Thursday, September 23, 2010


Bottom Line: you don't wanna eat it.  It turns out, while I love Asian food, not every Asian-inspired Hawaiian dish is good.  I make it a point to try new things whenever I travel or live in a new place.  Fortunately, moving to Chicago meant trying Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs, and Portillo's cake shakes.  In Hawaii, that means many dishes that I can neither pronounce nor ask intelligent questions about because everyone just accepts these random food items as "treats."  This worked out well when I tried Manapua.  This did not work so well when someone brought Mochi to the office as another "Thank You" for God-knows-what.  See, at the ICA (Intermediate Court of Appeals) and Supreme Court, we generally try to find any excuse to eat snacks or have parties.  This means that there is ALWAYS something to find on the conference room table.  This is generally a good thing.

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape.  Now I know what you're thinking, and yes, it really does taste as bad as it sounds.  However, it LOOKS delicious.  Essentially, for lack of a better description, they look like a bigger and rounder version of sour patch kids.  Here is a picture off to the right.  What a let down when biting into one.  I was thinking they would be stuffed with some kind of deliciousness.  Maybe a little ricotta cheese or fruit filling.  They were not.  However, I have been told that there are many uses of Mochi and that this type - plain and gross - should not be the yard stick by which I measure all future Japanese snacks.  Evidently, something called daifuku is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (an) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry inside.

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