With a mochi addicted daughter, I've sought to make my own Mochi at home. I'm talking about the kind of mochi usually eaten on New Years day...the kind made at various Mochitsuki events, pounded sweet rice.
Originally, I hoped to purchase an electric Mochi Machine similar to a bread machine but have been unable to locate one. All online sources are completely sold out. I've emailed Zojirushi and they've discontinued theirs. After searching the internet, I came up with this site
which suggests a method of combining the rice cooker and the bread machine. After 3 batches, I've had limited success. Each batch yielded a mochi cake that was way too moist when cooked. Each time I soaked the sweet rice overnight. When cooking the first batch, I drained the water till it was probably 1/8" over the rice. I cooked it in the rice cooker and let it steam an additional 15 minutes before putting in the bread machine. When I took it out and shaped it, it was exciting because they looked great. When I went to cook them, they blobbed out into a shapeless form of goo. So I decided to freeze them. That didn't help. They just hold too much moisture. So the next batch, I reduce the water to just level with the rice. I ended up with the same results, froze them again, same thing. This last batch, I drained out almost all the water. You couldn't even see the water in the rice. 3 cups rice and maybe a cup of water. When the rice cooker turned off, it was still crunchy on the top portion. I put it in the bread machine anyway. The machine pounded out most of the crunch but still, it's way too moist.
When I buy the mochi, it is usually frozen. I put it in the microwave turning it over once during heating ....cooking it until it puffs up. When I remove it, it's still round, holding it's shape, so that I can run it under water and then roll in sugar and kinako mix. The home made stuff is just too moist. If I reduce the cooking time to the point where it remains in it's round shape, it's just too gooey. I usually throw these into donburi and let them soften. When I try this with the home made ones, even from frozen, they just kind of goo out, dissolving into the donburi broth, which defeats the purpose.
Any of you mochi connoisseurs have suggestions? I even sent my hakujin husband to Mitsuwa the last time he was in Orange County on business to look for a machine. They don't know when they'll get any in.