It’s a standard tradition in Japan to have a Kagami Mochi for the new year. Normally, this is placed in front of the Kamidana and serves as a reminder for the renewal and togetherness that this time of the year brings. Last year, we got our Kagami Mochi really really late. And it didn’t come in until after the new year. This year, it at first appeared that there would be no available mochi- so we decided we were going to make our own.
The process is fairly simple, but quite messy. I decided to take pictures of the whole ordeal for all of you to look at 🙂
Ingredients for the mochi. We used a recipe featured on Cooking with Dog (on Youtube). If you ever are interested in learning more about Japanese cooking, I highly recommend their channel.
The process is fairly simple. You take the mochiko, mix it with sugar and then add water. Mix it well. You boil water in a pot, and once it reaches boiling point, you’ll put your mixture’s pot on top of it- double broiler style. You put a large towel covered lid over that, and let it go to town for 15 minutes. Apparently, if you wanted, you could microwave it instead.
Afterwards, you take your mixture out of the pot and lay it onto a pile of katakuri starch (potato starch). Depending on what you’re making, you might need to work quickly and mess with the mochi before it cools. For us, we were able to let the mochi rest before trying to form it into balls.
We let our balls rest for a while. During this time, I set up the ozen for the mochi which included trying to make shide. I was only partially successful. Afterwards we placed them onto a plate and then put the plate into the ozen. We decided to decorate our mochi with the orange and crane from last year’s mochi. It would have been better to use a real mini orange, but we couldn’t find any small enough. All of the Clementines were waaaaay too big this year. So we opted for a fake one.
The whole experience was pretty fun. Trying to work quickly mixed with long periods of waiting made for an interesting dynamic in the kitchen. It was quite difficult to not eat everything in sight. I love mochi ❤ I feel like the energy spent and the bonding that came from making it ourselves made it a better offering to the Kami than a store bought plastic kagami mochi (technically there are real mochi inside). Even though the shape isn’t perfect, and the technique isn’t quite correct, the energy and thought make a larger impact. And I can’t wait to make another batch next year!