Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
Growing up, my family frequented Chinese grocery stores frequently from the two located near my house, a plethora in Flushing, NY where my grandparents lived and even driving close to a hour within NJ just to buy Asian vegetables, fruits, and pantry items. Early on, my sister and I caught on to the snack isle and became connoisseurs in the finest Japanese snacks like chocolate filled koala biscuits, the lesser chocolate filled panda biscuits, Pocky (apparently pronounced “Poke-e” and not “Pock e”), and mushroom crackers with a chocolate top.
Since our early years, we have noticed that these items became more and more available in American stores such as near the anime section at Suncoast video in a mall or World Market. Now, I have had the privilege of working with someone who grew up in Japan, and have been introduced to a new more traditional goody from across the pond. Upon her return from a trip to Tokyo, I was presented with this little wrapped package.
It includes a little wrapped tin pan with a plastic cover the holds in the bean (soy?) powder. On top of the powder is a little angular bottle filled with a sweet (brown sugar?) syrup. Upon pouring the syrup over the powder, use the stick to dig up two pieces of mochi at the bottom of the pan. This is where the wrapping paper comes in handy as you will definitely face powder spillage. The gooey mixture as a result from the syrup and powder taste of a squishy piece of mochi with hints of molasses which is why I thought the bottled syrup was brown sugar.
Brown Sugar Syrup
According the my co-workers, eating mochi or maybe these mochi snacks were the leading cause of death in Japan among elder citizens during New Years Eve and New Years as it is eaten as a symbol of prosperity or some other value that the Japanese strive for. I can agree that the texture can be a choking hazard, but this notice mochi snack eaten couldn’t be taken down.
It’s in the Wrist
In Japan, mochi is traditionally eaten as a snack that is filled with bean paste and not ice cream (darn). I’ve always loved the mochi in the freezer section of the Asian grocery store. If you are by an Asian grocery store, please buy yourself a box and share.