A Very Special Tea Time with Matcha Mochi
Matcha is green tea, or more specifically, powdered green tea. It is, to bore you with the obvious, used to make green tea for drinking. However, much more can be made beyond just tea using this powder. One popular use is matcha mochi, a sticky rice treat made with powdered green tea. The green tea may be something added on top of the mochi, or it may be mixed in with the mochi itself.
Dango is a popular, traditional way to eat the sweet, sticky rice known as mochi. Skewers generally come with three small mochi balls impaled. Though the mochi itself may have the green tea in it, it is also common to see plain, white mochi balls skewered up and then topped with a matcha, kinako (roasted soybean flour), sugar mix. It’s a green, snowy dusting that takes the dango to a new taste destination.
The alternate method of infusing green tea gravitas is to mix it right into the mochi itself. Not only does this add a green tea flavor, it also changes the color from white to, well, green. Inside these mochi balls very well may be stuffed the ever-reliable anko, a sweet red bean paste. Modern takes on green tea mochi sometimes call for whipped cream or other tasty fillings to be used in conjunction with or independent of anko.
Whichever green tea mochi you find yourself nibbling on, rest assured that it will by no means be overkill for you to sip on a cup of hot green tea at the same time. For some, once infected by the fever for green tea, it’s hard to get enough! With fresh mochi having a short shelf life, make every effort to eat it on the same day you buy it. This should not create much of a hardship at all!