This food can kill you. Literally.
I was at a friend’s wedding where both the bride and groom were korean. It is apparently korean tradition to serve dduk cakes at the wedding, usually dusted in black sesame flour and other various forms of coating. The bride had placed a packet of dduk at each place setting for every guest. At one point during the dinner, the emcee goes, “Is there a doctor in the house?” and every doctor (mostly the groomsmen) rushed to the back. The bride’s first response was, “OMG! Did someone choke on the dduk!?”
But moving on to the real point of this post…mochi. Specifically, coconut mochi balls.
You can find mochi in all forms in almost every Asian country. There are also many ways of making it. Some people say you have to steam it, some people say you have to boil it, some people say do it in the microwave. (I honestly would rather steam or boil as I try not to use the microwave for many of my dishes). But mochi is a fun and rather sticky food but quite tasty. It can be used as a sweet dessert, filled bean paste, or it can be used as a salty food and stuffed with stir-fried minced pork and mushrooms, like in dim sum. Either way, it is still great to eat. Here is a very quick and easy way to make a small dessert that is low in sugar (but probably fairly constipating as it is made from glutinous (sweet) rice flour). It’s also a good recipe to do with your kids as the dough literally comes out like play dough.
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour, separated into 2 cups
- 1/2 – 1 cup of warm water
- half a bag of shredded and sweetened coconut flakes
- dark brown sugar – coconut sugar or palm sugar is preferred actually (for the stuffing)
In a medium to large bowl, add the water slowly into 1 cup of the flour while mixing with the other hand. Attempt to form a play-dough. If you initially added too much water, add a little bit more flour from the second cup of flour. When the play-dough is consistent, wrap in saran wrap.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and then turn down to medium-low heat. In a separate bowl, put a quarter of the bag of shredded coconut. Place this bowl next to the hot water.
Unwrap the dough and pinch off the amount that you choose to use for each mochi ball (ie. if you want a bigger mochi ball, take more dough). I tend to keep mine in bite size pieces because I am a fan of bite-size treats in general. Roll it into a ball and flatten it with your palm against the other palm. Place one tiny amount of brown sugar in the middle and seal the sides as if you were wrapping a dumpling. Then shape it into a ball. *make sure each time you take a serving of dough, you are re-wrapping the mother lump with plastic wrap – otherwise the dough will dry out*
Drop each ball into the simmering pot of water and bring water to a boil. Stir the water for a few seconds after putting in a mochi ball as the mochi ball will tend to stick right away to the bottom of the pot until the outside is cooked somewhat. When the mochi balls are cooked, they will float.
Remove the floating balls using a slotted spoon/scoop and allow to drain moderately before dumping into the shredded coconut. Toss and lightly pack shredded coconut around the mochi ball before transferring to a plate or container.
And that’s that for coconut mochi balls! Enjoy!