Making mochi, Japanese rice paste, is a traditional thing to do around this time of year, so Scott and Naomi had a mochitsuki party!

Mochi starts off as Mochi rice.

It is then soaked overnight, or for a long time

And then steamed.

Once it is steamed, it is moved to the mochi-beating equipment, which consists of a hollowed out tree trunk, and a giant pummel stick.

The steaming rice is first ground as the heat is let out, and then the beating begins!

One person hits, while another folds the mochi over. You get into a rhythm, and it takes maybe 10 or so minutes of beating for it to be ready. Here, I tried both, but I found I preferred folding, and got pretty good at it by the end!

After that, the mochi is moved to the table and floured up, then pulled apart and made into smaller balls.

You can either eat them as is, or add toppings. Kinako powder with sugar, ground ginger, or my favorite, sugar and soy sauce. You can also wrap up sweet bean paste, anko, in it. Or just freeze it and save it for later!

Here is a video of what it looks like after it has been beaten,

And another of Scott and Katsu showing us how its done!

(Click to go to crappy photobucket, since it can’t seem to embed the videos)

Mmm, now I’m hungry!