Mochi Explained

Mochi, pronounced "mow-chee", is an age-old food tradition in Japanese culture, which has also brought us miso and ramen. Today, mochi is offered all around the world and in many different forms. If you’ve always wondered what mochi is, how to make it, or where it first originated, we’ve compiled all of this information for you. Continue reading to learn more!

What Is Mochi?

making mochi

Traditional mochi is a Japanese dessert made of whole rice grains or glutinous rice that is beaten with a wooden mallet until it becomes a flexible paste. There are several types of mochi, which all contain differing ingredients.

Because mochi has such a soft, slightly gummy texture, it is considered a choking hazard if not eaten properly. Mochi needs to be chewed and not swallowed whole like many people do as they eat it for the first time.

We’ve listed out the various types of traditional mochi that you can add to your dessert menu.

Different Types of Mochi

  • Daifuki - The most commonly found type of mochi is called daifuki, which is round in shape and filled with a sweetened bean paste and served as a nice cold treat.
  • Sakura - Also shaped into a round ball, sakura (cherry blossom) mochi has a lumpier texture because it contains some whole rice grains. Sakura mochi gets its name by being served with a salted sakura leaf.
  • Warabi - Mostly found in western Japan, warabi mochi is made from warabi starch, which comes from a type of fern. This mochi is translucent and has a soft, jelly texture.
  • Hanabira - Often referred to as “flower petal mochi,” hanabira mochi is rolled out into a small circle, which is folded in half and served with white bean paste, miso, and a candied stick of gobo burdock root.
  • Hishimochi - Cut into a diamond shape, hishimochi is a colorfully layered mochi treat that symbolizes good health, long life, fertility, and new life.
  • Botamochi or Ohagi - Owning two different names, botamochi or ohagi is another kind of mochi rice ball that contains both chunky and smooth red bean paste inside.
  • Kirimochi or Marumochi - Kirimochi is unsweetened mochi that is formed into rectangular blocks and packaged into a hard and dried form, which can be used later for cooking.
  • Kusamochi - A mixture of sticky rice and yomogi, a Japanese mugwort plant, kusamochi is green in color, filled with red bean paste, and shaped like a flower.
  • Kuzumochi - Made from the starch of the Japanese arrowroot plant, kuzumochi is a popular summertime treat that is clear in color and mixed with whole red beans or topped with sweetened red bean paste.

The Origin of Mochi

The original pounding process of crafting mochi started with individuals in East Asia who used glutinous rice as the main ingredient to make the soft, flexible dessert. Rice has been grown in China and Japan for thousands of years, and making mochi was seen as a delicacy to be used at religious gatherings and offered to the gods in Shinto rituals that were performed by the aristocracy.

What Is Mochi Ice Cream?

mochi ice cream on a plate

Mochi ice cream is mochi dough that is filled with a sorbet style ice cream, which comes in a variety of flavors. Many Americans mistake mochi ice cream as traditional mochi, but mochi ice cream was actually created by Frances Hashimoto in Little Tokyo, California in the 1980s to help maintain the neighborhood’s Japanese culture.

Spreading like wildfire throughout America in the early 90s, mochi ice cream became available at many Asian fusion restaurants in the United States. Choose to offer flavors like green tea, mango, strawberry, and vanilla bean to your customers. Whether your business buys it in bulk or by the pack, your customers will be happy to see a mochi ice cream option on your dessert menu.

Mochi Recipe

If you would like to make your own traditional style mochi, follow these steps for how to craft delicious red bean mochi!

How to Make Mochi

To prepare traditional daifuki mochi with red bean filling, you will need seven ingredients to make the special dessert. Follow these steps to make deliciously sweet red bean mochi.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of mochiko or sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried azuki beans
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Potato starch for dusting

Instructions

Mochi Filling

  1. Create the filling first by rinsing the azuki beans with cold water and putting them in a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with water so that the beans are covered and bring to a boil.
  3. Drain beans and fill pot with water again covering the beans.
  4. Bring water to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about an hour or until the beans are completely tender. Add water to beans if necessary to keep them covered with water.
  5. Drain beans.
  6. Puree beans in a food processor to make a smooth paste and add a tablespoon of water at a time if the beans are too dry when pureeing.
  7. Scrape the paste back into the pot and add the salt and sugar and stir.
  8. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until you can tell that the water has been evaporated to leave a thick paste.
  9. Empty the bean paste into a container, spread it out into a thin layer, and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Mochi Dough

