The scene is iconic; you gather around the table at The Wallflower with your friends. It’s been a long day of questing and you’re all ready and eager for a delicious plate of potato mochi, served and made by none other than Master, Beni.
Now you can be your own potato mochi master by recreating this phenomenal Hisuian dish at home!
🍡What Is Mochi?
Mochi (pronounced as moh-chee) is a traditional Japanese sweet treat made from sweet rice/glutinous rice flour known as mochigome that is worked and shaped into a small two-bite bun-shape that often contains a filling that can range from things like red bean paste to ice cream or fruit, or in the case of dango, enjoyed by itself slathered in a sauce.
Traditionally, short grain sticky rice is first soaked overnight and then steamed in special wooden boxes before being laboriously pounded with a heavy wooden mallet known as a kine. The process is lengthy and takes a lot of elbow grease, but with the advent of sweet rice flour, many home cooks have found ways and means of making mochi right at home with minimal effort.
So…What is POTATO Mochi? 🥔
Though mochi is typically made of sweet rice flour, potato mochi is made using…well potatoes! To be more specific, we’ll be using potatoes and potato starch, and it’s the potato starch that will give us that much sought after mochi texture thanks to the starch’s potent gelatinization properties (once cooked/heated). This starchy gelatinization is also what helps our exterior to have and maintain a wonderfully crispy texture once we fry them, and it also helps our mochi to hold that great texture once we apply our sauce/tare!
My friend asked me how I would describe these potato mochi and the best way I can think to describe them is “a deliciously crispy-exterior, chewy-interior Japanese-style hash brown, slathered in a perfectly balanced sweet and savory sauce.”
Doesn’t that sound incredibly delicious??? 🤤 Let’s get right to it!
Here’s the Ingredients Needed For this Potato Mochi:
- Potatoes: You’ll want to use a starchy variety of potato for this recipe. I highly recommend Russets or even Yukon Golds.
- Potato Starch: Opt for an unmodified variety. Anthony’s and Bob’s are both great brand choices. Note: you cannot substitute the potato starch for any other starch (such as cornstarch) if you use any other starch the recipe will not turn out right.
- Salt: I’m using a Himalayan pink salt but you can also use sea salt if preferred.
- Butter: A small touch of sweet cream butter adds amazing flavor and complements our potato. It’s optional, but if you have some on hand, absolutely add it in. Note: If you’re aiming to keep the dish vegan-friendly or dairy free, skip the butter or use a vegan-friendly substitute.
- Water: We’re using a small amount of room temperature water just to help our dough form and hold. The potato starch granules absorb the water and this allows it to begin the process of gelatinizing. But note that too much water will make your dough sticky and hard to work with.
- Oil for Frying: Opt to use a neutral-flavored, high smoke point oil such as peanut or avocado.
A Quick Note About the Potato Starch:
Mochi is known for having a great chewy consistency and a silky smooth texture. For this recipe I’m using 3 tablespoons of potato starch, which, in my opinion gives perfect balance of chewy mochi texture while still allowing the potato to shine. If, however, you are after an intensely chewy mochi texture, you can add an extra tablespoon of potato starch to this recipe without needing to make any other adjustments.
Now, Let’s Make Our Mochi Dough:
The first step of this process is to cook our potatoes. We’ll wash and scrub our potatoes and prick the skins a few times over. Then you can cook them either one of two ways.
- Either by microwaving them for 3-4 minutes on high until they are tender enough for a sharp knife to piece them with no resistance or
- you can boil your potatoes in a pot of water on the stovetop. (To make this process faster, you can peel and cut your potatoes into cubes before boiling them.)
Once our potatoes are cooked, we’ll peel them and discard the skins.
To a bowl we’ll add our salt and butter and then add the hot, cooked potato on top. I’ve used a potato ricer to make things easier but you can use a potato masher or even a fork to mash your potatoes as smooth as possible.
