So, the thing about mochi (or rice cake) is that in Korea – and as far as I know, in Japan as well – it’s often accompanied by red bean paste which looks suspiciously like chocolate. When we first came to Korea we mistakenly thought it was chocolate quite often and eventually realised that any brown in dessert is likely red bean. Not that there is anything wrong with red bean, I do like it, but it’s similar to when people put raisins in cookies that look like chocolate chips. I don’t like raisins, some people do, but it basically illustrates that nothing can replace chocolate and it’s always better.
You can often get strawberry rice cakes in a popular shopping area called Myeongdong. It’s always white rice cake, filled with one strawberry and red bean paste. They are so delicious and so cute! I thought it must be pretty simple to make them on my own, and then I realised I could fulfil a dream of mine and make rice cake which chocolate spread instead of red bean, once and for all.
I also decided to make them matcha… Just because I can!
I don’t have a microwave, so I used a steamer and steamed the rice cake mixture in a pot for the suggested twenty minutes. I think I had it on too high of a temperature, because when I took it off the heat the bottom had actually cooked and the top had a shiny skin.
Oops! Oh well – I took off the bottom and did what I could with the rest. This is where it gets tricky.
The ball of rice cake was extremely sticky and extremely hot. I watched videos of people using sesame oil on their hands to roll it out. I tried it, but couldn’t get enough oil to prevent it from sticking anywhere and everywhere.
I decided to dust it with tapioca flour which made things at least a little easier, at least until I tried assembling them.
It was impossible for me to get an even layer of rice cake – I always ended up with extra on the bottom and a very thin layer on the top where the strawberry poked through. The bottom also did not come to stick together easily at all. I had to man handle them a bit which made the top layer even worse (notice the horrible strawberry peaking out… Haha)
Layering the chocolate spread (I just made a thick ganache) made it even more difficult to put them together, so I opted to skip it for the rest. They’re not terrible, but they look nothing like the ones they sell on the street and I officially have no idea how they do it, and an incredible new found respect for people who make rice cake!
I ate them all anyway as they tasted pretty good! And, for the record… Chocolate, matcha, and rice cake is an absolute winning combination! I think it’s possible I overcooked the rice cake which made it harder to handle… But, they’re yummy enough for me to attempt it again!