  1. To make the mochi dough, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and put a dollop of potato starch on the middle and fan it out into a large circle.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sweet rice flour with 1/3 cup of water and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan through a mesh strainer.
  4. Add sugar, mix, and cook over medium to low heat for about 7 minutes or until dough gets thick.
  5. Cut the dough into 20 pieces with a starched knife and shape into a disk that is about 2 inches in diameter by using a small rubber spatula if needed.
  6. Remove filling from the refrigerator and take a small scoop of bean paste to fill the mochi disk.
  7. Slowly pull the mochi disk up around the bean paste and pinch the mochi to seal the ball carefully.
  8. Gently form the mochi into a round shape and enjoy immediately, or refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Mochi Variations

Since the popularity of mochi has increased, many creators have broken out to make their own mochi recipes. We’ve pulled together some of the most popular types of mochi-based recipes you can find today.

a box of mochi donuts

Mochi Donuts

New to the mochi scene are mochi donuts! Made with sweet rice flour and deep fried to perfection, you can enjoy a mochi donut topped with your preference of icing.

Matcha Tea Mochi

Crafted much like traditional mochi dough, matcha tea mochi is a mixture of all of the standard mochi ingredients with the added matcha powder to give it the green color.

Mochi Candy

Mochi candy is very similar to the texture of daifuki mochi or warabi mochi because of the similarity to the soft, smooth dough which has been cut into small cubes that can be eaten alone or used as a topping on frozen yogurt.

Mochi Cake

Just as you might bake a cake with flour, you can bake a mochi cake with sweet rice flour! Mochi cake is gooey and chewy on the inside, yet crispy and golden brown on the outside. Choose to serve as a square or in a traditional triangle cut, this mochi cake will surprise your taste buds.

Mochi Pancake

Another take on a traditional breakfast classic is mochi pancakes. Use a mixture of regular flour and sweet rice flour to make these yummy mochi pancakes that still have the texture of traditional mochi.


Try your own variation of this age-old recipe or come up with a completely new mochi variation with your new found knowledge! Mochi is extremely versatile and can be used in different ways to make a sweet treat.

By Angalena Malavenda

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Posted in: Product Spotlights | By Michale Ferguson

What Is Tamper Evident Packaging?

Tamper evident food packaging is designed with special closures that make it apparent if the container has been opened, unsealed, or broken. If you’re selling packaged items, this alerts you to product tampering so you can dispose of the item. Most importantly, it provides an assurance to the customer that the items they purchase are fresh, safe, and haven’t been handled by anyone after being packaged.

Tamper evident packaging is so common in the food and beverage industry that you probably take it for granted. You’ll find that most bottled beverages feature a twist cap, and you intuitively know that if the cap has been twisted off, the beverage has been opened. But what about tamper proof packaging for takeout food orders? Tamper evident packaging for restaurants is rising in popularity because of the increasing demand for no-contact takeout and delivery services and a growing concern for food safety.

What Is Tampering?

Food tampering is defined as the intentional altering or contamination of a food product or package. Tampering sometimes occurs with the intent to steal, perform a prank, or just to cause damage. Using tamper evident packaging is the best way to prevent tampering and protect your products, your customers, and your business.

Benefits of Tamper Evident Food Packaging

Salad in tamper evident plastic packaging

Tamper evident food containers provide several benefits to restaurants. Whether you’re preparing menu items for takeout orders or packaging prepared foods for a grab-and-go station, tamper-resistant containers are a step up from traditional packaging. Consider these benefits when deciding if tamper evident containers are right for you:

1. Builds Consumer Confidence

Using tamper evident to-go containers provides an extra level of confidence to your customers because they know their food order was not touched after being placed in the container. With the tamper evident seal or label intact, the customer is assured they are the first to open the container. This sends a message to your guests that you care about their safety, which in turn helps to build consumer loyalty towards your business.

2. Prevents Tampering and Theft

The most obvious benefit of tamper evident packaging is that it prevents your products from being opened before purchase. This is especially helpful for micro markets or fast casual restaurants with grab-and-go stations. You can confidently place prepared foods like salads, sandwiches, and fruit out in the open for customers to purchase without the fear of tampering.

3. Promotes Food Safety

Tamper evident containers help to promote food safety by preventing airborne contaminants from reaching your prepared foods. Many of these containers feature airtight seals that help to prolong the life of the item and prevent spoilage. Traditional to-go containers can open accidentally, either in delivery transit or from being jostled on the shelf. With tamper evident containers, you know that the foods will not become exposed and are safe from contamination.

4. No Spillage

Delivery drivers know that keeping foods from spilling during transit is one of their main goals. Some items, like beverages and soups, require special attention to make sure they reach their destination intact. With tamper evident packaging, the strong seal can prevent spills and damage during bumpy car rides.

