Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mochi Pounding

Random story about me...growing up, I always wanted to marry into a "mochi-pounding" family. Isn't that odd?  This was not a criterion on my "must-have" list for a potential spouse; it was more of an optional added bonus.  During the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, there would always be a news segment on TV about families gathering together to pound mochi.  It would be an all-day event in which families, friend, neighbors, and calabash aunties and uncles would all come together to pound mochi for the new year.  My immediate family is small, so I always thought it would be nice to be have large family gatherings filled with fun and laughter.
   Lucky for me, not only did I marry a nice sweet guy, I also married into a huge (at least I think it's large) extended family.  It still overwhelms me at the amount of relatives at Mike's family gatherings. Just to give you an idea, I have four cousins all of which are more than 10 years older or younger than me, so we never really hung out and could relate to each other.  Mike has eight cousins all around his age.  Okay, so back to the point of this post, no I did not end up marrying into a "mochi-pounding" family, but Mike's mom's friend hosts a mochi pounding event every year and this was the second year that Mike and I joined in the festivities. 
Mochi rice is soaked overnight and then drained. 
Here's the steamer used to steam the mochi rice. 
Mochi Equipment. 

I'm going to call this piece of equipment a "mochi extruder."  The hot sticky mass of glutinous rice is placed in this container and extrudes out and is cut into uniform pieces. 
The mochi assemblers all line up on both sides of a table and piece of the warm mochi are passed down the table.  People flatten the piece of mochi in their palms and then quickly insert a ball of filling into the mochi.  The mochi is then sealed over the filling. 
Look at that. They have the system down. This is a pan of prescooped azuki bean filling. 
The mochi is then cooled and then someone marks the mochi with colored dots to represent the different fillings. Red-azuki bean filling; Blue-Sweet Potato; Purple(?)-azuki bean and strawberry; Yellow-yellow sweet potato and coconut (I think). 


K and S said...

brings back good memories of new years :) thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Did you pound Mochi too?

Erika said...

how fun!

What do you use to make the colored dots? A Sharpie? :)

genkitummy said...

No, I didn't pound mochi this year, I helped fill the mochi with sweet potato filling. Last year I tried.
Erika-haha. No, although I love Sharpies, no they use food coloring and the back of chopstick.