Is Mochi Healthy? | Is This Delicious Japanese Snack Really A Good

Mochi is a popular and beloved snack in Japan – but is it healthy? Read on to find out is mochi healthy or not?

When it comes to talking about Japanese desserts, probably the first dish that comes to your mind is mochi.

From traditional ceremonies to modern functions, you will find mochi everywhere in Japan. And it has been an inseparable part of our culture and tradition since the year 749 during the Japanese Heian period.

The immense popularity of this Japanese dessert attracts many foreign tourists and visitors to taste this pure delicacy.

But those who are health-conscious often ask, “is mochi healthy?”

Well, today, I will answer it elaborately, but before that, if you don’t know what mochi is, let me give a brief on it.

Is Mochi Healthy?

Mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert made from pounded sticky rice. Mochi is a healthy Japanese snack as long as you eat it in moderation.

Mochi is high in carbohydrates and sugars, so it should not be eaten in high quantities or too often.

However, it does contain good levels of iron and calcium, as well as some other vitamins and minerals. Mochi is also low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol – which also makes it healthy!

Eating mochi occasionally as part of a balanced diet should not be a problem, and can be a great way to add a delightful treat to your meal.

Mochi is a healthy and versatile Japanese dessert commonly consumed as a part of the diet in Japan.

Is Mochi Healthy?

Are you curious to know the details? Okay, now I am going to enlighten you about that.

What Is Mochi?

Mochi is a traditional Japanese rice cake made from sweet rice flour. It has a stringy texture with a sweet taste.

mochi

Though peanut is traditionally used as its filling, nowadays, the filling has become versatile with strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, and so on.

chocolate filling mochi

Besides the variation in the filling, you will also find a variety of flavors in Japanese mochi, such as green tea, served with ice cream, or as a savory meal wrapped in dried seaweed and served with soy sauce.

multicolored ice cream mochi

The origin of this glutinous rice cake is related to the Shinto religion, where mochis are offered to the Gods, asking for happy marriages and good fortune.

It is also an important part of the Japanese new year meal.

new year special kagami mochi

Now that you got a clear concept of mochi, let’s get to the main point.

Health Benefits of Mochi

As I said earlier, mochi was offered to Gods. So in the past, it was considered food for the Gods and used in religious offerings.

But later, when rice farmers discovered that mochi is ideal for increasing their stamina, since then, it has been especially popular among them.

maru mochi

Samurai also found this food helpful for the same reason and the ease of its convenience.

Another significant benefit of Mochi is that it is incredibly filling. And to replace an entire bowl of rice, you only need a small matchbox-sized portion.

Apart from that, this Japanese rice cake is extremely healthy as it is one of the few carbohydrate sources packed with protein.

healthy strawberry red bean mochi

It is made of glutinous rice, cornstarch, and sugar.

ingredients of mochi

The short-grain japonica glutinous rice usually used to make mochi, has high nutritional value. Besides carbohydrates, it has a higher protein content than other short-grain rice.

What makes mochi even healthier is that it is gluten-free and also free of cholesterol.

The reason behind it is the method of preparation, where the rice is steamed, pounded into flour, and then shaped.

44 grams or one single serving of mochi has a total of 96 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, 1.0 mg of sodium, 6.0 g of sugar, 1.0 g of fat, and zero trans or saturated fat.

White mochi

And when we combine it with seaweed, it also becomes rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese as well.

seaweed

For its extensive health value, we Japanese often enjoy mochi as our evening snacks, as it is easy to make at home.

When I have let you know about its health benefits, it might be difficult for you to believe that mochi can sometimes be dangerous and life-threatening.

Yes, you heard it right. But the fact is it is not the ingredients where the danger lies. Instead, it comes from the texture of the dish, which tends to be sticky.

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Check out the following section to know the details.

Why Is Mochi Dangerous to Eat?

Mochi is healthy and delicious, but it can also be deadly if you do not follow proper procedures while eating it.

I am saying this because of its glutinous makeup. Besides, it has a dense, thick, and sticky texture that can cause choking.

dense sticky texture

Young children and elderly citizens are especially susceptible to this. They should avoid consuming mochi altogether.

You can be surprised to know that a number of accidents and even deaths occur due to mochi every year in Japan. And it tends to be so severe that Japanese officials issue necessary warnings every year on the right way of eating mochi and what to do in case of choking.

When people overeat too quickly without maintaining proper eating procedures, choking usually happens at that time.

According to Japanese official advice, you should bend over the victim, hit hard on his back, and hold his lower jaw to help remove the mochi.

Once my little brother started choking while eating mochi, and I instantly applied this method to him. Thanks to this useful method, I could remove the mochi successfully.

Well, I don’t want you to face the same situation as me, and that’s why now I am going to teach you the correct ways of eating mochi.

How to Make Mochi? – Easy Mochi Recipe 

When it comes to making mochi, the process is simple yet rewarding. 

Mochi is a Japanese dessert that is prepared and cooked with a dough made from sticky Japanese rice.

 Despite how delicious it is, there’s no denying that it’s healthy – with low fat content, complex carbohydrates, and some protein, mochi is an excellent snack to add to your diet. 

