Mochi topped with natto and daikon. (Photos by Chloe Suzuki)
Mochi topped with natto and daikon. (Photos by Chloe Suzuki)

Editor’s note: It’s the fifth day of the new year and every time you open your frig, those trays of glutinous white rice cakes — mochi — are staring you in the eye. “Ahhhhh, I ordered too much,” you say to yourself. “What am I going to do with all this mochi? I’m going to be bachi’d if I toss it out.”

Toss it out?! Don’t even think of doing that . . . because there is a second, even more exciting, life for all of that leftover mochi, as I learned by asking a few friends.

Joanne Ninomiya, founder and former owner of the translation and video production company JN Productions, Inc., came back          with some great ideas that gave those plain white rice cakes a total makeover. Here are Joanne’s contributions.

Ideas for Mochi Toppings

Most local families fry their leftover mochi in butter, or they boil it or bake it in a toaster oven sprinkled with combinations of kinako (ground soybean flour) and sugar, or shoyu and sugar or azuki beans.

But how about being creative and giving your mochi a different taste and look?

Use Kiri Mochi (square-cut mochi) or the round ones and cut them into thirds or fourths before cooking. Keep in mind that mochi packs a lot of calories and carbs, so by cutting them smaller, you can get more bites with toppings. I cut my Kiri Mochi into three pieces and then cut those three pieces in half again for a total of six pieces. You can either bake the mochi pieces in a toaster oven or fry them in a skillet. If you use a toaster oven, place your mochi on a piece of foil lightly coated with Pam, butter or oil and set it at 375 to 400 degrees for about eight to 10 minutes or until the top of the mochi gets puffy. Remove the mochi from the oven or pan and place the pieces on a large plate.

And now for my toppings.

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Mochi topped with kinako and peanut butter.
Mochi topped with kinako and peanut butter.
Mochi topped with bacon.
Mochi topped with bacon.

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