Wednesday, January 28, 2009

... And Look, Moffles!!

Moffles made with mochi (rice cakes)
from an outdoor event in my hometown

Gosh I really want to thank the person who invented this stuff! Moffle is a word made by combining mochi (rice cakes) and waffle, and what it is is rice cakes baked in a waffle maker. I had herad a lot about it, and been curious about it. Now today, after making the waffles in the above post, I decided to go for this moffle thing, too, to satisfy my curiosity.

Luckily, I didn't have to go out and buy some mochi; I had two of them from the outdoor tea ceremony event in my hometown last Sunday. In Japanese rural areas, people still keep the traditional custom of throwing rice cakes to celebrate happy occasions, and they did that at the event. (Atually in my hometown, it's becoming popular to throw things like packed sweets and instant ramen noodles in addition to mochi. Is it the same in other areas in Japan?) Anyway, I had these two rice cakes on hand:

The Chinese characters mean "Celebration."

I was a bit worried that these may be too thick, and thought about microwaving them beforehand. But I thought, "Oh, what the heck," and put them on the bottom of the waffle maker and closed it. Of course, it didn't close. But as the rice cakes softened, the top iron of the waffle maker gradually came down and finally completely closed. I didn't know exactly how long I was supposed to bake and was worried about burning them, so I lifted up the top several times to check on them.

First, the rice cakes were flat disks and the center looked still raw. But after I turned over the waffle maker and baked some more, they started making noise. (It was the sound of heated air inside the mochi coming out.) Then they started spreading out, filling out the iron and then -- believe it or not -- started pushing up the top! And finally, I got these two square-shaped, airy moffles!! :D I found some leftover anko (sweetened azuki bean paste) in the freezer, microwaved it to make it a little runny and topped my first moffles with it.

Boy, the moffles were crispy on the outside, airy but chewy and sticky rice-cake texture still remaining on the inside. And unlike baked rice cakes, moffles didn't turn hard after they were cooled. Well, they did turn a little hard, but not as much as regular rice cakes, so grandpas and grandmas with bad teeth wouldn't have a problem. They didn't stick to the iron at all, and looked like it was very hard to burn them. I thought I baked them quite a while, but they didn't even turn brown.

Next time I'm going to buy some thin rice cakes for mochi-shabu and make moffle sandwich with mentaiko(pollock roe) and shiso (green perilla) inside. Or cheese, pizza sauce and sausage version? Yum!!

*** WARNING!! (added Feb. 11, 2009) ***
The rice cakes we usually use here in Japan to make moffles are the ones made by pounding steamed glutinous rice. There is a softer type of rice cake made from mochiko (rice flour) -- you know, the mochi used as daifuku skin. I have never ever seen, heard or read about anyone in Japan making moffles using that softer mochi, and I DO NOT recommend anyone to do so because it may stick to the waffle maker real badly and make a mess. Well, it may not -- but we don't know until someone actually gives it a try.



Michelle said...

Ooh, I saw moffles mentioned online somewhere. Next time I'm at a Japanese market, I'll have to get some mochi to try this out! :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Interesting! A great speciality!



tofugirl said...

Wow, how interesting! So inventive :D I'll definitely have to try this--I wonder if I can put some of our sticky new year cake in a waffle iron too...

K and S said...

so good that you could use your waffle maker I saw special machines for moffles!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE mochi! Well, I love an mochi. I'm eating some right now!

Moffles sound delicious... I'd love to try it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious with anko.
Using thinner mochi is easier baking Moffle as you said, maybe. I like to sand mentaiko,tuna and mayo and some cheese.I herad that Moffle is low calorie because of its thinness. Thank you for your report.Your crativity stimulated my laziness days,I try to make something this weekend. I'm definitely much much more obachan than you.

Unknown said...

I found a moffle maker in Yodobashi camera, but it was very expensive. It's nice to know you can make them in a regular waffle maker too!
But maybe it wouldn't work in an electric one. I saw those hand held ones on rakuten (that you hold over a gas flame). Maybe I should buy one of those instead. They are much cheaper!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea you have here! If we weren't going to friends for dinner tonight I would be making moffles and serving some leftover chicken curry on top. Thank you for telling us about the moffles.

Bento Pet said...

I tried this out in an electric waffle maker, it's perfect! Didn't stick like I feared it would!! Thanks for sharing, I would never have been able to enjoy this otherwise.

obachan said...

Oh, you’re gonna love it! Do give it a try. :D

It’s so much fun. I mean it.

Mmmm… I don’t know what your sticky new year cake is like, so I don’t know if it would work or not. Sorry. It would be awful to clean the waffle iron once something sticks to it…

K & S
What I’ve read is that the special electric moffle makers are made to heat with higher temperature than most electric waffle makers so that the moffle crust would turn out crispier or something. And some expensive machines even let you adjust the temperature according to the thickness of the mochi you bake. But if you don’t need all those fancy stuff, it should be technically possible to make moffles with a regular waffle maker, AS FAR AS it’s a good one with a decent non-stick coating on the iron, I guess. Actually I’ve seen many posts (in Japanese) about moffles baked in their electric waffle makers, but most of them used a brand called Vitantonio which is definitely NOT the cheapest brand.

