Category: Mochi

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

I want to introduce you to this popular Mochi café, “Gekko”, that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. Please add this café on your list of must-visit-cafes in Tokyo!(๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و

Here is everything about the café, access, menu and how I like it!

 

Cozy small café with a good access from Tokyo station

The café, “Gekko” (月光), is located near Uguizudani station, which is only 5 stations away from Tokyo station and takes 10 min ride. From Uguisudani station, you need to walk 4-5 minutes after taking the South exit. (see below for maps and address)

It is a very small café that has cozy and warm atmosphere. The café only sits 12 people in total. Because I went there 20 min before they open on weekday, I could find a seat but people kept coming in and started making a line.

 

gekko outside inside

 

They hand-make Mochi every morning

What makes Gekko so special is that they hand-make Mochi every morning. It is unusual because most Mochi makers make Mochi using machines these days. Making Mochi by hand required a lot of effort and time because you need to pound Mochi rice hundreds of times to make it Mochi. By making Mochi with your bare hands, Mochi becomes very silky and smooth. You can tell the difference for sure!

They use special Mochi rice from popular rice farm in Aomori prefecture. With this rice, you can taste rich and sweet flavor from their Mochi.

 

Try “Donburi-Mochi” and “Gekko Zenzai”

In this café, I recommend you to try their signature Mochi dish, “Donburi-Mochi” (950 yen). It is a warm bowl dish that has 5 small round Mochi coming with soy sauce, spices and a cup of roasted green tea.

 

mochi cafe gekko donburi mochi

 

The soy sauce is made with fish and sea kelp broth, and tastes a little sweet. You can add spices of your choice from wasabi, crispy seaweed and radish.

Once I held the Mochi with chopsticks to eat, I was surprised how soft it was! Also, their Mochi is amazingly silky and smooth, and of course, very delicious! The Mochi was very nice and chewy , but I felt as it was melting in my mouth. I ate it with some spices on it. Spices are also fresh and add nice kicks to soft Mochi.

 

mochi cafe gekko delicious mochi

 

My biggest regret was that I got my stomach full with “Donburi-Mochi”and could not challenge another dish. But everyone was ordering “Gekko Zenzai” (950 yen) which is a dessert bowl that comes with small Mochi pieces, Matcha ice cream and red bean paste in cold Matcha tea. I wish I had invited my friends so we could share all of these delicious menus!

 

 

[Cafe Info] Gekko (月光)

Access: 5 min walk from Uguisudani station of JR Yamanote line.
1. Take the South exit of Uguisudani station.
2. Make left and cross the bridge.
3. At the first signal, cross the road and make left.
4. Make right at the corner of Chinese restaurant and Japanese sea food restaurant.

 

gekko access from uguisudani station

 

Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-7:30pm (last order at 7pm), Sat-Sun 12pm-7pm (last order at 6:30pm), closed on Wednesday

Note:
1. May close early when Mochi is sold out for the day
2. Cash only
3. Has an English menu

Website: minowa-gekko.com

Address: 3-7-18 Negishi, Taito, Tokyo

 
 

If you visit there, please let me know how you like Gekko! Hope you enjoy staying Tokyo.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

There are many Mochi sweets and dishes in Japan, but, there are not many places that offer freshly made Mochi. So, let me show you some of my favorite Mochi cafes! (º﹃º)

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

 

1. Gekko(月光)

Gekko is a very famous and popular café that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. They make Mochi everyday by hand without using any machine even though most of makers use machines to pound rice and make Mochi these days! By doing every process with hand Mochi becomes very silky and smooth.

 

 

Here, I recommend you try “Donburi Mochi” (950 yen) which is a hot bowl dish coming with 5 round soft Mochi. It comes with a soy sauce based special sauce designed by the owner. It is amazingly soft yet chewy, and has a rich flavor of rice. So, so delicious! It comes with a cup of roasted Japanese green tea.

 

 

Not only Mochi, they also offer a variety of Japanese teas and Japanese tea sweets, including Matcha. If you are a fan of Mochi and Matcha, this place is where you should go!

See how I liked it!: very popular mochi café “gekko” in tokyo! try silky chewy freshly-made mochi

 

 

[Info]Gekko

Access: 4 min walk from Uguisudani sta (JR Yamanote line)
Menu: Donduri-Mochi: 950 yen
Note: Cash only

 

2. Kinozen(紀の善)

Kinozen is a long-established Japanese café that is famous for their Japanese traditional sweets such as Matcha mousse and Anmitsu, Japanese red bean parfait.

