It’s Valentine’s Day and who doesn’t want something pink, sweet and smelling like roses! Impress your sweetheart with this recipe. It’s quick and easy and can be made ahead of time, leaving you and your #1 more time for smooching XOXO.
Mochi is something that people often associate with mochi ice-cream, often served at Japanese restaurants but plain mochi can also be put into soups or broiled and puffed up and is more savory that sweet. My strawberry-rose mochi is a dessert variation. I love the sweet and floral combination of the strawberry gelatin and the crushed rose petals, but this recipe is easy to riff on. Try lime-flavored gelatin with some finely grated lime zest, or mango gelatin with a dusting of chili powder - wherever your imagination takes you.
When forming your mochi, my Mom taught me that it’s essential to do it while the mochi paste is still piping hot. Because of this, I think I’ve burned off all of my finger pads over the years. To avoid you doing the same, I recommend kitchen gloves - this will make the mochi a little easier to handle. Although I don’t normally use a microwave for cooking, this is the easiest and most efficient way of making this. If you don’t have a microwave, you could also do this in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While working, you’re looking for a soft and smooth consistency, that is chewy and slightly sweet. Serve the mochi at the end of a meal or in the afternoon with a cup of hot green tea.
Skill Level: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 18-24 round patties
¼ cup small dried rose buds, stems removed (see Note)
¼ cup katakuriko (Japanese potato starch; you can substitute cornstarch)
1 cup mochiko (Japanese sweet rice flour)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon strawberry flavored gelatin, preferably organic
¼ teaspoon rose water
Kitchen gloves (recommended)
In a mini food processor or clean coffee grinder, pulse the rose buds with the katakuriko until finely ground. Spread in a shallow bowl.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk the mochiko with the sugar, gelatin, rose water and 1 cup of water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir with a spatula, scraping down the sides, then microwave for 3 minutes more, or until thickened and all of the liquid is absorbed.
Working in batches and using kitchen gloves, dip your fingers in the rose-katakuriko powder and pinch off ping pong ball-size piece of the mochi while it is still hot. Toss in the rose-katakuriko powder, shaking off any excess. Holding the mochi in one hand, fold the edges of the mochi underneath itself using your other hand, while rotating it clockwise and forming a 1½ to 2 inch patty with a smooth top. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining mochi. Toss the cooled mochi with any remaining rose-katakuriko powder; serve.
NOTE It is important to have freshly dried rose buds as older ones can be less fragrant. Try to seek out ones from a quality tea provider if you can’t find fresh ones online.
MAKE AHEAD The prepared mochi can be refrigerated for up to 3 days but is best eaten on the day of.