How to Defrost your Sticky Rice Balls

Don't ignore these important instructions!

These are important instructions, and instructions I wish I had noticed this morning when I took a peanut flavoured sticky rice ball out of the fridge to eat. Instead of enjoying the delightfully squishy texture, I almost broke a tooth.

If you don’t not what sticky rice balls, or Mochi, are, well, they are sticky balls of rice. The rice is pummeled until it becomes a paste. It’s then usually served covered in peanut or sesame powder, and often with a flavoured filling like red bean, peanut etc. They’re extremely tasty and a must-try if you visit Taiwan or Japan.

Mochi Samples

A plate of Mochi samples at the shop where I bought mine, 阿綿麻糬 (Ā xiàn máshu), in Kaohsiung.

So here are the instructions. If you ever buy 麻糬 (máshu)* and have to store it a few days before eating, here’s what you need to do – accompanied by 口愛 Taiwanese illustrations.


從冷凍庫拿出來,你可以這麼做
从冷冻库拿出来,你可以这么做


Cóng lěngdòngkù ná chūlái, nǐ kěyǐ zhème zuò


Take it out of the fridge, then you can do this:

放桌子解凍一小時
放桌子解冻一小时


Fàng zhuōzi jiědòng yī xiǎoshí


Leave it on the table for an hour

微波5~6秒



Wéibō 5~6 miǎo


Microwave it for 5 or 6 seconds

煎,炸至麻糬呈金黃色
煎,炸至麻糬呈金黄色


Jiān, zhà zhì máshu chéng jīn huángsè


shallow fry or fry until the sticky rice ball turns golden-yellow

here is ‘shallow fry’ as in 煎蛋 (Jiān dàn) fried egg, and is deep-fried, as in 炸薯條 (炸薯条 zhà shǔ tiáo) fries.

Well, I’ve still got a few left so I’ll make sure to defrost it properly before eating next time!

* The Mandarin Pinyin is máshu, but really, no one in Taiwan says that, so don’t be caught out. Here it’s called muá jí (ㄇㄨㄚˊ ㄐㄧˊ).

  • Nice article! One correction — in “微波5~6妙”, I think it should be “秒” 🙂

    • This one is a typo! Thanks, Chris, I’ll get that updated 😉

  • Ken

    Is that a typo, or are you just having fun by writing “口愛”?

    • Hi Ken, It’s not a typo 口愛 is something Taiwanese say when they are being cute about saying “cute” 🙂