To get started, here’s a guide on how to make mochi.

Step 1: Begin by gathering the necessary ingredients. 

These include glutinous rice flour, red bean paste, a rolling pin and wooden spoon. Once you have all the items ready, it’s time to get cooking. 

Step 2: Start by pouring the sticky rice into a pot and cover it with about 1 inch of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. 

Step 3: Once done, pour the cooked rice onto a wet wooden board and mash it with a wooden spoon. 

Step 4: Depending on your preference, you can either leave it in a sticky form or shape it into a dough ball.

Step 5: For the next step, your dough should be shaped by rolling it between two spoons or on a rolling pin. 

Step 6: Once the dough is rolled, make small balls out of it and press your finger in the center to make a pocket. 

Step 7: Fill the pocket with the frozen red bean paste and close in the edges.

Step 8: Then, take the mochi balls and press them into flat circles. Place them between two sheets of wax paper, press them down with a rolling pin, and shape them into the circles of mochi. 

Step 9: Now your mochi is ready to be cooked. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. 

Step 10: Grease it lightly with some cooking oil and plop in the mochi. Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. You can put a lid on the pan intermittently to ensure it cooks evenly. 

Step 11: Once cooked, remove from the pan and let it cool. Finally, serve your mochi with a bit of honey or your favourite topping. 

As you can tell, the process of making mochi is quite simple. Besides being yummy and healthy, mochi can also be an enjoyable experience for the whole family to take part in. And with all these easy steps, you’ll soon be a mochi expert. Happy cooking!

How to Eat Mochi Balls?

To eat these dense, sticky mochi balls, first, you need to cut them into small bite-sized pieces. The pieces shouldn’t be bigger than the size of a small matchbox.

Then chew each piece thoroughly and swallow slowly.

This process produces enough saliva to moisten the mochi pieces, which will help you avoid choking.

Most Mochi eaters maintain a strict eating procedure that includes a lot of chewing and careful swallowing.

Who have difficulty following this procedure, either in the inability to chew or in trouble swallowing, mochi can be especially dangerous to them.

Anyway, now that you have learned how to eat mochi safely, you may wonder what it tastes like!

What Does Mochi Taste Like?

If you are curious about its taste, I will say that the texture of Japanese mochi is more important than the taste.

You can imagine it as a combination of a marshmallow and a gummy bear with a starchy aftertaste.

However, mochi is rarely consumed by itself. It is usually filled with fun flavors or wrapped in complementary leaves, as I said earlier.

mochi with leaves

Well, now you want to relish the taste of mochi after reading all this. Right?

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But do you know when and where you can find them?

Okay, chill out. I am letting you know about it.

When And Where to Eat Mochi?

You will find mochi everywhere in Japan. It is a staple in supermarkets, konbini, and pantries in our country, but there are different mochi seasons also.

Traditional Japanese days of significance and holidays often feature their own unique style of mochi. It is widely consumed as part of various celebrations such as New Year, Sakura or Cherry Blossoms, Children’s Day, and Girls Day.

With the advent of spring, every nook and corner of the country gets adorned with cherry blossoms, and you can enjoy mochi as sakura mochi at that time. A pink mochi is wrapped in a salted cherry leaf, symbolizing the Sakura (cherry blossom in Japanese).

sakura mochi

On the other hand, Children’s Day in May is celebrated by eating two variants of mochi. One is kashiwamochi- an oak-leaf wrapped mochi typically filled with sweet beans or white miso, and another is chimaki, a variant of dango covered in bamboo leaves.

kashiwa mochi

Meanwhile, on Girls Day in March, you will find a rhomboid-shaped mochi, or hishi mochi. It has red, green, and white layers of color getting from jasmine, water caltrop, and mugwort, respectively.

chimaki and kashiwa mochi

I have nothing more to inform you regarding this topic. Let’s conclude it here.

How to Make Mochi? – Easy Mochi Recipe 

When it comes to making mochi, the process is simple yet rewarding. 

Mochi is a Japanese dessert that is prepared and cooked with a dough made from sticky Japanese rice.

 Despite how delicious it is, there’s no denying that it’s healthy – with low fat content, complex carbohydrates, and some protein, mochi is an excellent snack to add to your diet. 

To get started, here’s a guide on how to make mochi.

Step 1: Begin by gathering the necessary ingredients. 

These include glutinous rice flour, red bean paste, a rolling pin and wooden spoon. Once you have all the items ready, it’s time to get cooking. 

Step 2: Start by pouring the sticky rice into a pot and cover it with about 1 inch of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. 

Step 3: Once done, pour the cooked rice onto a wet wooden board and mash it with a wooden spoon. 

Step 4: Depending on your preference, you can either leave it in a sticky form or shape it into a dough ball.

Step 5: For the next step, your dough should be shaped by rolling it between two spoons or on a rolling pin. 

Step 6: Once the dough is rolled, make small balls out of it and press your finger in the center to make a pocket. 

Step 7: Fill the pocket with the frozen red bean paste and close in the edges.

