What is mochi in chinese?
Mochi (Japanese: 餅; Chinese: 麻糬) is a Japanese rice cake made by pounding glutinous rice into a paste and molding it into shapes which can be eaten right away, or cured and dried for later use. Mochi is used to make a variety of traditional Japanese sweets, and cooked in soups. It is also popular toasted and dipped in a variety of flavorings. Toasted mochi inflates to several times its original size, forming a crisp crust with a soft, chewy interior, and is especially popular in cold weather.
In Japan, mochi is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki, in which people take turns wielding the heavy wooden mallets. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. A decoration called kagami mochi (mirror mochi), formed of two spheres of mochi, one on top of the other, and topped with a bitter orange (daidai), is placed on the family altar during the New Year.
Mochi is made with glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa); also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, mochi rice, and pearl rice, type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. The rice is cooked and then pounded it in a stone or wooden mortar, called an usu, until it becomes a soft, chewy paste. Modern mochi is also made by machine, but it is claimed that mochi pounded in an usu tastes better than mochi that has been processed by an electric machine. The pounding method is still frequently used in traditional Japanese restaurants and confectionaries, and sometimes in festivals and private homes.
Fresh mochi can be enjoyed immediately, dipped in soy sauce and sugar or coated with toasted soy bean powder (kinako (黄粉, kinako)). It is also formed into a variety of confections and sweets. Shaped into rectangles or circles, it hardens as it is cured and can then be cooked with red beans, vegetables or soups, or toasted on top of a stove. Toasted mochi inflates to several times its original size, forming a crisp crust with a soft, chewy interior, and is especially popular in cold weather.
Japan and Korea both have similar pounded glutinous rice foods, known as mochi and tteok, respectively. The exact origin of mochi is unknown, though it is said to have come from China. The cakes of pounded glutinous rice appear to have become a New Year's treat during Japan's Heian period (794-1185). As early as the tenth century, various kinds of mochi were used as imperial offerings at religious ceremonies. A dictionary dating from before 1070 calls the rice cake "mochii." Around the eighteenth century, people began to call it "mochi." Various theories explain the name. One is that “mochi” came from the verb “motsu,” “to hold or to have,” signifying that mochi is food given by God. The word “mochizuki” means “full moon.” People of the west and southwest islands called it "muchimi," meaning "stickiness."
A match-box sized piece of mochi has the same caloric content as a bowl of rice. Japanese farmers are said to eat mochi on cold winter days to increase their stamina. Samurai took mochi to the battlefield because it was easy to carry and to prepare. The sound of samurai pounding mochi was a sign that they were about to go into battle.
Rice cakes of various types are found in China, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines. All are made using glutinous rice, pounded or ground into a paste or powder, and molded into shapes or cooked again to create various confections. There are many varieties of Chinese nian gao, made from a batter of uncooked glutinous rice flour, including the types found in Shanghai cuisine, and Cantonese cuisine originating from Guangdong. During the Chinese New Year, nian gao is also widely consumed in the Philippines, a tradition originating from the country's large population of overseas Chinese from the Guangdong region. Nian gao is known as tikoy in the Philippines. In Philippine cuisine, a rice cake, called palitao in Tagalog, is coated with sesame seeds and grated coconut.
Kagami mochi (Japanese: 鏡餅), literally mirror rice cake, is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration, consisting of two round mochi cakes, the smaller placed atop the larger, with a daidai (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf set on top. In addition, it may have a sheet of konbu and a skewer of dried persimmons under the mochi. The kagami mochi sits on a stand called a sanpō (Japanese: 三宝) over a sheet called a shihōbeni (Japanese: 四方紅), which is supposed to ward off fires from the house for the following years. Sheets of paper called gohei (Japanese: 御幣) folded into lightning shapes similar to those seen on sumo wrestler's belts are also attached.
The kagami mochi first appeared in the Muromachi period (fourteenth-sixteenth century). The name kagami ("mirror") is said to have originated from its resemblance to an old-fashioned kind of round copper mirror, which also had a religious significance. The two mochi discs are variously said to symbolize the going and coming years, the human heart, "yin" and "yang," or the moon and the sun. The "daidai," whose name means "generations", is said to symbolize the continuation of a family from generation to generation. In some regions, three layered kagami mochi are used. There is also a variant with three layers of mochi, called an okudokazari, which is placed in the centre of the kitchen or by the window.
Traditionally the kagami mochi was placed in various locations throughout the house at New Years’. Today it is usually placed in a household Shinto altar, or kamidana. It can also be placed in the tokonoma, a small decorated alcove in the main room of the home.
