Custard Mochi (Daifuku) is a sweet and chewy Japanese dessert! Made with homemade custard wrapped in glutinous rice cake, it is a treat you won't be able to resist. While it's traditionally eaten around the Japanese New Year, the sweet treat can be enjoyed at any time of the year with many different fillings.
I was first introduced to this sweet, chewy Japanese treat when I went on my trip to Japan. I had tried ice cream mochi before, but I prefer fresh mochi so much more!
There's honestly nothing better than fresh mochi filled with red bean paste or, in this case, custard. Unfortunately, the latter is much harder to find where I live. That's when I decided it was about time I learn how to make it on my own!
🍴 What is mochi?
Mochi is a sweet and sticky Japanese confection made with glutinous rice cake that's stuffed with a sweet filling. It's absolutely irresistible.
Traditionally, in Japan, the glutinous rice is steamed and pounded until it's smooth and elastic before it's shaped into mochi. Today, we'll be making things easy on ourselves and removing those steps (it's not really as authentic when you aren't in Japan anyway, right?)
Mochi may look super intimidating to make, that's how I felt at first, but it's a lot easier than you would think. Literally. The rice cake part of the mochi can be made in the microwave in four minutes. See? SO easy!
- All-purpose flour
- Egg yolks
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Mochiko sweet rice flour
- Yellow food coloring
- Potato or corn starch
1. Add the milk to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat to boiling.
2. Slowly whisk in the flour, eggs, and sugar. Heat on low heat until bubbling and thick.
3. Pour the custard through a sieve to remove any clumps. Let custard cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
4. Scoop custard into frosting bag and pipe onto a cookie sheet into 8 dollops.
5. Freeze for one hour.
6. Whisk together the mochi ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap.
7. Microwave for 1 minute, remove plastic then stir. It will not be smooth after stirring it.
8. Replace the plastic wrap and continue microwaving in one-minute intervals until mochi is no longer white. It will have more of a translucent quality and will feel gummy. This usually takes 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, enough to handle with your hands.
9. Place the mochi on a cutting board generously coated in potato starch. Sprinkle potato starch on top of the mochi. Shape the mochi into a half-inch thick disk.
10. Divide the mochi into eight pieces. Coat your hands with potato starch and roll each piece into a ball, and then flatten into a disk. Place a dollop of custard in the middle. Use your fingers to pinch the mochi closed around the custard filling.
Before you add any flavorings, mochi just tastes like rice (after all, it's made from rice flour.) But mochi has a very unique sticky, stretchy, soft, and chewy texture.
Mochi has a subtle taste on its own, which makes it a very versatile food that can be made with a variety of flavorings.
There are a variety of fillings you can put in mochi, including red bean paste (anko), white bean paste (shiroan), ice cream, custard, strawberries, and even cookie dough. Get creative with it. The options are truly endless!
Rice flour is made from medium or long-grain rice, but sweet rice flour (mochiko) is made from glutinous short-grain rice.
It may be tempting to want to substitute regular rice flour, but the recipe will not yield the same results if you do not use sweet rice flour. Rice flour has a very different texture and flavor, and it will not hold together the same way.
Mochi is a rice cake made with glutinous rice. Mochi is not naturally sweet and has a very neutral flavor. Daifuku is literally filled mochi.
⛩️ More Japanese-Inspired recipes
- Fluffy Japanese Pancakes
- Japanese Milk Bread
- Steamed Japanese Pork Buns (Nikuman)
- Pork Tonkatsu
- Easy Homemade Ramen