Air-flown desserts from Hong Kong
[Sweets from Hong Kong]
These cute little mochis in unusually creative flavors were a little surprise gift from T's recent business trip to Hong Kong. Milk Tea, Yellow Split Peas with Coconut Milk, Red Beans and Green Tea... how funky is that. My favorite flavor is Tofu with Fresh Mango, which got me hooked during my Christmas visit to the city. The filling is a smooth mélange of fresh mango bits in a mango-flavored tofu puree.
Traditionally, mochi is made by pounding steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar with a wooden mallet until it becomes a powder form. This is made into a dough and formed into little balls with sweet red bean paste as a filling. The type of rice used is a stickier variety of rice - glutinous rice - different from the steamed rice on everyday dining tables.
Originally a Japanese confection, these small, round rice cakes with fillings are getting into the mainstream of Asian confections. To be fair, the Chinese has a variant version of mochi, which are called "lo mai chi", translated as glutinous cakes. It is so popular that even ice-cream versions can be found in the frozen department of Singaporean supermarkets.
The next time you're in Asia, do look out for them!