Baked Poi Mochi

Baked Poi Mochi

January 1: New Year’s Day

Islander grew up eating Filipino bibingka during the holidays, special occasions and “just because” in Hawaii. Other Asian immigrants on the islands have a similar sweet treat, like Japanese mochi and Chinese gau, for the new year. The glutinous rice is considered an auspicious food. Its stickiness symbolizes that good luck would stick with you throughout the coming year.

In a Hawaiian twist, Islander added poi powder to the mochi and coconut flakes for a tropical taste. We let our haole neighbors try a little bit of poi mochi for a mainland mini makahiki. Some liked its novelty while others were not used to the gooey texture. At least they tried something new for the new year!

Bake poi mochi for the new year and may good luck stick around! Hauoli makahiki hou.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taro Brand)

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • ½ – ¾ cup poi powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 (14 ounces) can or 1 ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • purple food coloring (optional)
  • 1-2 cup coconut flakes (we used unsweetened)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mochiko, poi powder, baking powder and sugar.

Baked Poi Mochi

Stir in the milk and evaporated milk. Beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract.

Baked Poi Mochi

Melt the butter and cool slightly. Stir into the mixture. Tint with purple food coloring if desired. Fold in the coconut flakes. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing into 24 squares with a plastic knife. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container.

Baked Poi Mochi

Notes

  • The coconut flakes tend to rise to the top in this recipe, making the crust brown and crunchy. As the top can burn easily, place the pan in the middle or lowest rack in the oven.
  • There are deep-fried versions of poi mochi balls that Islander likes to eat when she finds them while in Hawaii. This baked custard-like version is simpler to make.
  • Mahalo nui loa to Islander’s brother who gifted us with the wooden model poi pounders pictured above.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing poi as an ingredient.
  • Happy new year to all our blog readers!

Butter Mochi (Sweet Rice Flour Cake)

Butter Mochi

September: National Rice Month

Islander’s Daddy brings butter mochi and bibingka to church meetings and Islander has continued the custom on the mainland. When a few friends get together for a prayer social, the “local expatriates” often request a Hawaii-style dessert. Islander obliges and makes a mochiko (sweetened rice flour) cake because it can feed a crowd. Our haole friends refer to butter mochi as Hawaiian cornbread because it looks like it. Some cultures consider corn as king, but to others rice is royalty! For National Rice Month, make something ‘ono with sweetened rice flour and bake butter mochi.

Recipe

(Adapted from Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts)

Ingredients

  • 1 box (16 ounces/1 pound) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 3 cups sugar (we used 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter (plus more for greasing the pan and shining the top)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can (12 ounces) coconut milk

Directions

Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter. In a microwave safe bowl, place the stick of butter and microwave until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix the mochiko and sugar.

Butter Mochi

Add baking powder and the melted butter to the mixture. Mix in the beaten eggs, vanilla and coconut milk. Stir well until smooth.

Butter Mochi

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick (should come out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Rub about two tablespoons of butter on top of the butter mochi until it shines. This prevents the dessert from drying and cracking too much. Cool completely. Slice into squares and serve.

Butter Mochi

Notes

  • Squares of butter mochi may be garnished with shredded coconut (optional).
  • Islander’s Daddy serves the sliced squares in cute cupcake papers for a pretty presentation.
  • Search our blog for more rice recipes.

Mochiko Chicken

Mochiko Chicken

July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

Make mochiko chicken as an Asian alternative for National Fried Chicken Day. Mochiko chicken, a Japanese-style fried chicken, is popular at potlucks and in bento (lunch box) in Hawaii. Mochiko, a sweet rice flour, is blended in the batter with other ingredients to give the chicken coating a unique and savory flavor. Below is an old family recipe for mochiko chicken. Now that Islander and her brother live on the mainland, we still cook this for potlucks on occasion and pack the rest for lunch—if there are any leftovers!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds of chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce (we used Aloha Shoyu brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Directions

Boil the chicken wings in a pot of water for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the water and cool the chicken wings. Make the coating by combining the mochiko, cornstarch, flour, sugar, soy sauce, egg, sesame oil, oyster sauce, salt and green onions and in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Mochiko Chicken

Coat the chicken wings in the batter. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two or more hours, turning the chicken wings occasionally so they are well marinated. Deep fry the chicken wings in hot oil. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions before serving.

Mochiko Chicken

Notes

  • Mochiko flour can be found at Asian grocery stores. Make sure that it is the sweet rice flour and not the plain one.
  • Try other favorite chicken pieces instead of wings for this recipe. They can be boneless and skinless.
  • Search our blog for more recipe posts using mochiko as an ingredient.