Monday, May 25, 2009

Nisshodo Mochiya Chichi Dango

In Honolulu, Hawaii, there is an amazing little factory in a nondescript building called NISSHODO. There, if you go during business hours, you can buy straight from their little counter in the front of the factory, CHICHI DANGO in 1 pound boxes, or soft, scrumptious peanut butter mochi, red bean filled mochi, etc, etc.

What is mochi? Mochi is a soft, sweet, slightly chewy and delicious Japanese "candy." Dango, however, according to the book "The Food Of Paradise" by Rachel Laudan, is boiled dough balls of Mochiko rice flour and sugar. So a different form of mochi! I wonder if this is the method that Nisshodo follows? My next goal is to interview the wonderful folks at Nisshodo Mochiya. Perhaps on the next trip to Hawaii, or via email... !

While I wrote about Chichi Dango in a previous post, my Auntie goes to Hawaii every year for a few weeks and asked me if I wanted her to bring anything back... so of course I said my favorite mochi, Nisshodo Chichi Dango!!

I also have included a recipe I found online for basic sweet mochi. I haven't tried it yet but I thought I would share it with you. Then you can read the ingredients of what is involved in mochi!!

Basic Mochi, using Mochiko flour (Japanese rice flour, available at Fujiya in Vancouver)

  • 1 1/2 cups mochiko, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. Place mochiko and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mochiko mixture and pour in the sugar syrup. Stir until all flour is incorporated. Immediately turn dough onto a work surface lightly floured with mochiko and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 5 minutes; dust with more mochiko as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Pinch off tablespoon-size pieces and, using a floured rolling pin or your hands, flatten into 3-inch circles about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Dust rice cakes with mochiko and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or freezer, or use as desired.

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