Put the rice in a rice washing bowl and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Drain. Or put the rice in a bowl and fill it halfway with water. Rinse the rice in a swirling motion and drain most of the water. Repeat 5-6 times until the water runs clear and drain the rice through a strainer. Don’t use a strainer while rinsing the rice since the grains may fall through the holes.
Place the mochigome rice in a bowl and add the water. Let sit for 90 minutes. Don’t worry if it looks like the rice grains have absorbed most of the water, this is normal.
Transfer half of the rice and water in the immersion blender cup and blend until the rice grains have been pulverized into a milky liquid (don’t worry if it feel a little grainy to the touch). If you don’t have an immersion blender cup you can use any tall cup. Add the remaining rice and water to the cup and blend until smooth and milky. This step is very important so take your time blending everything!
Place a spatula in a bowl with room temperature water and set aside.
Transfer the mixture to a microwave safe bowl or plastic container and loosely cover with a lid.
Microwave on high for 1 minute and take the container out of the microwave. Fold the mixture with a plastic or rubber spatula or spoon and put the lid back on. There won’t be much to fold at this point since the mixture will be more liquid than solid. Microwave for 1 more minute and take the container out of the microwave again. Fold the mixture, put the lid back one and microwave for one last minute.
Fold the mixture with a spatula until the mochi looks glossy and put the lid back on. This time, microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this step two more times for a total of 3 times. The total microwave time is 4 1/2 minutes (3 times at 1 minute, 3 times at 30 seconds).
Dust a baking sheet with plenty of potato starch (really cover it since mochi is super sticky!) and place the mochi dough on top. Sprinkle potato starch on top of the dough and stretch it across the baking sheet using your hands. Let the mochi cool for 2 minutes so the mixture is easier to handle.
Place a serving plate next to the baking sheet and dust it with potato starch.
Dust your hands with potato starch – make sure you hands are dry when you do this! – and grab a small palm size ball of mochi. Pull and twist to separate it.
Shape it into a ball or any shape you like, and place it on the plate.
Grab another palm size ball of mochi and pull/twist to separate. Shape it into a ball or any shape you like, and place it on the plate. Repeat until all the mochi has been used.
How to serve mochi:
With kinako: Mix 2 parts kinako, 1 part sugar, pinch of salt. To serve, wet the mochi and dip it in the kinako, or place the mochi on a plate and sprinkle kinako on top.
With anko filling (daifuku):
Grab a small palm size ball of mochi and pull/twist to separate it. Stretch the mochi by gently pulling on each side to widen the surface. Scoop up a little anko and place it in the center of the mochi. Stretch the mochi a little more to widen the surface. Then fold each side to meet in the center and pinch the ends. Keep on pinching as you shape the mochi into a ball and set it on a plate.
HOW TO STORE MOCHI:
Mochi is best when it’s moist and chewy so always keep the rice cakes in an airtight storage container with a lid, or Ziploc bag, sealed.
FREEZING: Wrap the mochi balls individually in plastic wrap and placed them a Ziploc bag, sealed. They will keep for up to a month.
Keywords: wagashi, rice cakes, Japanese confection