Have you ever wanted to play around with open flames? No? Just me? When I was little, I used to be fascinated with fire. I still kind of am. I have a bit of a history with fires. I remember trying to set leaves on fire with magnifying glasses, but I was always very careful (Hi, Mom) to not let open flames get out of hand. Once I made muffins and one of them accidentally set on fire in the oven (Hi, Mom). Then, at a party a few years ago, we actually did set a cupboard on fire (Hi, Mom). We caught it before it got out of hand. The cupboard is still charred to this day. Good times. So, when I saw this week's recipe in sweetness & lightning, I was fascinated! I could use an open flame to make this dish? Perfect. Right up my alley.
Fortunately, this recipe factors nicely into my current life. The struggle bus now has a card carying member (me) because apparently I can't stop riding it. If last week wasn't enough with starting work and teaching full time, this week I had to move apartments, throwing my entire life into shambles. Cue the crying, sweating, and groaning of frustration as I packed everything up, struggled to move it across town, and then had to clean both my old and new apartment. My roommate's desk got stolen, I had to scrub mold, and, perhaps worst of all... I had to carry my KitchenAid stand mixer up a flight of stairs. Do you know how heavy those things are??? CRIPPLINGLY heavy.
Anyway, I was desperately in need of a simple recipe to put together this week, using minimal kitchen tools and appliances and, preferably, with few ingredients. So, I settled on a recipe that I'd never made before, but was easy to recreate with few kitchen tools- Gohei Mochi from sweetness & lightning. When I saw them making this recipe, I was really intrigued! I'd always thought about making s'mores over the kitchen stove burner, but, not being a huge fan of marshmallow, never got around to it. I'd never thought about roasting anything over the open flame, though, and it seemed appropriately simplistic for my desperate circumstances, so I decided to give it a go.
By the way, who else thought that Tsumugi was so cute in this episode? Her poor dad was so worried when he found her, but I LOVED her little song about sharks. Absolutely adorable. And let me tell you, if anything can mend a relationship between father and daughter, making gohei mochi and eating it together will certainly go a long way to doing this. The recipe is really simple, and is actually a great thing to make with kids, since it's simple and hands-on. Better yet, the only thing you REALLY need to make this recipe is a gas stove that can produce a flame. I took the recipe directly from the manga, so what's below is just what you can see there, but modified to make a smaller amount. Let's get cooking!
Making the Gohei Mochi!
Pour walnuts and sesame seeds into either a food processor or a mortar. I recommend the latter, or a bowl and a blunt bashing object if you don't have a mortar. It does a better job of releasing walnut and seed oils, making the end product more tasty. However, either method will do. Crush nuts up into fine crumbs. You really want to avoid big chunks of walnuts.
Then, add in the miso, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Keep grinding until you have a paste.
Scoop this out and set aside. Then, put the rice in the mortar and smash that up until it's really, really sticky. I mean it, it should be obnoxiously sticky. It needs to be this way to stick to the chopsticks properly. I had to rework the rice because I didn't pound it enough at first to develop the stickiness.
Then, form your rice into patties. Pack them together tightly!
Then, spear rice patties through with chopsticks, and pack the rice around the stick, making sure it sticks well. Wrap foil around the end to make sure iti doesn't burn over the open flame.
Then, the fun part! Turn on your gas stove to a high flame. Lightly toast each side, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until you see toasty brown/charred bits. If you don't pack the rice on tightly enough, it will fall off at this stage, potentially causing severe fire damage. Do not recommend. Make sure it's securely on before you do this!
Then, taking the paste you made earlier, spread a thin layer over the surface of the rice. You might have to use your hands to spread it out. Like the rice, don't be afraid to pack this in tight around the rice ball/stick. Make sure you get full coverage. I have no excuse here- I just got really lazy and left some parts uncovered.
Then, again, toast this coating over the open flame, a few minutes on each side. I thought it would melt or slide off, but it stayed put surprisingly well! When done, plate up and get ready to eat.
That's it! Very easy to make, you don't need a lot of tools, and most of the ingredients needed are easy to find around the house (if you're used to cooking Japanese recipes).
This is really tasty. The paste on the outside is salty-sweet, and the walnuts provide a nice mellow undertone that ties everything together, and elevates the rice so that it's a nice combination of flavors. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make by hand, and even if you don't have a mortar and pestle, I think this could still be accomplished with a bowl and something to pound the nuts and rice. I once used a hatchet to make something, so I'm all for being creative in your cooking tools.
I hope you enjoyed this post! To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog for more anime and manga themed food. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! :D
In case you missed it, check out our last dish: Strawberry Milk from "Gintama". What other famous anime dishes would you like to see Emily make on COOKING WITH ANIME?