Contemporary kagami mochi are often pre-molded into the shape of stacked discs and sold in plastic packages in the supermarket. A mikan or a plastic imitation daidai is often substituted for the original daidai.
The kagami mochi is traditionally broken and eaten in a Shinto ritual called kagami biraki (Mirror Opening) on the second Saturday or Sunday of January. The mochi cakes are cut into small pieces and boiled with vegetables or red beans. First adopted into Japanese martial arts by Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, in 1884, the practice has become an important ritual in aikido, karate and jujutsu studios.
Mochitsuki, the traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan, is often performed by traditional, rural, or wealthier households on December 29 in preparation for New Years’ celebrations. It can be performed at any time of the year, though, and is often part of local festivals and celebrations.
Many types of traditional wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. Daifuku is a soft, round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (an) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry. Akafuku is soft mochi covered with red bean paste.
Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with yomogi (mugwort). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku.
Dango (Japanese: 団子) is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour), related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.
Dango are eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten at different seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. The many different varieties of dango are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with them:
Small balls of ice cream are wrapped inside a mochi covering to make mochi ice cream. The mochi has been modified to make it soft at cold temperatures. Mochi ice cream was first manufactured in Japan in 1981 by the Korean conglomerate, Lotte, as Yukimi Daifuku, "snow-viewing daifuku." In 1993, Mikawaya began manufacturing mochi ice cream in the United States, where it is becoming increasingly popular and is sold in chocolate, mango, green tea, coffee, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.
Recently, "Moffles" (a waffle like machine used to cook Mochi's) has been introduced with much fanfare.
Mochi can be made at home by hand. The ingredients are simple:
The rice is washed and soaked for several hours, or overnight. The rice is cooked as usual in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. The cooked rice is then ground with a mortar and pestle until the grains become completely fluid and sticky. This takes at least 30 minutes of grinding when done by hand. The mash is then shaped into two centimeter squares, which are placed on an oiled plate and allowed to dry for one to two days. During this time they should be kept covered in a cold dry room or in the refrigerator. Before eating, the squares are raoasted for five minutes in a pan or a toaster oven.
Mochi may also be made in an automatic mochi machine, similar to a breadmaker.
Mochi can also be made at home using rice flour. A bamboo steamer should be used so that the mochi will not stick while steaming. Using enough water to allow the flour to stick together, the dough is formed into a small circle, then a small amount of bean paste is placed in the center. The dough is closed over the paste, placed in the steamer, and steamed until the mochi congeals. Immediately upon removing the mochi from the steamer, the mochi must be coated in more sweet rice flour to prevent it from sticking.
Warabimochi is not true mochi, but a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered or dipped in kinako (sweet toasted soybean flour). It is popular in the summertime, and often sold from trucks, not unlike ice cream trucks in Western countries.
Mochi (もち, 餅) is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome (もち米), a short-grain japonica glutinous rice, and sometimes other ingredients such as water, sugar, and cornstarch. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan, it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki (餅搗き). While eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year, and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.
Mochi is a multicomponent food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein, and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains, and air bubbles. The rice used for mochi has a negligible amylose content and a high amylopectin level, producing a gel-like consistency. The protein content of the japonica rice used to make mochi is higher than that of standard short-grain rice.
Mochi is similar to dango, but is made by pounding grains of rice, while dango is made with rice flour.
The process of steaming glutinous rice and making it into a paste is considered to have its origin in ancient China and to have been introduced to Japan from Southeast Asia some time after rice cultivation was introduced to Japan at the end of the Jōmon period (c. 14,000–300 BC). Red rice was the original variant used in the production of mochi.
The cultural significance of mochi in Japan is unique, though it has elements in common with other auspicious foods in other Asian countries. According to archaeological research, the homemade production of mochi increased beginning in the 6th century (Kofun period), when earthenware steamers became popular in every household, mainly in eastern Japan.: 267
In the Bungo no kuni fudoki, compiled in the late 8th century in the Nara period, a legend concerning mochi was described. According to the book, when a rich man made a flat mochi from leftover rice and shot an arrow at it, the mochi transformed into a white bird and flew away, and after that, the man's rice field became desolate and barren. This legend shows that round white mochi was historically held to have spiritual power.
In the Heian period (794–1185), mochi was often used in Shinto events to celebrate childbirth and marriage. According to the Ōkagami compiled in the 12th century, emperors and nobilities used to put mochi into the mouths of babies that were 50 days old.: 30 In this period, it became customary in the aristocratic society for the bride and groom to eat mochi together at the bride's house three days after the wedding.