It’s worth trying. Trust me. ;)

Mmmm… mentai, tuna-mayo cheese version sounds sinfully good! I’m drooling.
I’m not sure if the thinness has anything to do with the calorie, though.

Kelley Dawne
As I wrote in my response above, I think you can make moffles with regular electric waffle maker, too, but it could take way longer, maybe?

Yeah, handheld ones would be a better bet, I think. But I’ve heard that waffles may stick to some terribly cheap hand-held ones because the irons do not have good non-stick coating on, so I recommend you to avoid ones like that. Sticking problem could be worse with mochi than waffles, I suppose…

Ah! Curry must be great with moffles. Mmmmm….!!! I want some right now!

Bento Pet
Oh, it worked?! Thanks for the report! ;)

Anonymous said...

They look absolutely delicious... what a treat!

Hi, Obachan- I'm a bit of a lurker and wanted to thank you for your blog. I came across it when I wanted to find a Nerikiri recipe... I ate them in Japan earlier this year and have been craving them ever since... sadly you can't buy them in Australia! I made them fairly successfully, and was so grateful for your recipe. Thankyou!

I hope you could answer something for me... I'm wanting to try making some agar/clear style wagashi, and have a recipe in Japanese I'm trying to translate. One of the components I have no idea about, and was wondering if you'd heard of it- "オリゴトースト", origotoosuto. Is it a type of sugar? If you have any idea, I'd be very grateful!

Anyway, thankyou for your great blog, and the nerikiri recipe in particular! :) It really inspired me to keep cooking.

Unknown said...

Can someone give me the recipe on how to make the rice cake and into what size before I put it into the waffle machine? And where can I buy the moffle maker in the US? Thanks.

obachan said...

Hi. I'd never heard of オリゴトーストbefore. After reading your comment, I googled and found an ad of Japanese sweet, and the list of its ingredients included オリゴトースト. So it must be a wagashi ingredient, but I have no idea what it is... Could be something related to origosaccharide? There were other オリゴトースト on several Japanese websites, but they were toasts with origosaccharide splincled on top.
Sorry that's all I was able to find.

PLEASE read the warning I added to this post. If someone gives you a recipe of softer rice cakes made from mochiko (rice flour), be careful and do not put the rice flour mochi in moffle maker UNLESS the person actually gave it a try and had a success or the moffle maker instruction says it's OK to use that kind of softer mochi instead of regular mochi. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou anyway, obachan. I'll let you know how I go, and send some pictures (providing it's not a disaster if I leave out this mysterious ogliosaccharide!)

OldKneesJo said...

My 91 y/o Mom and I tried making moffles with the mochi she makes every new years in her mochi maker. I was very hesitant that the mochi would stick and ruin her electric Belgian waffle maker, but it came out beautifully! I set the temperature to the highest setting and the mochi browned just slightly in the indentations only.
She is now happily making moffles for her friends.
Thank you so much for your interesting blog. I first came across it looking for a recipe for kasu-jiru and saw that you are from Kochi. My late father was born in Hewa, just outside of Kochi and attended elementary school in Kochi until he came to the US at age 12. We still visit family in Kochi. My Mom lives in Berkeley, CA, and loves to cook Japanese food, although she is getting on in years and can't do as much, she is trying to teach her children and grandchildren how to cook basic Japanese. She was delighted to read your blog!
My Mom and I also took Omotosenke tea ceremony lessons for many years (until our knees got too old to sit on tatami!) and really enjoyed the Hatsugama kaiseki pictures. Our Tea teacher also did full kaiseki lessons for many years, but is also getting too old to do the full o-Chaji. In Berkeley she would have to make the wagashi from scratch as well as all of the food, so we students would come early to help (and I was best at washing lots of pots, pans, and dishes!). Many of her other students were from Japan, but I was born in the US and speak very little Japanese and can’t read any Japanese.
We look forward to following your blog!

obachan said...

Good luck! ;)

Oh, So great to hear that your mom is enjoying moffle-making. I'm going to try some of my crazy ideas (like mentaiko & shiso, cream cheese & jam or apple preserve, ham & cheese, kimchi & something, etc.) and post about them soon. I'd be happy to hear if your mom invents something new.

I've been to hewa once. It's a small, peaceful town famous for buntan oranges. And you took omotesenke lessons! I understand how it is to have a ocha-ji. My mom has to have several sleepless nights to prepare for it.

I wish I could post more wagashi recipes here for those who live outside Japan and have to make wagashi from scratch like your mom. Maybe after I move and have more time... Hope you keep coming back to my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I recently tried these moffles with my waffle iron, and surprise! They worked! Lots of fun to make and a good excuse to play with your food. I wish I could get the thin rice cakes here. Do you know a trick to cutting the thicker ones in half?