Japan: ラーメンと餅

It’s ramen and mochi time!

Mochi is one of those desserts that I love and I thought mystery dough, ice cream… this should be easy!

Ha!

I figured out 100 ways not to make mochi… but some how we got there in the end!

If you are unfamiliar with mochi, it is a golf ball size ball of ice cream wrapped in a soft chewy dough. They are served cold and you bite into them- my absolute favorite is green tea mochi after some hibachi.

Our favorite place to enjoy this combo is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA and it’s called Little Tokyo. If you are ever in Mt Lebanon do yourself a favor and have a meal there- the owners are super nice and their food is phenomenal!

How to make Mochi ice cream

This recipe can be completed in phases, which is helpful if you don’t have a huge chunk of time all at once. I also want to apologize- I do not have a lot of pictures of this process. Like I said I found 100 ways not to make them, so I will impart my learned wisdom through words. I followed this super cute recipe video but there were some steps left out that would have made a big difference! You can find the recipe here: https://izzycooking.com/mochi-ice-cream/

Method

  1. Scoop the ice cream into balls roughly the size of golf balls and place either on a parchment lined cookie sheet or I used individual silicone cupcake cups.

2. Mix 3/4 cup of Mochiko or “sweet rice flour” in a bowl with 1/4 sugar, slowly add 3/4 cup water while stirring. Be sure to remove any and all lumps.

3. Microwave time! Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds more.

4. LET IT COOL!!!! Seriously! This is the part that is not mentioned in the original recipe I followed. When it is hot no amount of cornstarch will help you. It was like trying to roll out and handle chewing gum- seriously, it was disgusting and SO MESSY! Once it cooled I was able to roll it out with relative ease and the cornstarch helped a lot. Lesson learned, let it cool!

5. Roll out the dough till it is very thin and cut out large circles that are basically 2x the width of your ice cream. My circles were about 3″ in diameter. *Make sure to add a light dusting of cornstarch in between the disks or they will stick together.

6. Remove your ice cream balls and one at a time wrap the ice cream up in dough. Use a piece of plastic wrap to squeeze it together. Place them in back in the freezer to refreeze.

7. Enjoy! I didn’t roll our dough out thin enough so it was impossible to get your teeth into them at first. You had to wait until they warmed up and softened a bit before you could eat them

Martin loved eating them, as did my husband. So the big question is will I make them again?

Yes.

Partly because I have a bag of Sweet Rice Flour that I don’t know what else to do with in my fridge…

Bonus: These treats are gluten free! So this is a great option if you’re like me and have someone very special in your life who has a gluten intolerance or allergy.

Ramen

For dinner we had one of my husband’s favorite meals, hot soup with meat and noodles. My hubbie LOVES soup! It could be 100 degrees outside and he would still want soup. So this week we went back to our global feast cookbook for a simple recipe that Martin could make with me.

This recipe called for both carrots and mushrooms, two ingredients Martin has become quite proficient in preparing. He peels the carrots and cuts the mushrooms with a butter knife. It has proven one of the best ways to get him involved with savory cooking.

It is so easy to label something as not safe without taking a moment to assess and see if perhaps there is one aspect that is safe or can be changed to be safe. Cutting mushrooms for instance- I would personally cut them with a chefs knife but that would be dangerous for Martin. You can however, cut mushrooms with a dull knife, thus making his participation safe and helpful!

I am not sponsored by this cookbook and I get nothing by saying this, but if you have a child who is between preschool and middle school who is remotely interested in cooking/ baking, I highly recommend this cookbook. The recipes are great, easy to follow and there are several that I help Martin with now but I know in a few years he’ll do them all by himself.

How to make the soup:

Like all good soups you start with the aromatics, you cook the garlic and ginger before adding the stock. Next comes the veggies, carrots and mushrooms, simmer for 5 minutes then add your noodles. We used the scientific wonder that is instant ramen noodles- you let those cook. Once the noodles are ready, you serve the soup and add whatever toppings or stir-ins that you want- such as cooked meat, mirin, soy sauce, hard boiled egg, miso, nori (seaweed), bean sprouts and more!

We went with thinly sliced steak, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds 🙂 Ramen is what you make it and everyone at the table can have a different type to suit their tastes!

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