 

 

However, you can also find fresh Mochi dishes here as well! I recommend you try “Zo-ni”, a Japanese traditional soup dish with Mochi. The broth of its soup is based on fish and sea weed and tastes very clean yet rich. The Mochi is grilled and has a nice crispy surface, while keeping its very soft and chewy texture.

 

 

 

You can also buy some of their sweets and Senbei (Japanese rice cracker) to go.

[Info]Kinozen

Access: 3 min walk from Iidabashi sta (Yurakucho line, Namboku line)
Menu: Matcha mousse: 874 yen
Note: Cash only

 

3. Oiwake Dango Honpo(追分だんご本舗)

Oiwake Dango Honpo is a long-established Dango shop/café located in Shinjuku, one of the most popular tourist place. They are specialized in Dango, skewered round Mochi balls. Here, you can enjoy freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

 

 

There are many types of Dango on their menu, includeing Mitarashi Dango (sweet soy sauce Dango), sea weed wrapped Dango, spicy chili pepper Dango and many more. Please try as many flavors as you can!

 

 

Their shaved ice is also famous and popular. Please stop by there when you are tired from walking around Shinjuku.

 

 

[Info]Oiwake Dango Honpo

Address: 3-1-22 Shinjuku | NSO Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, Tokyo (Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-8pm)
Access: 1 min walk from Shinjuku-san-chome sta (Marunouchi line, Fukutoshin line)
Menu: 2 Dango sticks (Mitarashi and Anko): 567 yen

 
 

Even if you don’t live in Japan or not visiting Japan, you can make Mochi at home. It is delicious and easy. Please try!

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

There are many types of Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets and especially Mochi sweets are becoming more and more popular all over the world. But, if you are a beginner to Wagashi, what should you try first? Let me show you my recommendations. (☆Д☆)

 

1: Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi) is very popular Japanese sweets. It is a round Mochi ball that has red bean paste inside. You can enjoy chewy texture and rice flavor from Mochi and sweetness from red bean paste.

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

There are many other types of Daifuku such as one has beans on outside Mochi layer. But, if you are new to Daifuku, I recommend you try Ichigo Daifuku (aka Strawberry Mochi) that has a whole strawberry inside together.

 

 

2: Dango (団子)

Dango is skewered Mochi balls that come with various sauces. Mochi balls are usually grilled and very chewy. Sometimes you can find Dango as a street snack and can have a freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

Dango sauce can be anything from sweet to salty. But the most popular sauce is Mitarashi, which is thick sweet soy sauce similar to teriyaki sauce. It is sweet yet savory. I am sure you will love it!

 

 

3: Gyuhi (求肥)

Gyuhi is a very simple Mochi sweets, which is sweetened Mochi. To make Gyuhi, you just need to mix some sugar into plain Mochi and knead. By adding sugar, Mochi becomes even softer because sugar helps Mochi contain moisture. It is so soft, almost like melting in your mouth.

 

 

Gyuhi is delicious as it is but it is also used to make Nerikiri, which is a high-grade beautiful Japanese traditional sweet.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

 

4: Mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream is not a traditional Japanese sweet experience, but it has been getting more and more popular, so why not try it? Same as Daifuku, it is a round Mochi, but it has ice cream inside instead of red bean paste.

There is one very famous and popular Mochi ice cream in Japan, Yukimi Daifuku. The outside Mochi layer is so soft and there is vanilla ice cream inside. You can find this ice cream at convenience stores in Japan. If you have a chance, please try it!

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

How to soften Mochi again? 2 easy ways and tips

How to soften Mochi again? 2 easy ways and tips

If you make Mochi, you should eat soon for 2 reasons: 1, fresh Mochi is always the best and 2, Mochi becomes hard very soon!!! ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

 

Why Mochi gets hard so soon?

Mochi becomes hard very fast if left unconsumed. This is because of changes to the starch due to drop in temperature and loss of moisture. Mochi desserts with sugar do not really harden as sugar helps to retain moisture. However, once it hardens, it becomes hard like a rock and cannot be eaten.

However, you can actually soften Mochi again and it is still delicious. Or you can also cook hard Mochi to turn it into delicious Mochi snack!

 

1: Soften Mochi using a microwave

The easiest way to soften Mochi is using a microwave. Mochi gets soft again if you warm it up up because starch of Mochi changes back to soft texture again.