Next, we’ll add our potato starch, and, while our potatoes are still warm, work the ingredients together until a dough is formed. If you like, you can turn everything out onto a clean work surface and knead it together for about a minute. Keep in mind, having the potatoes be at least warm is an important factor to getting your dough to be the right consistency. If however the potatoes are steaming hot, your starch will begin to gelatinize and that will make the dough sticky.
So What Consistency Should the Dough Be?
The word “dough” might be a bit misleading, because in reality the consistency will be more like firm/dry mashed potatoes that you can shape. There will be no stretch to it.
With the dough made, cover it with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the potato starch to begin gelatinizing and absorbing the moisture in the dough which when fried, will give us a wonderful mochi texture. Now, while the dough is resting…
Make Your Sauce (aka Tare):
This sauce is known as “kabayaki“, and it’s one of the simplest sauces you could make but trust me when I say that it is what takes your potato mochi from okay to amazing. While it’s typically used on fish, most notably eel/unagi, we’re going to capitalize on the myriad and balance of flavor elements to amplify our mochis.
To make it, we’ll need three simple ingredients:
- Soy Sauce/Tamari: Packed with salt and umami, this is the base flavor of our sauce. If you’re gluten free, opt to use Tamari or ensure your soy sauce is a gluten-free variety.
- Rice Vinegar/Mirin: A touch of acid adds great balance and flavor. If using rice vinegar, you can use the seasoned or unseasoned variety.
- Sugar: This sweet element allows our sauce to not only have a balance of sweetness but complements the saltiness of the soy sauce/tamari while also allowing our sauce to have a thickened almost syrupy consistency.
Making the Sauce is as simple as adding all three ingredients into either a:
- Small microwave-safe bowl and microwaving it in 15-20 second blasts, stirring between each round until the sugar is fully melted and the sauce begins to thicken. Or
- Small saucepan and heating it on the stovetop until the sugar has melted and the sauce is beginning to bubble. Allow it to gently simmer for about thirty seconds and then remove it from the heat.
Set your sauce aside and allow it to cool. As it cools it will thicken up a bit. Now, back to our dough:
With our dough rested, divide it into twelve equal portions and roll each one into a smooth ball and then gently press each into a disc shape.
HELP! MY DOUGH IS CRACKING!!
A great trick is to avoid this issue is to moisten your hands with a bit of water (ensure your hands are damp but not dripping wet) and roll and press the mochi into shape. Rewet your hands between each mochi dough portion. This minimizes any cracking and keeps the dough smooth.
- If your dough cracks while rolling into a ball: squish the dough together and roll it again.
- If you have any cracks while pressing the dough into a disc, wet the tip of your finger and gently rub it over the split until it smoothens out.
With the dough shaped, set your potato mochi in the fridge to chill for ten minutes. This step is essential as it allows the exterior to dry out a bit which thanks to the starch in the dough, allows the exterior to have a perfectly crispy bite, while allowing the inside to have a soft and chewy mochi texture.
Time To Fry Our Potato Mochis!
Once chilled, heat a skillet with enough oil to shallow fry your mochi in. Once the oil is at about 325°F-350°F or shimmering, add the potato mochi to the pan, ensuring that they don’t touch each other and allow them to fry for a few minutes.
Once you see the undersides are beginning to get golden brown, go ahead and flip your mochis over and allow the other side to fry for a few more minutes until they too are golden brown.
If your mochis are on the thicker side like mine are, and there’s a bit of a white ring in the middle, you can either tilt the pan to allow the oil to move to one side so that you can get more of a fry on them or you can stand them on their sides for about thirty seconds, then rotate and continue to fry so that the edge is nicely browned all around.
Once golden, remove your mochis and set them onto a paper towel-lined plate so that any excess oil can be wicked away and they can cool a bit.
Honestly guys, don’t they look like perfect little pillowy donuts?? 😍
Once cooled, dip or brush the sauce all over your mochis, being sure to coat both sides. This is the best time to enjoy them, they will be warm, with a wonderfully chewy interior and crispy exterior, despite being sauced. Even more impressively, the exterior will hold it’s crispiness for about an hour after being sauced before it starts to get soggy.
Can These Be Made In Advance?
