Mochi ice cream is gaining popularity worldwide. For those of you who don’t know what it is, think ice cream balls wrapped in a thin mochi dough. It is fairly easy to make your own at home.
What is Mochi?
Mochi is the name for Japanese rice cakes. Cute hey! They are made by pounding steamed mochigome which is short-grain Japonica glutinous rice. Pounding the steamed rice makes it very doughy or paste-like. Finally, the dough is shaped into rounds or rectangles. Used for making Ozoni for new years feast, and also sweets such as sweet red bean soup.
Yukimi Daifuku is a commercial Mochi ice cream
The famous Japanese mochi ice cream that you can purchase in Japan is Lotte brand “Yukimi Daifuku”. So popular in japan and still the best selling ice cream. Sweet red bean paste is the usual filling for Daifuku. However, ice cream is what they fill Yukimi Daifuku with.
How to make a thin layer of mochi?
The thin layer of mochi is called “gyuhi” in Japanese. Fortunately, we don’t need to pound steamed rice. There is an easy way to make it. Place flour called “Shiratamako” in a microwave-safe bowl with sugar and water. Wrap and microwave for a couple of minutes.
Which flour is the best to make mochi?
The options are Shiratamako, Glutinous Rice Flour and Mochiko. These flours are all slightly different although they are made out of same Sticky rice or sweet rice which is called “mochigome (mo-chi-go-may)”. The main difference between Shiratamako, Glutinous rice flour and Mochiko is the process of making them.
My first choice is Shiratamako (白玉粉) . Shiratamako mochi has a very smooth texture and stretches well when it wraps around the ice cream. The particles are finer and smaller than the cheaper options such as glutinous rice flour or Mochiko. Shiratamako is available from Japanese or Asian grocery stores or online.
Glutinous rice flour & Mochiko
Glutinous Rice Flour and Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour) are alternatives to make mochi. They are a cheaper option. Glutinous rice flour is about A$2 and readily available from major supermarkets in Australia. I have not seen it here in Brisbane but there is a similar product called “Mochiko” which literally means mochi flour. It is similar to glutinous rice flour.
Mochi Ice cream Flavour Choices
I used strawberry, green tea, and black sesame ice cream for the photos and they are the usual ice cream flavors I have in my freezer. If you cannot find these particular flavours in your hometown, you can use your favourite ice cream flavour such as chocolate ice cream. I sometimes have difficulties sourcing these Japanese flavours in Brisbane, Australia.
2 Tips to make mochi ice cream successfully
The recipe is not super difficult to make if you be careful with some steps.
Tip 1: The work surface is well dusted with potato starch called “Katakuriko” to roll out Mochi rice dough with a rolling pin. It requires a generous amount of Katakuriko Potato Starch, so the mochi does not stick to your fingers which in turn makes it less difficult to handle.
Tip 2: Ice cream should be scooped out into the shape and well frozen before it is wrapped up with the thin mochi.
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Japanese mochi ice cream
- 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.