How To Enjoy Japanese Mochi お餅の食べ方

Jump to Recipe Discussion
  • From sweet to savory, there are various types of mochi (Japanese rice cake) we enjoy in Japan. In this recipe I’ll show you how to make mochi in three different delicious flavors at home. 

    Japanese Mochi on a plate.

    After I shared Japanese New Year soup Ozoni recipe, I received a lot of feedback from my readers regarding the “mochi” I added in the soup.  They were surprised that I added “mochi” in the savory soup and asked me if it’s sweet.  The feedback made me realized that the Japanese and non-Japanese see the word “mochi” quite differently.

    Watch How To Enjoy Japanese Mochi お餅の食べ方

    Enjoy toasted Japanese mochi in 3 delicious ways, dip in soy sauce and kinako (soy bean flour), or wrap sweet anko inside.

    For non-Japanese, based on the feedback I received, when they see or hear the word “mochi” the first thing that comes to their mind seems to be the round stuffed glutinous rice balls.  They are usually filled with sweet ingredients such as red bean (more traditional) or chocolate, strawberry, mango, etc for more modern flavors.

    Daifuku Mochi on a red plate.

    However in Japan, we usually call these (pictured aboved) sweet mochi “Daifuku” or Daifuku Mochi” to differentiate from the regular mochi.

    What Is Japanese Mochi (餅)?

    In Japan, when we say “mochi”, it usually implies to plain mochi – either freshly made or cut packaged mochi available at the supermarkets.

    People making mochi in a wooden bowl and a tray of Rice Cake.

    Photo credit: (left) Miyuki Meinaka, (top right) Pixeltoo, (bottom right) Kropsoq via Wikimedia Commons.

    Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome (糯米), a short-grain japonica glutinous rice.  The rice is pounded into paste (left pic) and molded into the desired shapes such as round shape mochi, Maru Mochi (top right pic).

    When we eat mochi at home, we buy Kiri Mochi (bottom right pic) that are individually packaged in plastic bags.

    Japanese Mochi with Kinako, anko and soy sauce.

    How To Enjoy Japanese Mochi At Home?

    The freshly made Japanese mochi can be included as part of savory or sweet dishes.  For savory dishes, mochi is used as a topping for miso soup, Ozoni, and hot udon noodle soup (we call this menu Chikara Udon (力うどん)).  It can also be added inside Okonomiyaki.

    For sweets, we use Japanese mochi to make Mochi Ice Cream, Zenzai (Oshiruko), Strawberry Daifuku, and more.

    Making mochi from glutinous rice takes a long time and effort, therefore most families don’t make mochi from scratch anymore.  If we want to enjoy freshly pound mochi, we can do so by attending a mochi pounding event or some folks buy a small Japanese mochi pounding machine at home for this task (some of Japanese bread makers has an option for mochi pounding!).

    These days to enjoy mochi all year around and during the Japanese New Year, we can buy these pre-cut Japanese mochi (Kiri Mochi, 切り餅) from the supermarkets.

    Kiri Mochi in a package.

    Today I’ll show you 3 most popular recipes to enjoy mochi using these Kiri Mochi.  Each family cook these mochi differently based on their preference.  My family (in Japan) love crispy toasted mochi rather than boiled mochi, so we always toast mochi first before flavoring.  Read the Note section of the recipe for microwaving and boiling method.

    Japanese Mochi on a plate and a cup of tea on a wooden table.

    Types of Japanese Mochi

    Here are the three flavors we make today.  Anko Mochi, Kinako Mochi, and Isobeyaki.

    Anko Mochi (餡子餅) is a mochi where we place red bean paste inside the mochi.

    Kinako Mochi (きな粉餅) is mochi coated with a mixture of kinako (roasted soybean flour) and sugar.

    Isobeyaki (磯辺焼き) is mochi coated with a mixture of soy sauce and sugar, and wrapped with nori seaweed.  Most people prefer Isobeyaki without sugar, but my family always makes it with sugar. I assume this is not based on regional differences, but it depends on family’s preference.

    What’s your favorite?  When I was growing up, I couldn’t pick my favorite… So for the Japanese New Year Day, I used to eat 6 pieces of mochi – 2 in Ozoni, 2 Anko, 1 Kinako, and 1 Isobeyaki.  I wish I am young again so I could eat 6 mochi in one sitting without worrying increasing my waist size!

    Japanese Mochi on a plate and a cup of tea on a wooden table.

    Don’t want to miss a recipe?  Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox!  And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates.  Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

    4 from 2 votes
    How To Enjoy Japanese Mochi | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    How To Enjoy Japanese Mochi
    Prep Time
    2 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    12 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
    Servings: 3 mochi
    Author: Nami
    For Isobeyaki (soy sauce)
    For Kinako Mochi
    For Anko Mochi (red bean paste)
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Mochi Ingredients
    2. Place mochi in a toaster oven and toast until puffed up and golden brown, about 10 minutes (See Note 2).
      Mochi 1
    3. Add 1 Tbsp. of sugar to soy sauce and microwave for 20 seconds.
      Mochi 2
    4. Add 1 Tbsp. of sugar to kinako and mix well.
      Mochi 3
    5. Gently smash the mochi with your hand.
      Mochi 4
    6. For Kinako Mochi, soak the mochi in hot water, then dredge in the kinako + sugar mixture.
      Mochi 5
    7. For Isobeyaki, soak the smashed mochi in soy sauce and sugar mixture and wrap with seasoned nori.
      Mochi 6
    8. For Anko mochi, pull the smahsed mochi from both side and wrap around anko. It’s sticky, so be careful when handling.
      Mochi 7
    Recipe Notes

    1: Most people prefer Isobeyaki without sugar, but my family always makes it with sugar. I assume this is not based on regional differences, but it depends on family’s preference.

    2: Besides toasting/roasting the mochi, you can also boil it in the water until soft. You can also use a microwave to cook mochi. In a small bowl, put a mochi and cover with water. Microwave it until it’s soften.


    Homemade Anko recipe : click here.

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    You Might Also Like...

  • Just One Cookbook: Essential Japanese Recipes

    Love Our Recipes?

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Gourmet Getaways wrote:
  • TheKitchenLioness wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Emily wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Susan wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Rosa wrote:
  • Sandra | Sandra’s Easy Cooking wrote:
  • A_Boleyn wrote:
  • Choc Chip Uru wrote:
  • Hotly Spiced wrote:
  • Sissi wrote:
  • Eha wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • [email protected] Riffs wrote:
  • Rochelle wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • CAtherine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Linda | Brunch with Joy wrote:
  • Monica wrote:
  • Stephanie wrote:
  • Amy Tong wrote:
  • Mi Vida en un Dulce wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • K / Pure & Complex wrote:
  • Liz wrote:
  • Kitchen Belleicious wrote:
  • mjskitchen wrote:
  • Alyssa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Patty wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • sheri wrote:
  • Maggie wrote:
  • Julie B wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Elizabeth Ann Quirino @Mango_Queen wrote:
  • Tiffany Harvey wrote:
  • [email protected] Chef wrote:
  • Sandra wrote:
  • Ramona wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sasha wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom wrote:
  • Irene wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • tina wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • JoAnna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kokichi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Thomas wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Gem (Breakfast and salads) wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Linda P wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Linda P wrote:
  • Lion wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Wendy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • rita wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Rita wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Nadine Nakano wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ima wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Reece wrote:
    • Nami wrote: