Japanese mochi ice cream can be made in your own home. You can customize with your favorite flavors of ice cream and keep them stored in the freezer for a fun and delicious treat.
I adore mochi ice cream. For those unfamiliar, mochi is a Japanese rice cake made with glutinous rice flour and has a chewy texture. Mochi Ice Cream is a thin layer of mochi wrapped around an ice cream filling. It’s creamy, sweet, with a little chewy outer shell, and just a very delightful and cute treat. They have become quite popular in the last few years and I’ve been able to find them at most major grocery stores, like Vons and Ralphs. Trader Joe’s makes their own version and the Whole Foods in San Diego carry Bubbies brand, which is flown in from Hawaii. I buy them a lot but I’ve been wanting to try making my own. I’ve always enjoyed the chewy texture of mochi and it’s been one of my favorite foods since I was kid. Heck, even our family dog’s name is Mochi! I wasn’t introduced to ice cream mochi until college. I don’t quite remember how my first experience came about, but I do remember having one of those “mind blown” moments once I tried it. I immediately became obsessed with these little round treats.
For years, I’ve puzzled over how to make mochi ice cream. I’ve made regular mochi with glutinous rice flour. But the dough I used to make regular mochi did not seem like it would work well with ice cream mochi and I was also afraid that once frozen, the mochi would stiffen and lose its chewy texture.
Luckily, I found a great recipe post and video tutorial for mochi ice cream from Just One Cookbook. Over the years, I’ve found her blog to be a great resource for Japanese recipes, so I knew her recipe would be a great place to start. The key to producing good mochi ice cream is using Shiratamako. You can find it in most Japanese grocery stores, like Mitsuwa or Marukai. Even though this package doesn’t have it labeled in English, it was clearly labeled on the shelf. This is not the same as the more commonly found packages of powdery glutinous rice flour or mochiko. While Shiratamako is also made of glutinous rice, it is processed differently and is shaped like coarse granules rather than a fine powder. Once you have the right flour, the dough can easily be made in the microwave. First, you dissolve the dough, then you wrap it plastic wrap and cook it for one minute (bottom left photo). Then you mix and cook one more minute (bottom right photo).
Then you gather the dough and cook it about 30 more seconds until dough is no longer white and slightly translucent.
A little more time consuming is the rolling out of the dough. It’s very, very sticky, but the use of cornstarch really helps. You roll the dough out very thinly, then cut circles.
The trickiest part is evenly wrapping the ice cream in the mochi. You need to do it quickly because the ice cream will immediately start to melt and once it wets the dough, the dough will no longer remain sticky enough to seal. It does take a few tries to get it right. My first few, I either filled too little, too much, or wrapped them too slow. I started with chocolate flavor and as you can see, there are no chocolate ones in the picture because I messed those up! But after a few, I got the hang of it and managed to produce some decent looking ones. They aren’t as perfectly shaped as machine-made ones, but they do taste good. The mochi dough will initially be hard when you remove them from the fridge. But if you let it thaw for just a little bit, the mochi will become soft and chewy again.
Please see more list about Mochi ice cream balls