Unfried and Refrigerated: You can store your shaped mochi in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days before frying. To fry, remove them from the fridge for 20-30 minutes and allow them to come to room temperature a bit. They should be cool but not cold.
Unfried and Frozen: If you’d like to freeze your mochi, place them into an airtight container, if you need to stack them, place a piece of parchment paper between the layers. Or you can place them onto a baking sheet in a single layer, freeze them until solid and then place them into a Ziploc bag with as much of the air removed as possible. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. To cook them, thaw them overnight in the fridge in a single layer on a baking sheet and before frying, let them sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Fried and Refrigerated: If after frying them, you don’t plan on devouring them all right away, leave them un-sauced and bring them to room temperature, then store them in the fridge in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to four days. To reheat them, preheat your airfryer or toaster oven to 400F and place them to “refry” for a few minutes. In doing so, the outside has the chance to re-crisp, while the interior will get nice and soft and warm again and then you can slather your sauce on.
And there you have it, a perfectly shaped, decadently sauced, iconically plated pile of potato mochi. The only thing missing is Master Beni himself, but don’t worry, you won’t even notice his absence because you’ll be too busy enjoying these bite-sized treats!
Fried Potato Mochi - A Pokémon Legends: Arceus Specialty
- Make the Dough: Cook the potatoes until tender and remove the skins. While your potatoes are still hot, rice or mash them as finely as possible into the butter and salt.¾ lb Russet Potatoes, ¼ tsp Himalayan salt, 1 tbsp salted butter
- Add the potato starch and water to the potatoes and work it into a dough for a minute. The dough should be soft but not sticky and will have the texture of firm mashed potatoes. *Note, this is not a stretchy dough. Once you fry them the texture will change to being like mochi.3 tbsp potato starch, 3-4 tbsp water
- Rest and Shape: Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes then divide it into 12 equally portioned balls. Roll each ball until smooth and then gently press down on them to form a disc (see note). If the balls crack or split around the edges from being too dry, moisten your fingertips and gently run it over the cracks to seal them.
- Chill: Set your shaped potato mochi in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Make the Sauce: While your mochi chills, make your sauce by gently heating the soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce begins to thicken. (you can do this either on the stovetop in a small saucepan or in the microwave in short 15-20 second blasts, stirring between each round (just be careful when removing the bowl to stir as it will be hot).2 tbsp tamari, 3-4 tbsp raw cane sugar, 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Fry your Mochi: In a pan or skillet, add enough oil to shallow fry your potato mochi and bring the oil up to about 325°F-350°F. Add the mochi to the pan, ensuring that they don't touch each other.Oil for Frying
- Fry until both sides are golden brown. (about 2-3 min each side). If your mochi is on the thicker side and you have a white ring in the middle after your fry both sides, you can stand them on the edge to allow them to brown.
- Cool and Sauce: Remove your mochi to a paper towel-lined plate to cool a bit and then brush both sides of your mochi with the sauce or dip each one into the sauce and allow the excess to drip off. Enjoy immediately (see notes).
- Opt to use a starchy potato like russets or Yukon golds and not waxy potatoes.
- Ensure the potato is still hot/warm when you're making the dough. This will help the dough to come together better.
- For a more intensely chewy mochi inside, add an extra tbsp of potato starch to the dough.
- When shaping them, you can moisten your hands with a bit of water to make the rolling and pressing easier and to minimize any cracks or splits.
- Unfried and Refrigerated: Store in an airtight container in a single layer with parchment between the layers if you need to stack them, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before frying, thaw for 20-30 minutes then fry as directed.
- Unfried and Frozen: Freeze your unfried mochi stacked in a container with parchment between the layers or freeze them on a baking sheet and then store in a Ziploc bag for up to a month. To cook thaw overnight in the fridge in a single layer and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before frying as directed.
- Fried and Refrigerated: After frying, do not apply sauce. Bring them to room temperature and then store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 4 days. To reheat, preheat your airfryer or toaster over to 400F and "refry" them for a few minutes, then cool and sauce.