Getting hit by another heat wave in Brisbane called for Japanese mochi ice cream. Japanese mochi ice cream is any flavour of ice cream wrapped with thin and chewy mochi (rice cake). It’s a bit like finger food because the ice cream is not on paddle pops or anything but you just grab the ice cream mochi balls with your fingers. They are super delicious.
The famous Japanese mochi ice cream that you can purchase in Japan is Lotte brand “Yukimi Daifuku”. It has been the best seller ice cream and has been sold in Japan for a long time. Mochi Ice cream is my daughter’s favourite ice cream ever.
Yukimi Daifuku is a great name. Yukimi means snow viewing and daifuku is mochi filled with sweet azuki beans (called “an”). Yukimi Daifuku is filled with ice cream instead of sweet azuki bean paste. The thin layer of mochi is usually made out of “Shiratamako” in Japan but if you live outside of Japan like me, “Shiratamako” is not always available.
Which flour to use?
In Australia, Shiratamako is available from Japanese grocery stores and Glutinous Rice Flour, which is another option, is available from regular grocery stores. You can use both to make Japanese mochi ice cream. But what is the difference between Shiratamako and Glutinous rice flour? They are both made out of Sticky rice or Sweet rice which is called “Mochi-gome (mo-chi-go-may)” mochi rice. Although they are both made out of the same ingredients, the process of making Shiratamako and Glutinous rice flour is different.
Altanative to Shiratamako : Mochiko
Glutinous rice flour is cheaper (about 2 A$) and readily available from major supermarkets in Australia. But for making such delicate mochi dessert, I would go for Shiratamako and pay a little bit more (about A$6). The texture of the thin mochi is very smooth and stretches well when it wraps around the ice cream because the way Shiratamako is made. Shiratamako particle is finer and smaller than its of cheaper opetion glutinous rice flour or Mochiko. I have not seen it here in Brisbane but there is a similar product called “Mochiko“, which is similar to Glutinous rice flour. It is made out of the same ingredients but Shiratamako works better because of the texture that Shiratamako can create.
Ice cream Flavour choices
I used strawberry, matcha, and black sesame ice cream for the photos and they are the usual flavour of ice cream I have in my freezer. I did not make matcha and black sesame ice cream for this post but if I had time I would have made the matcha and black sesame ice cream myself. In Japan, all three flavours are available from Haagen Dazs but here matcha and black sesame flavour are not sold.
Tips to make mochi ice cream successfully
Japanese mochi ice cream is not super difficult to make if you be careful with some steps. It requires a generous amount of Katakuriko so the mochi does not stick to your fingers and makes it less difficult to handle. Ice cream should be scooped out into the shape and well frozen before it is wrapped up with the thin mochi. Also I should not have made Japanese mochi ice cream when we had the heat wave although we were so desperate to eat cold food to cool ourselves down.
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- 90 g Shiratamako
- 180 ml water
- 50 g caster sugar
- 80 g Katakuriko(potato starch) or corn starch
- 300 g Ice cream of your choice
- Scoop ice cream about 30g each with an ice cream/cookie dough scooper into an aluminium foil-layered small muffin tin and keep them in the freezer until its ready to wrap with mochi
Making mochi sheets
- Place Shiratamako, sugar, and water into a microwave safe bowl and stir them thoroughly.
- Loosely wrap the bowl with cling wrap and microwave the mixture on 600w for 2 minutes.
- Take out the bowl and stir the mixture with a spatula and place the cling wrap again and microwave on the same setting for 1 and half minutes.
- Transfer the cooked mochi to a prepared work surface generously dusted with Katakuriko (potato starch).
- Dust more Katakuriko (potato starch) over the mochi in order to prevent the mochi sticking to your fingers and the rolling pin. Press the mochi down to spread the mochi and roll thinly with a rolling pin.
- Cut out the mochi into round shapes using a round cookie cutter about 9cm(3.54inch) in diameter. It should make about 10 round mochi sheets.
- Place some cling wrap on a kitchen bench or a work surface and place a round mochi sheet then lay another layer of cling wrap on top and another mochi sheet. Repeat the process for all mochi sheets.
- Refrigerate the mochi sheets to allow it to cool down completely for at least 30 minutes.
Wrapping ice cream with mochi sheets
- Take the mochi sheets out of the fridge. Place one mochi sheet with a cling wrap underneath on a kitchen bench or a work surface.
- Dust the excess katakuriko (potato starch) off the mochi sheet with a pastry brush.
- Place one ice cream scoop on top of the mochi sheet. Lift up the mochi sheet to bring to the top and pinch them all together to seal the mochi sheet.
- Wrap whole mochi ice cream with the cling wrap and twist them at the top and put it back in the freezer. Repeat the same process for the remaining.
- Let the ice cream freeze again for a few hours.
- Leave the Japanese mochi ice cream for a few minutes at room temperature before eating in order to let the mochi sheets soften.