Mochi Waffles

Brown rice mochi waffles are not eggy and tender like batter waffles. Their texture is somewhere between Rice Krispies and bubble gum. They are firm enough to be finger food; definitely they are challenging to cut with the side of a fork. Brown rice mochi waffles are simply more entertaining than the popover form in which brown rice mochi usually arrives at the table.

I learned to prepare this dish at the Grainaissance Mochi and Amazake factory in Berkeley back in the early ‘eighties. I had met the Grainaissance folks at the Natural Foods and Products Expo in Anaheim, where I had gone to market my raw sprouted vegan ice cream recipe. I met Gypsy Boots there. His cookbook Bare Feet and Good Things to Eat is the first ever in my memory to mention eating sprouts.

Thaw any flavor of Grainaissance Mochi (Raisin-Cinnamon is a good choice.) One package of mochi makes two large waffles. Cut the mochi into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat up a waffle iron and spray with coconut oil. Place enough cubes for one waffle on the hot waffle iron, covering it evenly. It’s better to underfill than overfill, because if the mochi runs into the outer channels where there is no heat, it won’t cook. The heat will melt the mochi so that it runs together and it puffs up, and eventually it gets crisp on the outside. Open the waffle iron and remove the waffle onto a plate with a fork. Serve immediately with banana jam (see below). Or if you use a savory flavor of mochi, (say, Sesame-Garlic) serve under a curry or other bite-sized, sauce-slathered entree.

Banana jam: Whenever you have bananas going brown in your kitchen, peel them and put them into a plastic bag in the freezer. When you want banana jam for one person, place one frozen banana in a small frying pan and heat gently while mashing with a fork until it is soft and smooth. Season it with a pinch of cinnamon, and mix well. Variation: add a frozen strawberry to the frozen banana, and then mash them together while heating, but don’t add cinnamon.

Mind you, my friends in Japan consider the idea of brown rice mochi, and/or mochi with flavors like cinnamon or garlic, sheer blasphemy.  They are purists about their traditional (white rice) mochi, which they often cook over a hibachi (charcoal grill).  I have to agree – it is delicious!