by Dina Furumoto
Every new year that comes, I am always super envious of my friends who make mochi as a tradition. Growing up, my family (neither my father nor my mother’s side) ever made fresh mochi. Instead, we have relied on family friends to bring us their freshly made super soft mochi so we can bring in the New Year with extra luck.
So for my New Year’s special episode of Dinner with Deeners, I wanted to make an easy and fun mochi recipe to share with my family at our Oshogatsu celebration. I don’t own a mochi-making machine nor do we have an usu or kine so I was excited to come across this recipe that didn’t require any specialty equipment.
Also in the spirit of the holidays, where I feel like my family comes together, I invited my little cousin, Aidan, to be my sous chef for this episode. Not only was it nice to bake and make memories with him (he is such a character and I swear my family and I will always remember this moment), it was fun to see him interested in making Japanese food and learning about Japanese New Year traditions. Also, I think he was excited to introduce the chocolate-y twist!
Please see the recipe below:
2 cups mochiko (10-oz pkg)
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cans evaporated milk (2 12-oz cans)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
But I think what made this recipe so heartwarming for me was on New Year’s Day, my family and I went to visit my Bachan at her nursing home. We knew she wasn’t going to be eating osechi like she is used to every year, let alone having mochi due to the risks of choking. But because the consistency of this mochi is more of a chewy brownie, we could give some to her. Although it isn’t the traditional mochi, it was heartwarming to know that she could still digest some good luck.
Plus, she REALLY liked it (we gave her 3 squares and she didn’t share with anyone). She even asked me to bring her some more next time I see her.
This mochi was also A HIT at our annual Oshogatsu family gathering this year and everyone enjoyed it. I know this recipe helped me start 2017 with a BANG and I hope it does the same with those who try to make it.
Happy 2017 Everyone!