The first recorded accounts of mochi being used as a part of New Year's festivities are from the Heian period. The nobles of the Imperial court believed that long strands of freshly made mochi symbolized long life and well-being, while dried mochi helped strengthen one's teeth. Accounts of it can also be found in The Tale of Genji.
The custom of kagami mochi (mirror mochi) began among the samurai class during the Muromachi period. Kagami mochi are composed of two spheres of mochi stacked on top of one another, topped with a bitter orange (daidai). In welcoming the New Year, samurai decorated kagami mochi with Japanese armour and Japanese swords and would place them in the tokonoma (alcove in a traditional Japanese room where art or flowers are displayed) to pray for the prosperity of their families in the New Year. When people ate kagami mochi after the New Year period, they avoided cutting it with a hōchō (knife) so as not to violate the kami, and smashed it with a wooden hammer after it naturally dried and cracked.
Mochi continues to be one of the traditional foods eaten around Japanese New Year and is sold and consumed in abundance around this time. A kagami mochi is placed on family altars (kamidana) on December 28 each year.
The cherry blossom (sakura) is a symbol of Japan and signifies the onset of full-fledged spring. Sakuramochi is a pink-coloured mochi surrounding sweet red bean paste and wrapped in an edible, salted cherry blossom leaf; this dish is usually made during the spring.
Children's Day is celebrated in Japan on May 5. On this day, the Japanese promote the happiness and well-being of children. Kashiwa-mochi and chimaki are made especially for this celebration. Kashiwa-mochi is white mochi surrounding a sweet red bean paste filling with a kashiwa oak leaf wrapped around it. Chimaki is a variation of a dango wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Hishi mochi is a ceremonial dessert presented as a ritual offering on the days leading up to Hinamatsuri, or "Girls' Day" in Japan, on March 3 every year. Hishi mochi is rhomboid-shaped mochi with layers of red, green, and white. The three layers are coloured with jasmine flowers, water caltrop, and mugwort.
Traditionally, mochi making is an important cultural event in Japan that involves members of a local community or family. Although less common today, the traditional process still exists in most rural areas, as well as in urban temples, shrines, and community spaces, especially in the days leading up to the new year. The traditional process of mochi-pounding (called mochitsuki (餅つき)) involves whole rice as the only ingredient and takes place in three basic steps:
The modern preparation of mochi uses a sweet flour of sweet rice (mochiko). The flour is mixed with water and cooked on a stovetop or in the microwave until it forms a sticky, opaque, white mass. This process is performed twice, stirring the mass in between until it becomes malleable and slightly transparent.
With modern equipment, mochi can be made at home, with the technology automating the laborious dough pounding. Household mochi appliances provide a suitable space where the environment of the dough can be controlled.
The assembly-line sections in mochi production control these aspects:
Varieties of glutinous and waxy rice are produced as major raw material for mochi. The rice is chosen for tensile strength and compressibility. One study found that in kantomochi rice 172 and BC3, amylopectin distribution varied and affected the hardness of mochi. Kantomochi rice produced harder, brittle, grainy textures, all undesirable qualities except for ease of cutting. For mass production, the rice variety should be chewy, but easy to separate.
Generally, two types of machines are used for mochi production in an assembly line. One machine prepares the dough, while the other forms the dough into consistent shapes, unfilled or with filling. The first type of machine controls the temperature at which the rice gelatinizes. One study found that a temperature of 62 °C (144 °F) corresponds to the gelatinization of mochi. When the temperature fell below this point, the hardening was too slow. It was concluded that a processing temperature below 62 °C (144 °F) was unsuitable for dough preparation.
Mochi is a variation of a low-calorie, low-fat rice cake. The cake has two essential raw materials, rice and water. Sticky rice (also called sweet rice, Oryza sativa var. glutinosa, glutinous sticky rice, glutinous rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, pearl rice, and pulut), whether brown or white, is best for mochi-making, as long-grain varieties will not expand perfectly. Water is essential in the early stages of preparation. Other additives such as salt and other seasonings and flavourings are important for nutritive value and taste. However, additives can cause breakage of the mass, so should not be added to the rice before the cake is formed. The cake must be steamed (rather than boiled) until it gains a smooth and elastic texture. The balls of rice are then flattened and cut into pieces or shaped into rounds. The machines for mass production are a hugely expensive investment, and the product should have the proper moisture, to appeal to consumers.
While mochi can be refrigerated for a short storage period, it can also "become hard and not usable." The recommended preservation method is by freezing. The best method for freezing involves wrapping each mochi cake tightly in a sealed plastic bag. Although mochi can be kept in a freezer for almost one year, the frozen mochi may lose flavor and softness or get freezer-burned. Food additives, such as modified tapioca starch, can also extend the shelf life of mochi.
