I’m so sorry I’ve disappeared off of the world wide web. I’ve been traveling for the past month, making stops in Moscow (a nine hour layover where I sampled watered down borscht, cold meatballs, and limp crepes), Beijing, Hong Kong, Cherating Beach in Malaysia, and Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve also gotten a little lazy. Not lazy in that I haven’t been eating of course. Almost every meal I’ve had in the past month was delicious and planned (Moscow aside). I’ve also learned a few new things from Mama Shi. Purple Yam Mochi is one of them. It’s a great simple little dessert to make and share. If you haven’t had a purple yam before, you have to go get some. It doesn’t taste particularly unique, but its color is so purple and saturated that it seems unreal. I didn’t add any food coloring to my play-dough-looking dough up there. Like most purple foods, it’s also very good for you. It’s high in potassium, B6, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
It’s super duper easy to make. Buy a few purple yams, remove the skin, and steam for 15-20 minutes until soft. Mix in with water, a tiny bit of sugar, and mochi powder, which you can buy at any Chinese supermarket. I only add a tiny bit of sugar because I like to make the filling a little sweeter. The filling I used this time is a black sesame filling. I always have a ton of black sesame soup (芝麻糊) packets lying around so just used that, mixed in some sugar, flour, and oil, and sauteed until super fragrant. Trust me, the whole house will smell great. You can also refrigerate any extra filling for future use. Add a bit of filling to a small handful of the dough, roll into a ball, and squash flat between your palms. Mochi powder is great because it doesn’t stick to your hands.
When you’ve made enough to fill a pan, add a tablespoon of oil to a pan over low heat. Once the pan starts to smoke a little around the sides, throw on the little mochi pancakes.
Lightly fry both sides until the mochi starts turns slightly translucent.
Serve warm! It should be a little crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.
Next time I need to leave you alone for an extended period of time, I promise to let you know before I get back.