Japanese Mochi Recipe: How to Make This Soft Dessert

Japanese Mochi Recipe

Mochi is an adorable rice cake which has become an iconic Japanese dessert. It has a chewy dough texture and you can taste the sweet fillings on the inside. 

In Japan, people purchase or make mochi for festive purposes, like the Japanese New Year or Children’s Day. Nonetheless, mochi still has high sales all year round and remains popular among foreign customers.

Festive-specific mochi like the sakuramochi (pink mochi) for Spring time and Kashiwa-mochi for Children’s Day celebration have distinct appearances than the regular round mochi. The leaves wrapped around the festive mochis are edible and enhance the mochi’s fragrant smell. We give you a recipe for making the classic Japanese mochi with red bean fillings (anko).

Mochi Recipe

Recipe by Sunny
Prep Time

3 hrs and 30 min

Cooking Time



3hr and 35 mins



Ingredients and tools

  • ¾ cup of glutinous rice flour

  • ¾ cup of red bean paste

  • ¾ cup of water

  • 3 tbsp of white sugar

  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch (for dusting)

  • 6 paper muffin liners


  • Wrap red bean paste in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
  • Pour the glutinous rice flour into a microwave-safe bowl. Stir it with water, then sugar. Mix the ingredients until smooth.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and heat the mixture in the microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Afterwards, stir the dough and heat for another 15 seconds. Alternatively, you can steam the mixture on top of a boiling pot.
  • In the meantime, retrieve the red bean paste from the freezer and divide paste into 6 ping-pong size balls.
  • Before working on your mochi, dust your work surface with cornstarch.
  • While hot, being to divide the mochi dough into 6 equal parts and roll them into balls.
  • Flatten the mochi balls to the size of your palm and place the red bean paste balls in the center.
  • Pinch the mochi over the red bean paste until the paste is concealed inside. Make sure the seam is secured.
  • Sprinkle some cornstarch on top of the mochis to prevent stickiness.
  • Place the mochis on the paper muffin liners with the seam side down.

Mochi Colors and Fillings

Image credit: intensefoodcravings

You can give your mochi a vibrant color by adding in a teaspoon of color additives into the dough. Japanese mochi masters would use matcha or strawberry powder as coloring. 

The mochi filling can be anything other than red bean paste. Other common mochi fillings include ice cream, custard, strawberry, and mango. Just remember to freeze your fillings at least 3 hours before starting your mochi making process

Should I Pound the Mochis?

You might have come across the YouTube clips with the Japanese mochi masters hammering on the mochi dough. The repetitive punch on the dough is to ensure chewiness and push out any air bubbles trapped inside. 

It is not obligatory to pound on the mochi dough, but you can attempt a mochi pounding competition with your family and friends. All you need is a large plastic tub, a wooden hammer, and a pair of speedy hands.

Visit LokaEats for more delicious recipes.



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