Grilled Mochi Skewers with Sweet Soy Sauce Glaze
Pastry chef Gemma Matsuyama
Tsubaki and Ototo
Pastry chef Gemma Matsuyama takes advantage of the grill to give delicate mochi—usually served for dessert—a savory spin. The soft tofu mochi spheres get boiled in water first, then kissed with fire from a quick turn on the grill. A soy dipping sauce further enhances the flavor.
Tare Dipping Sauce
2¼ cups water, divided
½ cup sugar
3½ tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. katakuriko potato starch
Grilled Mochi Skewers
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. rice flour
¾ cup soft tofu, drained
¼ cup sugar
Neutral vegetable oil
- For dipping sauce, in medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1¾ cups water, sugar and soy sauce to a simmer.
- In bowl, mix together 1/2 cup water and potato starch into a slurry. If it needs more liquid add in a ladle of the warm soy water mixture. Bring soy mixture to a boil, then whisk in the slurry. Whisk as mixture sets and forms into a sticky glaze. Add additional water if needed to thin sauce. Keep warm. (Glaze may be covered and chilled until ready to use.)
- In medium bowl, knead together rice flour with sugar and drained soft tofu by hand. Make sure small clumps of the flour are dissolved and mixture forms a homogeneous ball. Divide mochi dough into about small balls and shape them into circles by rolling between the palms of your hands. Cover the mochi loosely with plastic so they do not dry out.
- Prepare a pot of boiling water and a bowl of water with ice. With pot over medium-high heat, drop mochi into boiling water until they cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. (The mochi should float to the top and look a little swollen. You can test one by cutting it in half to make sure there are no dry spots in the center.)
- Once mochi are fully cooked, drain and transfer to ice bath; let cool.
- Onto each skewer, thread three mochi. Place skewers on preheated grill or grill pan; cook a few minutes on each side until golden brown. For more char, apply a blow torch to the skewers. To serve, dip the mochi skewers fully into the warm sweet soy glaze and then plate. Drizzle more sweet soy glaze over each mochi skewer to ensure full coverage.
Photo courtesy of Kikkoman