When I first sank my teeth into Warabimochi several years ago, I fell in love with it. It’s not mochi per se, because there’s no involvement of glutinous rice flour. The entire thing is made of starch, sugar and water only and the texture is wobbly, elastic and chewy. Think of it as a hybrid of jelly and mochi. So good.
On it’s own there’s no taste, so here’s where the magic part comes in – kinako and kuromitsu, also called roasted soy bean powder and black sugar syrup. The combination is impeccable.
This is sold on the shelves at Japanese supermarkets like Isetan, but prepare to pay $9 or so for like 15 pieces. I would advise against buying it off the shelves because it can be made at home easily and costs close to nothing!
Everything you see in the picture above is from Daiso, save for the tray. I got the starch, kinako, sugar, plate, Duralex glass and spoon from Daiso in Singapore and Japan.
Origin of Warabimochi
Traditionally, warabimochi was made from Warabiko, Bracken starch. This substance is rare and expensive so nowadays, you don’t see it around anymore. What is commonly sold in Japan instead is Warabimochi made from Warabimochiko – a mixture of other starches used to imitate the result of the original Warabimochi.
This pre-blended mixture of starches sold as Warabimochiko is inexpensive and can be found in supermarkets, but if you want a more convenient and even lower cost option, you can choose any starch. The results are similar and with kinako and kuromitsu, the difference is negligible.
- 50g Katakuriko or corn starch
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 300ml green tea (to remove starch smell) or water
- Mix starch and sugar in a pot.
- Pour in green tea or water and mix well.
- Heat the pot on medium and keep stirring for few minutes and mixture will thicken.
- Warabimochi is ready when everything becomes translucent
- Prepare rectangle containers and a ice bath. Place hot mixture into the containers to around 1 inch thickness. Place containers in ice bath and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Unmold the warabimochi on cutting board and cut into small pieces using a wet knife. You can dunk each piece into water after cutting so that the surface is not so sticky.
- To serve, sprinkle kinako generously all over the warabimochi until well coated. Drizzle kuromitsu.
I’m using Katakuriko (potato starch) for my warabimochi, which I got from Daiso. This is $2 for 280g and is considered cheap comparing to Japanese supermarkets in Singapore, but if you want to use other cheaper potato starches from our local supermarkets it could work too.
- 50g Okinawa Black Sugar or Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 50g White Sugar
- 50ml Water
- Place all ingredients on a sauce pan and heat until just boiling and all sugar dissolved.
- Pour into glass container and allow it to cool to room temperature.
I bought this 130g packet from Daiso and it has already been mixed with sugar, so all I did was use 65ml of water to get my syrup. This can be made ahead of time and stored in a glass bottle.
If not eaten immediately, simply store the uncoated warabimochi in a container and leave at room temperature. DO NOT refrigerate. The texture will change irreversibly and it will become hard. It is advisable to consume it on the same day.