says:

    I’ve always wanted to try mochi, and I just recently bought matcha powder! And so, I want to do this recipe. Question though.. I don’t own a microwave at home (I know.. I know).. If I were to steam the mochi batter, do I still have to stir it every 30 seconds?.
    Btw, Thanks for all the recipes & tips! I really enjoy making them!

  19. jenyu says:

    May – no, I think every 30 seconds is just because the microwave can burn the mochi pretty quickly. However, I haven’t tried cooking it steamed, so you may want to google around and see if someone else has done it (and written about it). Hope it works out for you!

  20. Christi says:

    OH MY GOSH! This reminds me of my childhood summer spent in Hong Kong. Since it was so hot, there were several trips a day made to the Circle K, also known as, O-K, there and mochi ice cream was one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing.

  21. green tea ice cream daifuku mochi says:

    […] I made a dairy-free version of the ice cream for Si, then converted into daifuku with this recipe. […]

  22. Thank you says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love mochi ice cream but it’s hard to find it in China, so I will make some myself! Can’t wait to try this :D

  23. Red bean mochi. » Two Red Bowls says:

    […] the mochi on high for a few minutes, giving it a stir, and going to town with it.  Maangchi and use real butter both post great tutorials and recipes for this  method.  And last, just because I was curious […]

  24. Marissa devon says:

    this recipe looks amazing, however, I was wondering if you had the calorific information.

  25. jenyu says:

    Marissa – Sorry, I don’t have the caloric information, but I’m sure you could try calculating it based on the ingredients and quantities. All the best!

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