Steam mochi for soft texture in less time
Most mochi recipes -- and there are hundreds of them -- rely on baking or microwaving. Fewer people seem inclined to make mochi the old-fashioned way, by steaming.
"I hope you can help me find a recipe for the traditional version of chi chi dango mochi," wrote Mary Rocero. "I grew up having the steamed version and all other recipes do not compare to it."
Chi chi dango -- sometimes called "plain" mochi -- is usually made with milk, and cut into soft bars. It's often found in layers of pink and white.
Steaming is actually quicker than baking, which normally takes an hour. Steaming takes about 20 minutes, and you can control the results for desired degree of softness. Mochi that's destined to be filled with bean paste, fruit, chocolate, peanut butter -- the combinations are endless -- is also steamed.
Mochi also can be made by boiling (kinda messy) and some types by frying.
The only trick with steaming is to be sure you have cheesecloth on hand, and don't over-steam, which will make your mochi hard. This recipe can be halved if your steamer is small, but cut the steaming time by at least five minutes. And although food coloring is optional, I'd suggest it. The natural color is a not-so-pretty off-white.
Steamed Chi Chi Dango
"What Hawaii Likes to Eat" by Muriel Miura and Betty Shimabukuro (Mutual Publishing, 2007, $28.95)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 package (10 ounces) mochiko
Katakuriko (potato starch), for dusting
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
A few drops red or green food coloring, optional
Combine water, milk and mochiko; mix well. Wrap in double thickness of damp cheesecloth. Place in steamer basket over pot of simmering water for 25 to 30 minutes.
Combine syrup ingredients. Bring to boil, then cool.
When mochi is just cool enough to handle, add syrup a little at a time, folding it in until well-blended. Use just enough syrup so mochi is as soft as you like it. Roll in katakuriko, then cut into pieces. Roll in katakuriko again, or wrap in waxed paper.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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