What’s the Difference Between Tamper Evident and Tamper Resistant?

Food package with tamper evident sticker

In the world of tamperproofing, there are a couple types of packaging that get mixed up. Tamper evident, tamper resistant, and tamper proof have different meanings, but you'll find these terms are often used interchangeably. Learn the differences between these labels so you can find the right packaging:

Tamper Resistant vs Tamper Evident

The labels tamper resistant and tamper evident have one key difference - a visual indication of tampering. Tamper evident containers provide visual evidence that the item has been tampered with or unsealed. Tamper resistant packages are designed to be very hard to open, but they don’t provide a visual warning if the seal has been breached. For example, a tamper resistant seal could be opened and reclosed, making it look like the product was never opened. This makes tamper resistant containers the preferable option.

Tamper Proof vs Tamper Evident

Tamper proof is a general term that’s sometimes used to describe a tamper evident package. However, using the description tamper proof is somewhat misleading because no container is 100% tamper proof. Look for packaging that’s labeled as tamper evident and features a visual indication of tampering.

Types of Tamper Evident Packaging

Package with tamper evident sticker

There are different types of tamper evident food containers for restaurants on the market. When choosing the products that are right for your business, consider whether you need packaging for just takeout food orders or also for prepared foods in your grab-and-go station. Check out some of the most popular tamper evident products below:

  • Tamper Evident Takeout Containers - Containers with tamper evident seals are very common in convenience stores and fast casual restaurants. Prepared foods like sandwiches and salads are placed inside the container and the lid is tightly sealed. The lid cannot be removed without tearing the seal and indicating the container was opened.
  • Tamper Evident Delivery Bags - Ideal for no-contact delivery and takeout, these tamper evident bags protect food containers as well as other items like condiments, napkins, and plastic cutlery. Once all the takeout items are placed inside the bag, it’s sealed with an adhesive strip. The bag cannot be opened during transit and all items arrive safely to their destination.
  • Tamper Evident Labels and Stickers - Tamper evident labels can be used on any takeout container, making it easy to pair them with the packaging you already have in stock. Once a label is placed over a package, it can’t be unsealed without leaving visible evidence of tampering.


  • Tamper evident packaging is common throughout the retail industry but restaurant operators can also benefit from using containers that discourage tampering. Today's consumers order takeout and delivery on a regular basis, and using tamper evident packaging provides them with the assurance that their food is safe from contamination.

    By Michale Ferguson

    Grilling Tips for Perfect Grilled Meat

    With grilling season upon us, many restaurateurs and caterers are firing up their commercial grill and dishing out delicious steaks, ribs, sausages, and chicken thighs. If you own a steakhouse, barbecue restaurant, or smokehouse, expertly preparing a variety of meats is essential to the success of your business, leaving the savvy griller constantly on the lookout for new grilling tips.

    Whether you’re a grill master or novice, attention to detail leads to big improvements in the flavor, texture, and quality of your grilled meat. If you’re looking for grilling tips that will take your skills to the next level, check out our grilling tips and get a sizzling grill now!

    Grilling Tips

    Use our grillings tips to learn how to prep your meat for grilling, how to maintain your grill, and how to deliver delicious grilled food.

    1. The Best Time to Salt Meat

    salted steak

    Salt your meat either an hour in advance or right before you place it on the grill. Cook, writer, and TV personality Jess Pryles, also known as the “Professional Hardcore Carnivore,” explains why:

    "Salt is a very powerful seasoning. Not only does it make things infinitely more delicious, it's full of natural alchemy. Salt can draw out moisture from your meat, which is a bad thing for those who like juicy steaks. To avoid this, you either want to salt an hour or so in advance to allow the briny liquid time to reabsorb into the meat, or salt just before the meat hits the grill. Any time in between - particularly that 15-20 minutes prior zone - will not do your steaks justice."

    If you want to let the meat’s natural flavor take center stage, stick to a classic combination of salt and pepper when preparing your steaks or chicken thighs. For a hint of heat, create a dry rub using a mix of spices including paprika, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, onion powder, and garlic powder.

    2. Preparing Meat for Grilling in Advance

    Allow your steaks and other meats to reach room temperature by removing them from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before grilling. Don’t forget to set a timer. While meat left outside of the fridge for 20-30 minutes is perfectly safe, letting raw food sit for too long can become dangerous.

    Take caution: while grilling room temperature meat is ideal, chilled raw meat will still easily reach safe-to-serve temperatures. However, when completely frozen steaks are thrown directly on the grill, they are often unsafe to consume. In most cases, steaks grilled from frozen will yield meat that is raw in the center and overcooked around the edges. By allowing your meat to come to room temperature before grilling it, you’ll never run the risk of serving meat that is warm on the outside and cold on the inside. Your room temperature meats will not only be safe to consume, they will grill faster and more evenly.