Mochi is relatively simple to make, as only a few ingredients are needed for plain mochi. The main ingredient is either shiratamako or mochiko, Japanese sweet glutinous rice flours. Both shiratamako and mochiko are made from mochigome, a type of glutinous short-grain rice. The difference between shiratamako and mochiko comes from texture and processing methods. Shiratamako flour has been more refined and is a finer flour with a smoother, more elastic feel. Mochiko is less refined and has a doughier texture.
Other ingredients may include water, sugar, and cornstarch (to prevent sticking). Additional other ingredients can be added to create different variations/flavors.
The caloric content of a matchbox-sized piece of mochi is comparable to that of a bowl of rice. Japanese farmers were known to consume mochi during the winter to increase their stamina, while samurai took mochi on their expeditions, as it was easy to carry and prepare. Mochi is gluten- and cholesterol-free, as it is made from rice flour.
A single serving of 44.0 g (1.55 oz) has 96 calories (kilocalories), 1.0 g (0.035 oz) of fat, but no trans or saturated fat, 1.0 mg (0.015 gr) of sodium, 22.0 g (0.78 oz) of carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 6.0 g (0.21 oz) of sugar, and 1.0 g (0.035 oz) of protein.
Amylose and amylopectin are both components of starch and polysaccharides made from D-glucose units. The big difference between the two is that amylose is linear because it only has αlpha-1,4-glycosidic bonds. Amylopectin, though, is a branched polysaccharide because it has αlpha-1,4-glycosidic bonds with occasional αlpha-1,6-glycosidic bonds around every 22 D-glucose units. Glutinous rice is nearly 100% composed of amylopectin and almost completely lacks its counterpart, amylose, in its starch granules. A nonglutinous rice grain contains amylose at about 10–30% weight by weight and amylopectin at about 70–90% weight by weight.
Glutinous or waxy type of starches occur in maize, sorghum, wheat, and rice. An interesting characteristic of glutinous rice is that it stains red when iodine is added, whereas nonglutinous rice stains blue. This phenomenon occurs when iodine is mixed with iodide to form tri-iodide and penta-iodide. Penta-iodide intercalates between the starch molecules and stains amylose and amylopectin blue and red, respectively. The gelation and viscous texture of glutinous rice is due to amylopectin being more hygroscopic than amylose, thus water enters the starch granule, causing it to swell, while the amylose leaves the starch granule and becomes part of a colloidal solution. In other words, the higher the amylopectin content, the higher the swelling of the starch granule.
Though the amylopectin content plays a major role in the defined characteristic of viscosity in glutinous rice, factors such as heat also play a very important role in the swelling, since it enhances the uptake of water into the starch granule significantly. 
The high amylopectin content of waxy or glutinous starches is genetically controlled by the waxy or wax gene. Its quality of greater viscosity and gelation is dependent on the distribution of the amylopectin unit chains. Grains that have this gene are considered mutants, which explains why most of them are selectively bred to create a grain that is close to having or has a 0% amylose content. The table below summarizes the amylose and amylopectin content of different starches, waxy and nonwaxy:
The soaking of the glutinous rice is an elemental step in the preparation of mochi, either traditionally or industrially. During this process, glutinous rice decreases in protein content as it is soaked in water. The chemicals that make up the flavour of plain or "natural" mochi are ethyl acetate, ethanol, 2-butanol, 2 methyl 1-propanol, 1-butanol, isoamyl alcohol, 1-pentanol and propane acid.
Mochi is usually composed solely of glutinous rice, however, some variations may include the additions of salt, spices and flavourings such as cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde). Food additives such as sucrose, sorbitol or glycerol may be added to increase viscosity and therefore increase gelatinization. Additives that slow down retrogradation are not usually added since amylopectin has a very stable shelf life due to its high amylopectin content.
Mochi's characteristic chewiness is due to the polysaccharides in it. The viscosity and elasticity that account for this chewiness are affected by many factors such as the starch concentration, configuration of the swollen starch granules, the conditions of heating (temperature, heating period and rate of heating) as well as the junction zones that interconnect each polymer chain. The more junction zones the substance has, the stronger the cohesiveness of the gel, thereby forming a more solid-like material. The perfect mochi has the perfect balance between viscosity and elasticity so that it is not inextensible and fragile but rather extensible yet firm.
