Blog - Mochi, Japanese Rice Cake - What is it?

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Mochi, Japanese Rice Cake - What is it?



Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, traditionally consumed at New Year's Eve. In Japan, the average consumption in one year is about one kilogram per person. Mochis have a soft but bite-resistant consistency. They are sweet, but can also be hearty. They are filled with different things. They are sweetened with soya sauce, and in western countries, they are even filled with a chocolate filling. You can eat them with dips, or in dried form. In the dried form, they are also more durable, but rather hard. To counteract this, they are dipped in tea, or served as an accompaniment to Zoni, a special New Year's soup.


The small cakes are made from gluten. According to tradition, the rice is first steamed. Afterwards, the reism is beaten in large wooden tunes with wooden hammers. This can be really exhausting, as the rice lump has to be flipped after each stroke. This method of preparation is very time-intensive and is therefore now only prepared at popular festivals or at public demonstrations of sumo wrestlers. Mass production is now taking care of  bymachines. Instead of sticky rice, there are also other kinds of mochi, which are made with rice flour.

Be careful when eating!

At the end of 2013, two people died while eating mochi. On new year's eve 2014 and 2015, nine people died eating the snack. Why? Because they are so sticky and contentable, that one can stifle. As the New Year's tradition recommends their mass consumption, particularly the elderly are affected who have difficulty swallowing the sticky cakes. In Japan, the authorities warned that the Mochis should be divided into small pieces before they are given to children or the elderly. They should never be eaten alone. If a cake is stuck in the throat, a strong blow on the back is necessary to remove the plug. In extreme cases it is also advised to use a vacuum cleaner. We hope we have not ruined your appetite. If you stick to our tips, nothing can happen to you.