1: Wet Mochi surface with water
2: Put Mochi on a microwave-safe plate and loosely cover it with a plastic wrap.
3: Microwave it for 30 sec to 1 min under 500W depending on how big the Mochi is.
4: Once Mochi gets nice and bloated, your Mochi is soft again!

Be careful not to microwave Mochi too much, as bloated Mochi may sticks to microwave’s walls, and it will be very hard to clean it.

 

2: Soften Mochi by boiling

Another easy way to soften Mochi is by using boiling water. With this, Mochi gets melting soft as it absorbs water.

1: Bring water to a boil in a pan
2: Put Mochi in and boil until Mochi gets soft.

Again, be careful not to boil Mochi too much otherwise Mochi melts in water. I also recommend you put hard Mochi in soup and eat together!

 

 

How to cook hard Mochi? Easy and delicious

Let me show you how to cook hard Mochi and make it into nice and crispy Mochi snack called Arare, a kind of Senbei.

Related post: what is senbei? super crunchy japanese rice cracker

1: Break hard and dry Mochi into small bite pieces.
2: Deep fry Mochi in 160℃/320°F oil until it expands like pop corn, be careful as they become twice as big as before.
3: Season it with some salt or cheese or anything you like.

It is super crunchy and crispy and very delicious!

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

The easiest and delicious CHOCOLATE MOCHI recipe in 5min using microwave!

The easiest and delicious CHOCOLATE MOCHI recipe in 5min using microwave!

You like Mochi and chocolate, yet haven’t made chocolate Mochi by yourself? Let me show you the easiest chocolate Mochi recipe that you can make in 5min with only microwave!Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ

The Mochi is soft and chewy, with rich melted chocolate filling inside…. It is absolutely delicious and you will be surprised how easy it is!

Preparation: 30min
Ready in: 5min

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

 

Ingredients

This recipe makes 6 small chocolate Mochi.

– 2 blocks (approx. 50g) of dried Mochi, aka Kirimochi (see below about what Kirimochi is)
– 1 chocolate bar of your choice (I use 50g)
– 1 tbsp milk
– 1 tbsp sugar (I use cane sugar)
– good amount of starch powder. Potato starch is the best but corn starch works too.
– (optional) cacao powder

chocolate mochi ingredients

 

Preparation

First, in a microwave-safe bowl, soak Mochi blocks in water for 30min. This helps Mochi to soften faster.
*I recommend you to cut the Mochi block in an inch cubes.

choco mochi preparation

 

Directions

1. Cut the chocolate bar into half. One is for the filling and the other is for Mochi. Chocolate for the filling, divide in 6 smaller pieces. Anothe half chocolate for the Mochi, chop finely as in the picture.

chocolate mochi direction1: cut chocolate

 

2. Drain the water and add the chocolate for Mochi (chopped), sugar and milk.

chocolate mochi direction2

 

3. Lightly cover the bowl with a plastic wrap, and put it in a microwave for 1min in 500W, then mix well smashing and mixing Mochi with other ingredients. At this step all ingredients are not well combined yet.

chocolate mochi direction3

 

4. Put it back to a microwave for another 30sec in 500W, then mix well again until all ingredients combined In one texture. Repeat it if the Mochi is still hard.

chocolate mochi direction4

 

5. Place the chocolate Mochi dough on some starch powder and cover the Mochi surface with starch powder. Then divide the Mochi into 6 equal pieces.
*starch powder is not for the taste. It keeps Mochi from sticking to your hand and tray.

chocolate mochi direction5

 

6. Take each Mochi piece, spread it, put the chocolate for filling in the center, then wrap it. When wrapping try to make it round while the Mochi is still warm.

chocolate mochi direction6

 

7. (optional) Sprinkle some cacao powder on the Mochi and done!

chocolate mochi

 

Enjoy chocolate Mochi!

Because you wrap the chocolate filling while the Mochi is still warm, the chocolate inside will be melted. The Mochi will be more squishy and harder eventually so if you like soft Mochi, I recommend you to put it in a microwave for 5-10sec before eating.

Of course it is good if you use Anko (red bean paste) filling instead of chocolate filling. This makes Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi)!

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

 

What is Kirimochi?