Many tests have been conducted on the factors that affect the viscoelastic properties of mochi. As puncture tests show, samples with a higher solid (polysaccharide) content show an increased resistance and thereby a stronger and tougher gel. This increased resistance to the puncture test indicate that an increase in solute concentration leads to a more rigid and harder gel with an increased cohesiveness, internal binding, elasticity and springiness which means a decrease in material flow or an increase in viscosity. These results can also be brought about by an increase in heating time.
Sensory assessments of the hardness, stickiness and elasticity of mochi and their relationship with solute concentration and heating time were performed. Similar to the puncture test results, sensory tests determine that hardness and elasticity increase with increasing time of heating and solid concentration. However, stickiness of the samples increase with increasing time of heating and solid concentration until a certain level, above which the reverse is observed.
These relationships are important because too hard or elastic a mochi is undesirable, as is one that is too sticky and will stick to walls of the container.
Suffocation deaths are caused by mochi every year in Japan, especially among elderly people. In 2015, it was reported that according to the Tokyo Fire Department – which responds to choking cases – more than 100 people were hospitalised per year for choking on mochi in Tokyo alone. Also in Tokyo, between 2006 and 2009 there were 18 reported deaths resulting from choking on mochi. As a result of this risk, Japanese authorities put out yearly warnings, advising people to cut mochi into small pieces before consumption.
Mochi may be eaten alone as a major component of a main meal, and is used as an ingredient in other prepared foods.
Many types of traditional wagashi and mochigashi (Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. For example, daifuku is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (anko) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry inside.
Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with mugwort (yomogi). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku.
Small balls of ice cream are wrapped inside a mochi covering to make mochi ice cream. In Japan, this is manufactured by the conglomerate Lotte under the name Yukimi Daifuku, "snow-viewing daifuku".
In Taiwan, a traditional Hakka and Hoklo pounded rice cake was called tauchi (Chinese: 豆糍; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: tāu-chî) and came in various styles and forms just like in Japan. Traditional Hakka tauchi is served as glutinous rice dough, covered with peanut or sesame powder. Not until the Japanese era was Japanese-style mochi introduced and gained popularity. Nowadays, Taiwanese mochi often comes with bean paste fillings.
In China, tangyuan is made from glutinous rice flour mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked and served in boiling water. Tangyuan is typically filled with black sesame paste or peanut paste and served in the water that it was boiled in.
In Hong Kong and other Cantonese regions, the traditional Lo Mai Chi (Chinese: 糯米糍; Jyutping: no6 mai5 ci4) is made of glutinous rice flour in the shape of a ball, with fillings such as crushed peanuts, coconut, red bean paste, and black sesame paste. It can come in a variety of modern flavors such as green tea, mango, taro, strawberry, and more.
In Philippines, a traditional Filipino sweet snack similar to Japanese mochi is called tikoy (Chinese: 甜粿; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: tiⁿ-kóe). There is also another delicacy called espasol with a taste similar to Japanese kinako mochi, though made with roasted rice flour (not kinako, roasted soy flour). The Philippines also has several steamed rice snacks with very similar names to mochi, including moche, mache, and masi. These are small steamed rice balls with bean paste or peanut fillings. However they are not derived from the Japanese mochi, but are derivatives of the Chinese jian dui (called buchi in the Philippines). They are also made with the native galapong process, which mixes ground slightly fermented cooked glutinous rice with coconut milk.
In Korea, chapssal-tteok (Hangul: 찹쌀떡) varieties are made of steamed glutinous rice or steamed glutinous rice flour.
In Indonesia, kue moci is usually filled with sweet bean paste and covered with sesame seeds. Kue moci comes from Sukabumi, West Java and Semarang, Central Java. Another Indonesian mochi is yangko, a Yogyakarta mochi made from glutinuous rice. In Pontianak, mochi is covered with ground peanut powder and the dish named kaloci.
In Malaysia, kuih kochi is made from glutinous rice flour and filled with coconut filling and palm sugar. Another Chinese Malaysian variant, loh mai chi is made with same ingredients but their fillings are filled with crushed peanuts. There is also kuih tepung gomak, which has similar ingredients and texture to mochi but larger in size. The snack is quite popular in the east coast of Malaysia.
In Singapore, muah chee is made from glutinous rice flour and is usually coated with either crushed peanuts or black sesame seeds.
In Taiwan, a soft version similar to daifuku is called moachi (Chinese: 麻糍; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: moâ-chî) in Taiwanese Hokkien and mashu (Chinese: 麻糬; pinyin: máshǔ) in Taiwanese Mandarin.
In Hawaii, a dessert variety called "butter mochi" is made with mochiko, butter, sugar, coconut, and other ingredients then baked to make a sponge cake of sorts.
Similar foods in other countries:
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