I've written odes to mochi.
My last meal on earth would involve mochi. Possibly several courses of mochi.
I love mochi stuffed with red bean paste, flavored with purple sweet potatoes, baked with coconut, stuffed with fresh fruit, grilled until puffy and covered in soy sauce, stuffed with peanut butter, covered in chili paste, served with boy chok and beef...
I've yet to meet a mochi I didn't love.
Mochi and I understand each other on a deeper level.
If you've only tried mochi when it is either A) filled with ice cream or B) as a topping for frozen yogurt, you are missing out. If you've never had a savory dish that included sticky rice cakes, you are a poor poor soul.
Here's an easy-to-make, easy-to-love recipe for a savory mochi snack. I was inspired by my recent trip to the 626 Night Market, where Nani Kore Hawaii had huge skewers of Korean mochi wrapped with paper-thin bacon for sale. Mine certainly upped the meat to mochi ratio!
This recipe uses kirimochi, a hard and dry mochi that can be stored in your pantry for years before being grilled, fried, or even boiled. This is a handy ingredient to stock, and makes this recipe a cinch to prepare.
|I used very thin pork-belly|
2-3 sliced thinly sliced pork belly or bacon
1/4 cup shoyu
3 tbs brown sugar
For this recipe, you can use either bacon or very thinly sliced pork belly. I can't honestly taste the difference, although I supposed bacon could be saltier because it is cured.
Slice the kirimochi into four pieces (width-wise), then wrap with the bacon in an overlapping spiral fashion. I used roughly half a slice of bacon per piece of kirimochi.
After all the pieces have been wrapped, pan-fry in a non-stick pan over medium low heat until the bacon is completely cooked. Then turn up the heat to medium high to get a nice crispy exterior and to puff up the mochi a bit.
While you have the pieces cooking on medium low, combine the shoyu and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar has melted and the shoyu froths and boils. Take off heat and set aside until the mochi finishes cooking. The more you cook the shoyu mixture, the thicker it will become. You can decide if you want it more of a sweet drizzle or a thinner sauce to brush over the skewers.
Remove from pan, place on a paper towel to drain slightly. When cool enough to handle, thread the pieces onto a skewer. Brush or drizzle with the shoyu mixture and serve immediately.
This can be prepared over a grill, yakitori-style, if you've got access to one.
Beni Imo Mochi