Sweet Peanut Crusted Mochi, Taiwan-Style

So I recently purchased some shiratama-ko from Ebisuya in Medford, MA and I wanted to get acquainted with the product with an eye towards replicating Iron Chef Michiba’s shiratamako with meringue enhanced mochi for his ozoni soup.  So one recipe I thought I would try was  Chef Che-wen Wang’s Omochi With Peanut recipe (The Heavenly Gift Of Chinese Culinary Art – Fukien Cuisine , p 168,169) from the Formosa Restaurant in Taipei.

The recipe was simple enough; however, it required actually making mochi from steamed glutinous rice with quite a bit of with a mortar and pestle. The recipe called for

  • 2/3 lb round glutinous rice (soaked for 4 hrs, and then mashed into a batter with mortar and pestle and then drained)
  • 2/3 of the batter kneaded into a smooth dough, then remaining 1/3 of the batter added in and kneaded into a whole piece

The peanut powder was effectively

5 T of ground peanuts (not peanut butter!)
2 T sugar
(peanut ‘powder’ mixed together with the sugar)

to make the sweet peanut ‘powder’

For the peanuts, I loaded my coffee/spice grinder with 5 tablepoons of unseasoned roasted peanuts

lock and load those peanuts

and then pulsed the grinder 18 times to get the right ground consistency that I wanted.

Peanut ‘powder’ with the sweetener added

It was just a matter of adding my sweetener to it (Nobu-style, with the monkfruit sweetener).

Completed sweet peanut powder for the mochi balls

After doing some research, I noticed that the dough was effectively the same as what was described at: https://www.justonecookbook.com/shiratama-dango/

So a microbatch of this recipe with a slightly more convenient approach might be:

1/3 lb (5oz+2t) shiratamako (17T !)
3T water
2 1/2 T ground peanut powder
1T sugar

It would turn out, that after weighing out the shiratamako from the justonecookbook website, the amount of shiratamako (42g) turned out to be:

4T + 2t  shiratamako (42g or about 1 1/2oz)
3T water
2 1/2 T ground peanut powder
1T sugar

That suggested that the ratio of shiratamako was 4:3 and 17T suggested from the Chef Wang recipe would require 12 T + 4t + 1/2t. That would mean the shiratamako version of Chef Wang’s recipe would be:

17T shiratamako
13T + 1t + 1/2t water
2 1/2 T ground peanut powder
1T sugar

That was a bit too big.   I decided to go with the 4T version of the recipe.

Preparing to make the mochi dough

So forming the dough would be adding the hot water a little at a time until I could get a smooth dough to form, and like the original recipe

I’m going to need more hot water for this shiratamako

from Formosa Restaurant.  In the process of trying to form the dough, I discovered I needed 2 1/2t more of water.

The finished dough is a little less than I expected

Once I got the dough formed, I dusted my board with potato starch so I could shape the dough into a roll.  At that point, I would then break

Dusted with potato flour so the dough wouldn’t stick to my hands or the board

off a roll bits of the dough into balls. Presumably I would need to break up the dough into 16 portions, if what I’d been researching was

8 portions cut from the log formed dough

correct.  After looking at the dough, I realized how small the amount was and made a decision to cut 8 portions rather than 16.

balls of mochi ready to be cooked

The original recipe from Chef Wang calls for cooking the dough balls, and my wife translated the chinese (side by side with the english) and

At the bottom of a pot of boiling water

discovered that that meant cooking the dough in a pot of water until done.  That ‘doneness’, in terms of the shiratama dango recipe,  was to

the mochi is floating – they’re done!

treat the dough balls like bagels . That meant I needed to cook them  in pot of water (until they floated- about 2 minutes).  I would then have

Shocking the mochi

to shock the cooked dough and then just toss them in a bowl with  the sweetened peanut powder.

Tossing the damp mochi in the sweetened peanut ‘powder’

Upon tasting the mochi, my wife declared she had to stop because these mochi very much reminded her of home and that she could eat

a nice dessert to end a meal

whole batch of these things in one sitting.  I guess that said it all.  In hindsight, I think the recipe with the 4 tablespoons of shiratamako is better suited to make four of the sweet peanut crusted mochi.

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