Kaya Mochi

A few of you have asked me previously about my diet, and why I blog about breakfast and dessert specifically. I must say, I have recently made a minor, albeit profound change. To sum it up, I adopt a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet. The main reasons for this are:

Eating Animals

Forks over Knives

The China Study

Why the deprivation? Meat tastes the best!! I modified my About and FAQ’ page to cover a few points, but the above links are what induced a fixated curiosity on our warped nutritional conventions in the 21st century. So go ahead, click click click. On all the links.

Despite everything I say on adopting this diet, part of me feels a little sad because I do still eat a little meat, rendering my conviction less extreme, less concrete. It’s cultural convention to eat meat prepared for you, say, by your genius cook of a grandmother. This is why I still eat meat, albeit much less, replacing most of it with more starch and vegetables. And you know what? I haven’t felt better. Since the difficulty is justified, for reasons both ethical and environmental, ‘plant-based’ no longer carries the weight of ‘deprivation’ anymore. It really doesn’t. And I’ve finally come to realise that this is the right thing to do. If any of you have a similar experience with this, I’d love for you to share.

The second bit on why I choose to blog about breakfast and dessert specifically is also in the FAQ. I mean, my sweet tooth obviously deserves a bit of criticism. So check out the page for all that jazz as well.

Ok. Let’s talk about mochi!

Actually, I don’t know why that elicited an exclamation, because truth be told, I never was the biggest fan of mochi. I honestly just felt like trying something a little different. Increased exposure and this experiment indeed reversed my dislike.

Mochi is a delicate Japanese dessert, its name being derived from the type of flour used to make it– mochiko (rice) flour. Plus points for anyone who would potentially benefit: rice flour is gluten-free, with a substantial amount of niacin and B6. Amazing how it still yields such a chewy texture after being combined with the other ingredients. Typically stuffed with this divine, sticky red bean paste, but I changed it up just a little, deciding instead to fill it with homemade kaya (pandan spread). Weaved nostalgic taste into a minor innovative tweak. Each bite was sticky, slightly chewy, and bursting with the earthy, coconutty goodness of kaya.

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Kaya Mochi (makes around 10 depending on how big you like them, mochi dough recipe)

Ingredients

160g mochiko (rice) flour

180g icing sugar

300ml (1.25 cups) water

cornstarch for dusting

8-12 tsp kaya

Directions

Ready a large bowl full of cornstarch for dusting your hands and the mochi.

In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and water. Turn the stove heat to medium, add the sugar, and use a wooden spoon to continue stirring. Cook the mixture until it starts to look almost gelatinous, around 7-10 minutes. You will see the mixture thicken, and look slightly glassy on top. Leave to cool for another 10 minutes before touching and fiddling. Dust your hands with cornstarch, then scoop a bit of the mixture with a teaspoon. This bit onwards is a slightly sticky ride, but it’ll be worth it! Roll between your palms until you get a smooth, white ball. Use your fingers to flatten it a little, and place a tiny dollop of kaya in the middle. Gently pull the sides over the ball, and gently roll the mochi again to get an even sphere.

Dust with a mix of cornstarch and icing sugar before eating. Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

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