Get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious and refreshing Japanese dessert – warabi mochi! Often associated with the term “toro toro,” which describes rich and creamy foods that melt in your mouth. This soft and chewy delicacy has been enjoyed by Japanese people for centuries, and its popularity continues to grow worldwide. Its unique texture and refreshing taste make it the perfect dessert for a warm spring day.
In today’s blog, we will explore the history and culture of warabi mochi, how to make it, and where to find it. Let’s dive in!
History and Culture
Warabi mochi originated during the Heian period in Japan (794-1185), and it was a popular delicacy among the aristocracy. It was made from bracken starch, which was a rare and expensive ingredient at that time. Bracken starch is rich in fiber, which can help with digestion, and is also a good source of protein and vitamin B1. The dessert became more widespread during the Edo period (1603-1868) when it was served in tea houses as part of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The name warabi mochi comes from the word “warabi,” which means “bracken” in Japanese. Bracken is a type of fern that grows in Japan and is used in many traditional dishes. Warabi mochi is typically eaten during the summer months and served chilled.
Unlike regular mochi, it has a much softer, jelly-like texture. In Japan, it often comes in a variety of flavors and toppings, such as matcha green tea and black sesame. The dessert can also be enjoyed in different shapes, such as cubes or rolled balls in various sizes.
The dessert has become so popular that it has even inspired fashion trends, with warabi mochi-themed clothing and accessories! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own variations of the dessert by experimenting with different flavors and toppings.
How to Make Warabi Mochi
Making warabi mochi is fun and easy but requires a few specialized ingredients. Because bracken root starch is difficult to find, you will usually find warabi mochiko starch instead. This powder, although similar in appearance to hon warabiko, is generally made of sweet potato starch, tapioca starch, or kudzu arrowroot starch.
Here is a simple recipe for making warabi mochi:
- 80g of bracken starch
- 500ml of water
- 100g of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of kinako (roasted soybean powder)
- 1 tablespoon of sweet soybean flour
- Water, for boiling
- Ice cubes
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the bracken starch and water and stir well.
- In a separate saucepan, mix the sugar and 200ml of water and bring to a boil.
- Slowly pour the bracken starch mixture into the saucepan while stirring continuously.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir for 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Pour the mixture into a rectangular baking dish and allow it to cool and solidify.
- Once the warabi mochi has solidified, cut it into small pieces and set aside.
- Boil a pot of water and add the warabi mochi Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the pieces float to the surface.
- Remove the warabi mochi from the water and place it in a bowl of ice water to cool.
Serve the warabi mochi with kinako and sweet soybean flour.
Where to Find Warabi Mochi
Warabi mochi can be found in many traditional Japanese sweet shops and some restaurants specializing in traditional Japanese cuisine. It is also available at some specialty grocery stores and online retailers. If you are in Japan, you can find warabi mochi in almost any department store or shopping center.
Learn more about wagashi, or Japanese desserts, on our blog Essentials of Japanese Cooking: Wagashi
So, whether you’re a fan of traditional Japanese desserts or just looking to try something new, make sure to add warabi mochi to your list of must-try treats! Have you tried warabi mochi before? Share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan