Mochi (Rice Cake)
Mochi is made from glutinous rice by pounding steamed rice into dough, and from in various shape. The Japanese people eat Mochi by raw with adzuki bean jam or soybean powder, by dried and baked with dipping into soy sauce, or dumpling into soup. They often cook Mochi at New Years day, Festival, and Celebrating events. Mochi also plays the essential part of the Japanese religious ceremony. Especially, Kagami-Mochi, Mirror Mochi in Japanese, is used in houses, offices, and shrines as offering to God at the new year; which has shape similar to pyramid by piling up two flat round shape Mochi, the bigger bottom and the smaller top. Piling up two Mochi means "Ying and Yang" or "Heaven and Earth". Mochi has been deeply rooted into the Japanese customs.
History of Mochi
The Japanese rice growing culture was brought from China before the birth of Christ. In the beginning red colored ancient rice was used to make Mochi. The historical evidence of Mochi was found in the early 8th century literature. By that time, Mochi was already a special food eaten only by Nobleman or the emperor at the religious or celebrating occasions. They added soybean, adzuki bean, sesame seeds or chestnut to glutinous rice. Kagami-Mochi appeared in the 9th century. Before then, making of Mochi was solely controlled by the government, but with the expansion of the needs, making of Mochi privately was permitted. In the 13th century, people began to use Mochi in the wide variety of occasions and in the tea ceremony in the 14th century. After the 17th century, growing rice had become widely accepted, producing greater amount of rice; which made Mochi popular among people than before.
Effectiveness of Mochi
Mochi richly contains starch that is the basic nutritional element of human body. Mochi has approximately 1.3 times more energy value than steamed rice. It is because Mochi becomes more densely than steamed rice during its pounding process. At the same time it is easy to digest. Brown rice contains Phytin; which helps to prevent cancer, fatty liver, arteriosclerosis and calculus. Especially for prevention of cancer, numbers of scientists wrote treatises, and is expected for further studies. Phytin also contains dietary fiber that helps to resolve constipation. Mugwort in Yomogi Mochi has been used as medicine traditionally. Mugwort is said to have sterilizing effect, increasing appetite and homeostasis.
MUSO's Mochi has basically three variations; Brown Rice Mochi, Mochi with mugwort and Mochi with glutinous millet. Kiri type is cut in small pieces for easy use. MUSO's Mochi is packed in vacuum packing keeping fresh for long time.
Brown Rice Mochi