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December 8 2021 11:04 AM ˚
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Mochi ice cream, a frozen treat wrapped in Japanese sweet rice dough

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(Photos: Oishi Mochi’s Facebook account)
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AMMAN — Mochi ice cream, a modern version of traditional Japanese daifuku and manjū, is a round of rice dough stuffed with different flavours of ice cream. It is usually eaten by the Japanese around new year’s. اضافة اعلان

Mochi ice cream is simply known as mochi, but this only refers to the rice dough covering the ice cream. Traditionally the dough was stuffed with an adzuki or sweet red bean filling.  

Oishi Mochi is one of the leading online stores that makes and sells mochi in Jordan. Sawsan Al-Smadi, owner of Oishi Mochi, talked to Jordan News about mochi ice cream and her business.

The idea came to her when she was in Kuwait and tasted mochi ice cream for the first time. From then on she thought about bringing this Japanese dessert to Jordan as there were no shops specialize in making mochi in the Kingdom.
 

(Photos: Oishi Mochi’s Facebook account)

“The first step was I looked for a professional chef to teach me how to make the ice cream in its original form and I found a Jordanian chef who used to work in Japan. So, I took a course in making mochi ice cream,” Smadi.

She opened her business in 2019. What encouraged Smadi to open her business was her love for desserts especially ice cream and making it, and Japanese cuisine had become a global trend and people rarely got bored with it.

Making the ice cream

In order to make mochi, the most important ingredient to have is glutinous sweet rice, the main ingredient in making mochi dough, to which is added a small amount of sugar and water. 

“The first thing to make is the mochi dough which takes a lot of time to prepare as we have to wait for the ingredients to be fully cooked and let it cool,” Smadi said. The dough is scooped out using a spatula, it is rolled out and then cut into equal pieces and shaped into neat and smooth rounds.

“After the dough is ready you can fill it with any kind of ice cream. At Oishi Mochi we make handmade ice cream to fill our mochi with,” she said. It usually takes around six hours to prepare the Mochi, according to Smadi. 

Its preferable to eat them the following day, giving the desert time to freeze properly. Alternately, it can be eaten after eight hours on the same day.
“The best thing about making mochi is the whole process. I used to do every step in the process, even answering my customers’ calls and taking down their orders while enjoying the process,” Smadi said.

Mochi connected to tradition

The word monodzukuri, literally means “production” or “making of things” in a broader sense, it represents Japan’s pride in its manufacturing knowhow and prowess. It is also the strong sense of pride and even pleasure that individuals feel from making things with their own hands. Similarly, Smadi takes a lot of pride in making mochi ice cream which requires skill. 

Mochi, also called a rice cake, is pounded sweet rice that can be eaten in sweet or savory dishes. Around the start of the new year, many Japanese families take part in the annual mochitsuki, the pounding of rice to make mochi.


(Photos: Oishi Mochi’s Facebook account)

At least two people are involved in making mochi, one mixes the rice dough and the other pounds it with a wooden mallet giving it a unique texture. In traditional mochi, the dough is filled with sweet red bean filling.

Mochi ice cream, the new face of these traditional desserts, was first created in the US by Japanese American Frances Hashimoto, former CEO of Mikawaya, an American confectionary producer. 

Now, mochi is not limited to Japan and not only served around new year, but has become an internationally known dessert served around the year. “The original mochi dough is white and its filling is close in texture to a mousse or cream with fruits as well,” Smadi said. 

“The shapes and colors of mochi ice cream have also changed, now you can find a heart shaped mochi, or it could look like an animal’s face like the ones made in Thailand,” Smadi said, adding that people make mochi today using modern tools instead of traditional Japanese tools.

The ice cream desert comes in a variety of flavours like chocolate, strawberry, mango, vanilla, and many more. Smadi said that the best sellers at Oishi Mochi are the rainbow mochi, salted caramel mochi, while the younger patrons, who make up a majority of her clientele, prefer bubble gum flavor. 

Mochi ice cream in Jordan

Social media has allowed people from around the world to know about mochi ice cream. “At Oishi Mochi, we used social media heavily to introduce people to mochi ice cream and its ingredients,” Smadi said.

She said that at first her Jordanian clientele thought that the mochi dough was only to keep the ice cream inside cold and that it was normal ice cream in the shape of a circle. After trying it for the first time some people loved it, others were surprised by the texture of the mochi dough as it was different from the usual ice cream they are used to. However, she said, the overall reaction was positive.

Smadi said that people like trying new things and preparing them themselves. People can try making mochi ice cream at home, she added. 


(Photos: Oishi Mochi’s Facebook account)

“You do not have to be a professional chef knowledgeable in Japanese cuisine to make a tasty mochi ice cream, you only need to follow the instructions and have the correct ingredients and keep trying,” she said, adding that it took her at least three attempts to make the perfect mochi ice cream. 

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