If you read my restaurant review for the ramen bar, Tenmaru, you'll know that I was very impressed with their potato mochi. So, I thought, I would provide a recipe for everyone to be able to enjoy these gooey Japanese treats.
As you'll know, mochi is more normally associated with rice, or more specifically, mochi rice. Mochi rice is a short grained , very glutinous rice variety, which, when it is pounded, becomes very sticky and dough like and can be formed into balls and patties. These are usually eaten with nori seawood and soy sauce for a savoury snack or sweetened and presented as a sweet treat.
But you can also create a similar chewy, gooey and very tasty result using potato in place of rice. Potato mochi are quite a new thing even in Japan. In the same way as you need a short grained rice to make mochi, you need a waxy potato variety to make your Potato Mochi. If you were to try making mochi rice from a long grained rice, it simply wouldn't work. In the same way, if you were to try to make Potato Mochi from a floury (IE not waxy) potato, you wouldn't get a good result. There's a little bit of science here - although rice and potato are very different foods - one is a grain and the other a tuber - they do share a key ingredient - starch. Starch comes in two forms - amylose and amylopectin, Basically, a short grain rice and a waxy potato share common high levels of amylopectin (as opposed to amylose) and it is the amylopectin that gives both the rice and the waxy potato the characteristic sticky, chewyiness when you pound them.
So, to make your Potato Mochi, you will need a waxy potato variety, like a Charlotte or a Desiree. I used the Charlotte variety for this recipe. As I said above, don't use a floury variety - they may be great for making mash but not for successful Potato Mochi. Apart from a waxy potato variety, there isn't really much more that you will need - just some potato flour and some sugar and a little milk. Once they are ready, I season my mochi with soy sauce straight from the bottle and some squares of mochi seaweed. All in, you can prepare these in about 25 minutes, including boiling the potatoes - mashing the potato takes only a minute or two unlike the time it takes to create mochi from rice. These Potato Mochi are great served as a snack or as a side dish. They are quite filling - one or two will be enough for most eaters.
Interested in pounding out your own Potato Mochi? You can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Potato Mochi or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. If following a written recipe is more your thing, you can find that just below.
Happy mashing! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes about 5 - 6 mochi)
300g waxy potatoes
1 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp potato flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 a nori sheet
peel and cut the potato into chunks
cover the potato with water in a saucepan. bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 mins or until softened
drain the potato and mash well in the saucepan
add the sugar, milk, potato flour. mix together well
wet your hands to avoid the potato sticking to your fingers. scoop up 1 dessert spoon of the potato mixture and put it in your palm. form into a round flat mochi shape
repeat until all the potato mixture is used up - this should make 5 -6 mochi
heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan. carefully put the potato mochi into the pan. fry for 3 minutes until lightly browned. turn over and fry for another 2 minutes
cut the nori sheet into 10 - 12 small squares (depending on whether you have made 5 or 6 mochi)
while the potato mochi are still in the pan, season with a good splash of soy sauce. turn off the heat immediately
place a square of nori on the top of each mochi. flip out onto a serving dish and place another square of nori onto the flipped side