|All photos: Itsumo Japan|
These grilled mochi are warming, very filling and act as wonderful comfort food. They make a delicious lunch on a cold day.
Before I tried this recipe I was dubious about how well cheese, a distinctly western ingredient, would go with the very Japanese flavours of nori and shoyu but it really works. I used a mature cheddar which tasted great with the salty shoyu dipping sauce.
I found that hard, vacuum-packed mochi were readily available at my local oriental supermarket in different sizes, I used the large square kind.
The recipe serves two people.
2 large, square mochi
8 small slices of cheese (I used mature cheddar but you can use any that you prefer)
1 sheet nori
Place 2 hard mochi in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
Drain the softened mochi, cut each one into 4 smaller squares and leave to cool slightly. When the mochi squares are cool enough to handle cut a horizontal slit almost all the way through each one.
Place the slices of cheese inside the mochi. Each slice should be slightly smaller than the mochi.
Heat a griddle pan to a medium heat and brush lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Grill each mochi for a few minutes on each side until they are lightly browned and crispy.
Cut 8 narrow strips from your sheet of nori.
Remove from the griddle and wrap a nori strip around each one. Serve hot with a small amount of shoyu for dipping.