Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mochi from Hawaii

My Mom and older sister are visiting from Hawaii this week. I know. I just got back from two weeks of vacation and now I’m busy showing my Mom around. Will I ever get the chance to chill and experience the end of summer in the Bay Area?

Don’t get my wrong, I love spending time with my Mom. You can bet we’re eating a lot of Chinese food (good and bad) all week.

My Mom asked me what I wanted from Hawaii, and really, I don’t get many cravings other than for the fresh mangoes. But California agriculture laws would probably land my Mom in jail. So instead I asked my sister to buy a particular mochi that she got awhile back, which I tried and loved.

I generally don’t eat mochi — the Japanese sticky rice ball treats. (If you're not familiar with mochi, it's kind of like a marshmallow but sticky.) But this particular one is so fresh and tasty, I asked her to bring me a pack. It’s from the Kansai Yamato mochi stand in the food court of Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu. What’s unique about their mochi, other than the freshness, is the flavors. Kansai Yamato has a variety of flavors and another unique mochi made with a peanut butter filling. (My sister loves that but it’s a bit too weird for me.)

My sister got me a pack of the honeydew melon and mango flavored mochi. First off, I love the muted colors of the mochi; green for the honeydew and orange for the mango. The sweetness and flavor, while slightly distinctly fake, still gives a good resemblance to the fruit without being overly sweet.

The flavored mochi at Kansai Yamato reminds me of eating chichi dango growing up as a kid in Hawaii. Chichi dango is the colored and sweet mochi eaten as a snack. It’s really the color and sweetness that kids love. So eating these Kansai Yamato mochi from Hawaii just makes me feel like a kid again. (And yes, when my Mom’s around she treats me like one too!)

Other sticky posts:
Sticking Together in the New Year


Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried the mochi at Nippon Ya in SF Japantown? It's not fresh, but they have lots of fabulous fillings - chestnut, chocolate, peach, strawberry, etc., etc.!?

Hungry Dog said...

I didn't know you were from Hawaii--lucky you! We dream of moving there. The photo of the mochi looks so pretty, I love the colors. Have fun with your mom & sister!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

When I am in Ala Moana Shopping Center Food Court, I'm always entranced by the workers Kansai Yamato stand, making fresh mochi. They are unique, and delicious.

There's nothing like fresh mochi. In San Jose's Japantown, we have a cute little shop called Shuei-do that sells fresh mochi. Soooo goood!

We're not likely to find fresh Japanese mochi here in Kuching, but we have something similar called "muar chee". We found a muar chee maker at the community market here. I'll have to see if we can observe her making it.

Single Guy Ben said...

Anon, I've never tried that shop in Japantown, but I'm not that into filled mochi (just like that peanut butter one).

Hungry Dog, that's right! Me and Obama!

Nate/Annie, too bad we can't ship you some mochi because it'll get all hard by the time it reaches you. But that muar chee sounds interesting. Hope you're discovering lots of stuff in Kuching.

Palidor said...

I've tried many types of mochi, but the only ones I like are the frozen ones filled with green tea ice cream. I find them to be rather flavorless otherwise. But I must say these yours look very flavorful as they have nice rich color to them.