I used Kirimochi in this recipe instead of making Mochi from Mochi flour (aka Mochiko) to make it easier. Kirimochi is a ready-to-be-cooked Mochi block that you can eat just by grilling or warming. I am sure you can buy Kirimochi at your local Asian grocery stores. Also you can purchase it from Amazon. (an affiliate link below)

 
 

Please let me know if you want to know other easy recipes!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

How to make Mochi at home : 3 easy ways

How to make Mochi at home : 3 easy ways

Do you like Mochi? It is a fluffy, gooey and stretchy Japanese dish. Did you know that you can enjoy it at home every day with a little effort? (*´μ`*) So how to make Mochi?

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

I will introduce you the 3 easy ways to make simple and plain Mochi at home. Please try these recipes to enjoy Mochi dishes or sweets that you like!

 

1: Make Mochi with a rice cooker

First, you need Mochi rice (aka sweet rice / glutinous rice) to make Mochi. You can buy Mochi rice at your local Asian grocery stores or online such as Amazon. (an affiliate link below)

 

 

Place Mochi rice in a rice cooker and cook like normal rice. Apportion the same amount of rice and water as normal.

Then, place the cooked Mochi rice in a bowl and crush the rice grains with a sturdy rod (similar to a pestle rod). At the same time, keep pounding it while mixing it until it becomes sticky. Once it becomes stretchy and elasticated, the Mochi is done!

 

 

2: Make Mochi with a Mochi cooker

Yes, Japanese companies invented a Mochi cooker! Mochi cooker does all the process you need to make Mochi. Quite surprising, right?

What you need to do is only to place Mochi rice and water into a machine and wait. This is a perfect tool for a Mochi lover who wants to eat Mochi every day at home. You can buy this cooker in Japan or Amazon. (an affiliate link below)

 

 

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3: Make Mochi from Mochiko

If you try to make Mochi for the first time, this way may be the best for you because it requires the least effort. What you need is Mochiko (aka Mochi flour / sweet rice flour).

You need: 50g of Mochiko and 60cc(2 ounce) of water

1) Place Mochiko into a microwave-safe bowl and add water several times while mixing. Keep mixing until all lumps are gone.
2) Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and put it into a microwave for 4-5 min in 500W. If you make smaller portion, microwave it for less time.
3) Mix it until it gets evenly and put it back to a microwave for another 1 min in 500W.
4) Mix it well. Once it becomes stretchy and gooey, the Mochi is done!

You can make Mochi with Mochiko in a microwave! Quite easy, right?

 

Tips for making Mochi

If you like not-too-soft Mochi, use less water. If you like soft Mochi like me, use more water. Please find your favorite ratio!

Note that Mochi is very sticky, when dividing into smaller pieces be sure to keep some potato starch or corn starch handy in a plate and use this to coat your hands before handling.

 

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How to preserve Mochi?

Plain Mochi without added sugar or other preservatives will become moldy and harden quickly. We recommend freezing it while it is still soft. Wrap the Mochi in small pieces and place in the refrigerator. Consume within six months.

Related post: how to soften mochi again? 2 easy ways and tips

To defrost Mochi, leave it in a room temperature for about 1-2 hours until it gets soft again.

 

How to eat Mochi?

You can eat Mochi as a meal and dessert! If you want to eat Mochi as a meal, the best and simple way is to put some soy sauce on Mochi.

Related post: eat mochi for breakfast and be healthy! how to eat mochi as a meal

If you cover a chocolate or an ice cream with Mochi that you cooked, it will be a perfect Mochi dessert!

 

 

Are you interested in cooking Mochi by yourself? Mochi is very delicious and easy to Make! Please let me know which Mochi recipe and ratio fits you better! ヽ(。ゝω・)ノ

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

What is Mochi? A beginner’s guide to Mochi

What is Mochi? A beginner’s guide to Mochi

Mochi has been very popular all over the world. And I am sure you see many sweets or dishes that use Mochi nowadays. However, what is actually Mochi? How it’s made? How you can eat…? Let’s learn together a few basic facts about Mochi! φ(・ω・ )

 

What is Mochi?

Mochi is a Japanese dish with a unique soft, squishy and chewy texture, which is made from a kind of glutinous rice.

Traditionally, mochi was served as a special dish at various celebrations (This is still a traditional that remains today). However, in recent years people in Japan have become able to enjoy Mochi as a familiar everyday commodity.

 

How is Mochi made?

There are 2 different ways to make mochi. The first is made by steaming glutinous rice, and then pounding it into a shape. Another is made by drying glutinous rice into a mochi powder (this powder called Mochiko/sweet rice flour), and then adding water to eventually steam it, which turns it into a Mochi.

However, the former is said to capture a more delectable scent of rice.