Step 8: Then, take the mochi balls and press them into flat circles. Place them between two sheets of wax paper, press them down with a rolling pin, and shape them into the circles of mochi. 

Step 9: Now your mochi is ready to be cooked. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. 

Step 10: Grease it lightly with some cooking oil and plop in the mochi. Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. You can put a lid on the pan intermittently to ensure it cooks evenly. 

Step 11: Once cooked, remove from the pan and let it cool. Finally, serve your mochi with a bit of honey or your favourite topping. 

As you can tell, the process of making mochi is quite simple. Besides being yummy and healthy, mochi can also be an enjoyable experience for the whole family to take part in. And with all these easy steps, you’ll soon be a mochi expert. Happy cooking!

How to Store Mochi

If you want to make the most out of your mochi, you should know how to store it properly. Mochi is a tasty, chewy, sweet-tasting, and often colorful treat. Keeping it around for longer and preserving its fantastic flavor means mastering a few simple storage techniques.

The most important factor in storing mochi is the temperature. Mochi should be kept in a cool environment, and ideally at a temperature of approximately 60°F (15°C) and not above 77°F (25°C). 

Whether you store mochi in the refrigerator or cupboard, it’s important to follow this guide.

One way to store mochi is to keep it in the freezer. Mochi keeps extremely well in the freezer, is easy to store and will last for several weeks or even months. 

To do this, place your mochi in an airtight container or Ziploc bag before freezing, to avoid freezer burn. 

You can also wrap it in parchment paper if you’re storing individual pieces. If you’re the type of person who likes to prepare ahead and freeze their mochi, then it’s easy to thaw and enjoy!

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You can also store mochi in the refrigerator. If you plan to eat your mochi within a few days, you can place it in an airtight container or wrap it in cling film before sticking it in the refrigerator. 

It’s important to note that mochi has a tendency to absorb scents. To avoid this, store it on one shelf and away from strong-smelling items. It’s also important to note that refrigerated mochi will last for a few days, but its quality diminishes after that.

If you plan to store mochi at room temperature, make sure to wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in an airtight container. This method works well but to ensure optimal freshness, you should consume your mochi within several days. It’s also important to note that mochi may become dry, stale and hard if stored incorrectly.

The next time you’re planning to enjoy mochi, remember these simple storage tips. Whether you prefer to store mochi in the freezer, refrigerator or cupboard, use an airtight container or wrap it in parchment paper for the best results. 

Storing mochi correctly will keep it fresh and delicious, so you can make the most out of your mochi experience.

To defrost the mochi. Simply remove the mochi from the freezer and place it in the fridge till it reaches the fridge temperature. Then, you can remove the mochi from the fridge and leave it outside for it comes down to room temperature. 

How to Soften Fresh Mochi That’s Gone Hard

Having a fresh, soft mochi is an essential part of having a truly enjoyable mochi experience. 

When mochi goes hard, it can feel like an absolute disaster, but don’t throw it away just yet! There are some simple methods to help soften up hard mochi, so let’s dive in.

Microwave the Mochi

The quickest and most convenient method to soften mochi is microwave heating. Simply place the mochi on a microwave safe plate, make sure to space them out evenly. 

To get your mochi back to its ideal softness, microwave it for 15 seconds at a time until it reaches the desired level of softness. This can be repeated as necessary to make sure you get the perfect texture.

Steam the Mochi

Alternatively steaming mochi is another great way to soften it up. All you need is a steaming device – it can be as simple as a colander placed over a pot of boiling water. 

Place the mochi on the steamer, making sure not to overcrowd them, and close the lid. Steam the mochi for 2-3 minutes, be careful to not oversteam or the mochi can become mushy!

Place the Mochi on Hot Water

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of steaming and microwaving, you can turn to hot water to work its magic! 

Place the mochi in a shallow bowl filled with hot water (not boiling) and leave it to sit for a few minutes before taking it out.

Additional mochi softening tips include wrapping it in a damp towel or placing it in a sealed container filled with hot water. 

These methods may take a little longer, but can be more convenient for small individual pieces of mochi.

All of the above methods can be used to make hard mochi soft and pleasant to eat! It’s important to remember that mochi needs to be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent the mochi from becoming brittle and hard – this is key for preserving that coveted mochi softness.

This should help you get your mochi back up to its original soft and gooey texture and put the joy back into your mochi experience! Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a deliciously soft, warm mochi treat.

Conclusion

So, now you know the answer to this question, “is mochi healthy?”

You can consider eating these healthy Japanese snacks without any hesitation.

I cordially invite you to our country to relish its heavenly sweet taste.

Hoping to meet you through another article.

Till then, goodbye.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The most popular mochi flavors are matcha or green tea, daifuku mochi, kinako, isobe maki, and mochi ice cream flavors.

It can’t be said that mochi is good for weight loss, but it doesn’t affect your weight loss process. An average mochi ball is about 100 calories. Only a small 100 calorie snack won’t throw off your weight loss goals. Instead, a small taste of gratification will keep you motivated and happy throughout the day.

Mr. Mochi is definitely the best choice for healthy eaters. Their products are gluten-free, rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) free, and individually wrapped.

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