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.
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.
Take it out of the fridge, then you can do this:
Leave it on the table for an hour
Microwave it for 5 or 6 seconds
shallow fry or fry until the sticky rice ball turns golden-yellow
煎 here is ‘shallow fry’ as in 煎蛋 (Jiān dàn) fried egg, and 炸 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).