    When your timer goes off and your meat has reached room temperature, pat it dry with a paper towel. Lightly brush olive oil onto your meat and generously season it.

    3. Prepare Your Grill

    veggies and meat on a hot grill

    Unsurprisingly, no grilling tips would be complete without addressing the grill itself! For the best results, you need to invest the same level of care and attention into your grill as the meat you’re about to put on it. When preparing your grill, it is important to create various zones for direct and indirect heat.

    When using a charcoal grill, don’t cover the entire grill with charcoal briquettes. Instead, create a hot zone in one area of the grill while leaving a separate area off to the side for indirect heat cooking. Creating these hot and warm zones allows you to cook different items at once while providing a safe space for food to cook further away from the flames.

    4. How to Gauge Your Grill’s Temperature

    Before you place your meat onto the sizzling hot grill, you need to make sure your grill is the right temperature. There are typically three levels of heat when cooking on a grill: high, medium-high, and medium.

    Trick for gauging how hot your grill is: hold your hand about six inches above the grate. If you can withstand the heat for 6-7 seconds, you’ve reached medium heat. 4-5 tolerable seconds indicates medium-high heat, and 1-2 seconds means you’re working with a high heat grill.

    5. Use a Meat Thermometer

    The more you slice, pierce, or puncture meat, the drier it becomes. When you cut into the meat, juices escape, resulting in a disappointing dish. When cooking on the grill, never puncture the meat with a fork or knife. Instead, use tongs or turners to flip meat, and use a high-quality food thermometer to check the internal temperature.

    Here’s a breakdown of each heat level on a grill and what meats can be cooked at that temperature:

    • High Heat: 450°-650° Fahrenheit
    • High heat is recommended when preparing steaks, pork chops, kabobs, or tuna steak. Getting your grill around 500° Fahrenheit will create a sizzle when the meat hits the grates and produces attractive sear marks your guests will love.

    • Medium-High Heat: 375°-450° Fahrenheit
    • Medium-high heat is ideal for cooking hamburgers, vegetables, and fish. This temperature will cook proteins slower to ensure their middle portions reach proper internal temperatures while still creating a searing effect on the meat’s exterior.

    • Medium Heat: 325°-375° Fahrenheit
    • Medium heat provides enough warmth to create a satisfying browning effect on the outside of your proteins while still bringing the insides to a proper internal temperature. This makes it ideal for grilling chicken, turkey, roasts, and sausages.

    Steak Grill Times and Temperatures

    medium rare cooked steak

    A good steak is a beloved menu item everywhere from sandwich shops serving steak sandwiches to upscale steakhouses. The ideal steak grill times and temperatures fluctuate depending on how you want your steak prepared. You can master the art of achieving the perfect steak by viewing our comprehensive steak doneness guide, or you can introduce yourself to the basics below.

    The first step in achieving your ideal steak is setting your grill to the appropriate temperature. While cook time is based on desired consistency, grill temperature is based on the steak's thickness.

    • 1/2" thick steaks should be cooked at high heat.
    • 3/4 to 1" thick steaks should be cooked at medium-high heat.
    • Over 1" thick steaks should be cooked at medium heat.

    Once you achieved the appropriate heat for your meat's thickness, you're ready to place your meat on the sizzling grill. Here is how to prepare steaks to achieve each doneness level.

    • Extra Rare/"Blue": Extra rare/"blue” steaks should be grilled for approximately one minute on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 115°-120° Fahrenheit.
    • Rare: Rare steaks should be grilled for approximately one and a half minutes on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 125°-130° Fahrenheit.
    • Medium-Rare: Medium-rare steaks should be grilled for approximately two minutes on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 130°-140° Fahrenheit.
    • Medium: Medium steaks should be grilled for approximately two minutes and fourteen seconds on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 140°-150° Fahrenheit.
    • Medium-Well: Medium-well steaks should be grilled for three to four minutes on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 150°-155° Fahrenheit.
    • Well-Done: Well-done steaks should be grilled for approximately four to five minutes on each side to achieve an internal temperature of 160°+ Fahrenheit.

    6. Delay Saucing Grilled Meat

    brushing sauce on meat

    If you cover proteins with a sauce containing sugar before throwing them on the grill, you’ll likely produce charred and burned meat; sugar caramelizes when exposed to high heat. Common culprits include barbecue sauce, fruit glazes, and teriyaki-based sauces.

