Debbie Michiko Florence is the author of Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen, a new chapter book about making mochi, among other things.
Author Debbie Michiko Florence was struck with the idea for her character Jasmine after reading a newspaper article about a multigenerational Japanese-American family who gathered to make mochi each new year. Fiesty, independent fourth-generation Japanese-American Jasmine Toguchi, growing up in West LA, wants to break mochi-making tradition and participate in the "boy job" of pounding the mochi rice.
Mochi is a chewy dessert made from glutinous short-grain mochi rice, pounded into a paste and shaped and colored for various holidays. Florence sat down with the Clever Cookstr to talk about her experience as a third-generation Japanese-American cook, eater, and writer, and to share tips and tricks for making mochi. After you're done listening, check out this bonus recipe for Microwavable Mochi from Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen.
- 1 1/2 cups mochiko (Japanese rice flour), plus a couple of handfuls
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- cooking spray
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of mochiko with the sugar and water in a bowl until smooth.
- Spray microwavable pan with cooking spray.
- Pour mochiko mixture into pan.
- Microwave on high for 7 1/2 minutes until ingredients become a puffy dough-like mass. (Cooking times may vary.)
- Dust cutting board with mochiko.
- With an adult’s help, remove hot pan from microwave. Flip pan over onto the mochiko-dusted cutting board. Cooked mochi should come out of the pan in one big square.
- Let mochi cool until you can safely handle it with your hands.
- Cut into small square pieces.