It’s the most polarizing holiday of the year! Yay! The Bowl household is pretty neutral on the V-Day. We don’t mind it. But we’re also a tad lazy. So what happens is I end up making goofy foods into heart shapes (what do you mean Spam’s not romantic? And, um, no, I’m pretty sure bindaetteok were meant to be made into hearts), then we just pig out and watch movies in our sweatpants.
Normally, I’m all about the Super Bowl finger foods. Carbs wrapped in cheese wrapped in carbs, usually mini, often involving some combination of “Panko-crusted” and “stuffed” and “pizza”? It is my thing. (Football, not so much.) But, either because Bowl #2 and I both had somewhat hectic weeks, or just because January has felt very long and very January, I just felt like a gentler, quieter dessert was in order. One that you can stuff yourself full of and just feel comforted, instead of immobilized. And maybe that you ate two days’ worth of calories in 30 minutes… instead of four. So I made these red bean mochi balls. (I know, even though I just made these. Does that mean it’s topical? Sorry for being a one-note these days — I promise I’m moving on to non-mochi edibles and potables after this.)
Happy Lunar New Year, friends! It’s been kind of a long week, so I won’t write too much today. Instead, I’ll just leave you with this super easy-peasy recipe for the quintessential LNY dessert — cute little teeny mochi, up on Food52 today. I was absolutely thrilled with how these came out. The only variations on mochi I’d made in the past were nian gao, which is a bit cakier, since it’s baked uncovered, and butter mochi, which is quite a bit oilier, because … butter. These are made tightly covered with foil, and they came out of the oven dreamily soft but still chewy, substantial but still light, with just the right amount of sweetness. And cutting them up and powdering them made me feel like an old-timey red-and-white-stripes confectioner.
You can do so much more with this blank canvas recipe, too. I made another batch using one teaspoon of matcha powder (whisked into the dry ingredients) and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract (added to the wet), and was obsessed with them. (Not shown, because our carbon monoxide alarm went off just as they went into the oven … a story for another day… and they came out looking kind of special.) I’m also kind of dying to try it with rosewater? (Turkish delight, but MOCHI.) So many possibilities.
TGIF and happy Year of the Horse!
Butter mochi! The subject of my third and final installment of this little series on Hawaiian foods (parts 1 and 2 were on ahi poke and Spam musubi). I love all the ways that Hawaii is a blend of Asian and Western influences — when it comes to food, it can only mean good things. For instance, I’m not the biggest fan of traditional Asian mochi, like the Chinese nian gao with red bean paste, because it’s a bit too chewy and bland for me. But when amped up with more sugar and a whole (!) stick of butter, the Hawaiian version becomes pretty delicious. READ MORE