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

 

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What does Mochi taste like?

Mochi is made from water and glutinous rice, so it captures the pure and simple taste of rice. To add flavor, mochi is often topped with various sauces, and matched with other foods.

 

How to eat Mochi?

Japanese people typically use Kiri-Mochi for Mochi dishes. Kiri-Mochi is dried Mochi that is cut in pieces. To eat this type of Mochi, you need to warm it up first until it expands and softens by grilling or steaming it. Then you can add a sauce of your choice on it (such as soy sauce, anko sauce, black & sweet black sesame sauce and many others).

Mochi is very versatile food! It is frequently used as a base ingredient in many traditional Japanese dishes and sweets.

 

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What are the popular Mochi sweets?

There are many different Japanese sweets that use Mochi as base ingredient. Dango is a dish comprised of small round pieces of Mochi served on a skewer and topped with sauce. In addition, there is a widely popular sweet called daifuku, which consists of round ball of Mochi with a type of red bean paste called anko stuffed into its core.

Related post: the easiest and delicious chocolate mochi recipe in 5min using microwave!

Related post: top 10 popular japanese sweets (wagashi) that japanese like the most!

Recently, ice cream that is covered with Mochi pieces, called Mochi Ice Cream, has been very popular.

 

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Is Mochi healthy?

Since Mochi itself is made of rice and water, it is a vegan food. It enables you to consume high-quality carbs easily. Some data shows that that eating Mochi for breakfast is healthy.

Related post: eat mochi for breakfast and be healthy! how to eat mochi as a meal

 

Where to buy Mochi?

I think you can buy Kiri-Mochi that is dried and can be used for many dishes at Japanese/Asian grocery stores in your country.

Sweets of Japan also sells Mochi Box that you can enjoy multiple Mochi sweets!
Click here

 

Hope you like Mochi even more now! (*´∀`*)
I will post more interesting information and recipes that use Mochi in the future. Let me know if you want more about Mochi or Japanese culture!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Eat MOCHI for breakfast and be healthy! How to eat MOCHI as a meal

Eat MOCHI for breakfast and be healthy! How to eat MOCHI as a meal

MOCHI (餅), Japanese rice cake, is getting more and more popular in the world. In Japan, Mochi can be used in traditional sweets (Wagashi, 和菓子), as well as in delicious savory meal with soy sauce. According to one recent survey conducted in Japan, having MOCHI for breakfast may be good for your health. I wonder, how come?!

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

 

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Mochi is perfect for your breakfast

In Japan, about 60% of females in their 20s and 30s have neither experienced low-carb nor non-carb diet. In addition, majority mentioned “increased impatience”, “lower concentration ability” and “increased skin breakouts” as side effects from the diet.

At the same time, if you ask nutritionists, they would say that “well balanced” diet is important, meaning; carbs, fats and proteins.

And here comes MOCHI, your diet hero! MOCHI is made of special rice called “Mochi-Gome” (short-grain japonica glutinous rice) and water, with no artificial ingredients. With MOCHI, you can take healthy and high quality carbs. In addition, MOCHI is sticky and stretchy so you have to chew it for some time to consume, which makes you to exercise muscles around your chin. In addition, MOCHI is very easy to cook and very filling. It is a perfect food for your breakfast in the busy days!

In fact, nearly half of Japanese females who eat MOCHI on a daily basis think that it helps them to maintain their health and beauty. Why don’t you try MOCHI as well?

 

Where to buy Mochi for breakfast?

You can find MOCHI at a Japanese grocery stores in your country. MOCHI that you can quickly cook for breakfast is called “Kiri-Mochi”, dried, very hard and packed individually in most of cases. How you can eat it?

 

 

How to eat Mochi as a meal?

To eat MOCHI, first warm it up. You can grill it in a toaster or fry it on a non-stick frying pan without oil. Once it gets swollen/inflates, ready to eat! If you like very soft Mochi, you can put it in a bowl, add a little of water and microwave it on 600W for 50-60 seconds.

After MOCHI is warm add a sauce of your choice, for example soy sauce. That is all! It is very simple but very delicious. You can add some red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. Oh yea… my mouth is drooling (*´﹃`*)

 

 

In addition, you can put MOCHI in a soup or stir fry it with veggies. However, if you are making a soup, do not simmer Mochi too long otherwise it will all melt. If you want to know more recipes of Mochi, please let us know in a comment!

 

Matane! (In Japanese, means “see you soon!”)