Peanut Mochi

Mochi is a sticky Japanese dessert made using mochiko (rice flour). I’ve eaten mochi filled with ice cream, yellow custard, and red bean, but my personal favorite is peanuts and sugar.
Whenever we drove to Houston’s Chinatown for weekend trips, Dad would call this old Asian lady who ran a tiny bakery in the corner of an old run down mall. She was petite, hunched over, and looked like Grandmother from Disney’s Mulan with wrinkles and grey hair and moles. We always ordered a few dozen mochis as soon as we drove into town, and then right before we left, order an additional dozen or so for to-go. This mall was rather sad and empty, but I’m pretty sure we could single handedly support this bakery if we lived in Houston.
peanut mochi coconut mochiko flour sugar asian dessert dimsum

We visited this bakery for years and years and then one day, we found the lady retired. My family gasped in horror. No more mochi!! Thus, we became mochi-less, occasionally buying from random groceries, but we had lost our beloved trusted mochi source.

mochi desiccated coconut

I finally decided to adapt this mochi recipe from Christine’s Recipes. I don’t have a steamer, but a microwave works perfectly well. Covering the plate with plastic wrap and a wet paper towel helps mimic the steaming, so it’s much softer (otherwise, the edges can develop a tough crust).

Rolling the mochi into balls can be difficult due to its stickiness; some recipes call for using cornstarch, powdered sugar, or potato starch for easier handling. I didn’t really want those to affect the taste, so I just dusted extra mochiko as the flour and lots of dessicated coconut.

mochi filling peanuts coconut mochiko flour sugar asian dessert dimsum

We overfilled the first few mochi balls and it kept bursting with peanuts; the more we tried to patch it up the more they fell apart. So the best way to fix that is just cover with tons of coconut to disguise the damage.

Coconut Mochi with Peanut Filling
Voila! Mochi! I should open my own bakery

1 cup glutinous rice flour (mochiko)
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
desiccated coconut to coat mochi

1/4 cup crushed peanuts
sugar, to taste
1/8 cup desiccated coconut


Combine glutinous rice flour with sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in coconut milk until smooth. Transfer flour mixture in a shallow microwave safe plate.

Cover plate with microwave safe plastic wrap and lay a moist paper towel over it. Microwave 2 min at a time, checking until done (it took me about 10 min). Poke the mochi to test if it’s cooked; it should be soft but just solid. Let cool.

Cut into 6-10 small portions. Dust with additional mochiko and dessicated coconut for easier handling. Knead each into a small disc.

Mix the filling in a bowl and spoon it into the middle of the disk. Make sure not to add too much or it will burst. Fold the edge to seal the mochi. Lightly roll it into a ball shape, then coat with desiccated coconut. Store at room temperature; don’t refrigerate it or it may harden.

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  1. Using a steamer is the true and best way of making mochi. Microwaves are an alternative for those who don't have any. Another possible option is baking in an oven using tray in a water bath tented with foil to catch steam, but I can't attest how well it works personally. Hope that helps