Mochi has been an important part of my diet for the past 20 years and I am always pleased to introduce others to this medicinal food. A traditional Japanese staple, mochi is easy to digest, strengthens the intestines and is recommended for conditions of anemia (as it is strengthening for the blood) and for breast-feeding mothers (helping to create quality milk). According to Japanese folklore mochi’s sweet taste nourishes the pancreas, spleen, and stomach. It is prized by farmers and laborers for its reputation for increasing stamina, especially during the long winter months.
The word mochi means “flattened cereal grains.” It is made from sweet brown rice that has been steamed then pounded into a flat sticky cake. Actually, it is thought that this hard pounding gives mochi its strong, concentrated energy. Each year, in Japanese rural villages, mochi is prepared for the New Years meal. The family’s hollowed out log and wooden mallet used to pound the steamed, glutinous rice is first set in place. Then grandmother places the rice into the log and steps away as grandfather steps in to pound the rice with the mallet. After a few good swings he steps back and she steps in to turn it before grandfather brings the mallet down again on the hot rice. This dance is repeated until the grains open and begin to stick together. The sticky mass is then formed into small, flat cakes and allowed to dry.
When cut into squares and baked, mochi puffs up, similar to a popover, forming a crisp crust and a soft center. At this point it tastes great with butter and raspberry jam or almond butter and any kind of jam. A finger-licking, dripping down the side of the hand kind of experience. One of my favorite ways to make mochi is to slice half-inch strips from the block and place them on a hot waffle iron. Amazingly, the mochi melts from the heat and pressure, and depending on how long your waffle cooks, you can have it soft or crispy, like toast. Naturally, the butter-jam topping works great with this scenario as well.
For a power breakfast I love to make Eggs McMochi. This is my take on the horrendous fast food meal sold by “you know who”. At the end of this breakfast I am fortified, strengthened and ready to take on whatever the day may bring. Feel free to share your favorite mochi recipes with the other readers.
4 slices cinnamon raisin, plain, or sesame garlic mochi
2 cups cooked kale, chopped and water squeezed out
2 eggs over easy or to your liking.
1. Heat up the waffle iron. Open the mochi package and hold it long edge down on a cutting board. Slice the mochi into 4 half-inch strips, or as many as you need for your iron. You may need to cut them to fit your iron.
2. Lay the strips in the waffle iron spaced apart. The mochi will melt and fill in the empty spaces. Close the iron and cook until the waffle iron light signals they are done.
3. Meanwhile, cook your eggs as you like them.
4. When the mochi is to your liking remove to a plate and lightly butter the waffle, then layer the kale and eggs on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve warm.
NOTE: Mochi can be made at home, but is available in the refrigerated section of many health food stores. Both Mitoku and Grainessence manufacture and distribute mochi in North America.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.
Quigley is the author of seven books on health and nutrition, including:The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxing Your Body, The Everything SuperFoods Book, and Empowering Your Life With Meditation, available on Amazon.com. To view her website go to: www.deliaquigley.com