    To avoid this mistake, apply your glazes and sauces during the last few minutes of grilling. You won’t gain any added flavor by trying to include sauces earlier in the grilling process. To achieve a deep flavor that will permeate the entire cut of meat, marinate your meats prior to grilling

    7. Let Meat Rest

    When your grilled meat is served makes or breaks whether your attentive cooking efforts are appreciable. Exact rest times vary, and how long to let steak rest is slightly different than how long you should let chicken rest.

    As a general rule, once your meat is cooked through, you should let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving it. During this time, the juices in your steak, pork chop, chicken thigh, or lamb kabob become evenly distributed throughout the protein for optimal tenderness.

    How to Choose a Grill

    Now that you know the top grilling tips, it’s time to choose a grill.

    In the game of delicious grilled meat, there are two teams: gas and charcoal. In the next section, the two teams square off, revealing the fast facts you need to decide between a gas and charcoal grill.

    When you’re ready to make a purchase, use our in-depth outdoor grill guide to make the most informed choice. We explain everything from grill capacities and fixed/portable grill requirements to grill accessories and BTUs.

    Gas Grill vs Charcoal Grill

    Before learning how to choose a grill, you must understand the difference between a gas and a charcoal grill. In general, gas grills are considered easier to work with because of their temperature controls and steady heat source. Charcoal grills tend to reach higher temperatures, but the temperature is less regulated and there is always the possibility of flare-ups.

    Gas Grill

    gas grill

    Gas grills offer a time-sensitive, direct-heat grilling method. Fueled by either a propane tank or natural gas, a gas grill allows you to create succulent grilled dishes without tending to a fire.

    While natural gas grills exist (grills that connect to gas lines), they are uncommon. The most popular gas grill is the propane grill. Propane grills are fueled by tanks of liquid propane and create more steam inside the grill than charcoal, keeping the meat moist.

    When to Use a Gas Grill:

    • When you’re grilling thin cuts of meat or tough kinds of meat such as pork chops
    • When your time is limited

    Charcoal Grill

    charcoal grill

    Charcoal grills use a dense layer of lit coals to cook food. Food grilled over the direct heat emitted by a charcoal grill achieves rich, smoky flavors. Arranging your coals and maintaining even heat emissions requires practice, and meat grilled on a charcoal grill takes longer to cook.

    The benefits of charcoal grills are best appreciated in thick steaks, chicken, turkey, and ribs where the deep and smoky flavors permeate into the meat through a long, low, and slow charcoal grilling process.

    When to Use a Charcoal Grill:

    • When you have plenty of time
    • When you want a smokey, campfire flavor
    • When you want perfectly grilled fish with a crispy outer layer and moist center
    • When you’re grilling a thick cut of meat that is enhanced rather than burned by sear marks

    Practical Considerations of Investing in a Gas and Charcoal Grill

    To choose between a gas and charcoal grill, you need to honestly assess your intended use, experience level, and flavor preferences. If you feel your most popular dishes could benefit from both methods but you can only invest in one, here are a few practical considerations to help you decide between a gas and charcoal grill.

    • Cost: Charcoal grills are less expensive than gas grills.
    • Safety: Gas grills are safer than charcoal. Evaluate your working environment and determine whether cooking with burning charcoal is a fire hazard.
    • Cleaning: Gas grills are easier to clean.
    • Temperature Control: It is easy to adjust the temperature on a gas grill, whereas the lit charcoal takes constant supervision to deliver evenly cooked meat.

    • Accessories: Most gas grills are compatible with grilling accessories that create different flavor profiles.

    If you want the rich smoky flavor charcoal provides, but your space doesn’t allow you to safely operate a charcoal grill, check out our guide to getting smoky flavor without firing up a grill.

    Cleaning Grill Grates

    person cleaning grill grates

    No matter what type of grill you choose to cook with, it’s important to learn how to care for your grill grates and keep them clean in between uses.

    Use a grill brush to remove charred food particles left behind after grilling. By neglecting to clean your grill after every use, your food can easily become contaminated with remnants of last night’s dinner. If you’re using a charcoal grill, cleaning grill grates is particularly important because it drastically reduces the chance of flare-ups.


    Learning how to choose a grill that will deliver your desired flavor profile and educating yourself on the top grilling tips elevates your dishes above what patrons are grilling at home, pulling them through your doors time and time again. Our grilling tips will turn novice and experienced grillers alike into pitmasters. Get a sizzling grill right now, churning out juicy, succulent meat guests rave about.

    Posted in: Recipes | Menu Tips | Management & Operation | Seasonal | Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Corrinn McCauley
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