Where the wild things are – Ice-cream mochi au thé matcha

[Matcha ice-cream mochi]

Almost a year ago, a boy-friend – at times with a dash, most of the time, without – gave me two Japanese manuals.
A textbook and a workbook. They were both in one of those Muji clear pockets I love so much. With a pen and a highlighter. Perhaps it was yellow, or it might have been pink.

Almost a year later, the manuals have stayed in their wraps. And I know that one day, I will speak Japanese. When it’s time. When it’s right.

In the meantime, I can learn to cook like one. Or at least, pretend to.

This monster above was the very first of a somewhat successful batch of ice-cream mochi. It was white, but oozing green; reminding me of that slimy ghost of a movie I used to enjoy as a child.

And trust me, it might look easy when you see people – who seem to have more than two hands – wrapping the mochi paste around ice-cream. But when you’re too impatient to wait for it to cool down, then it oozes. A lot.

Luckily the next few mochi turned much better.
And excuse me for the analogy, but it’s a bit like crêpes. The first one always ends up being wasted – or in my case, eaten over the stove – most likely, by someone who is not cooking them; and no, I won’t name anyone here – while the pan gets piping hot again.

Monster-story aside, I’m quite excited with the prospect of home-made mochi. This time, I encased some green tea ice-cream that I had made a few days earlier, but really, you could use anything from chocolate mousse to fresh fruits.
I’m actually looking forward to making – and eating – a mochi version of the choux à la crème I grew up on.

Yes, I foresee soft crème patissiere wrapped in a chewy chocolate mochi dough. Or a matcha mousse around a couple of fresh raspberries.

Ice-cream mochi au thé matcha
Adapted from Clotilde.

For me, making ice-cream mochi was really an excuse to get my fingers used to the process of wrapping something in a sticky dough made of glutinous rice flour, sugar and water.
Ice-cream seemed great because it’s round and hard, and thus, I thought it would make the whole process easier.

I was wrong. I made a mess. And five mochi.

But it tasted divine. Mostly because of the matcha ice-cream that I made adapting my very favourite vanilla egg-less ice-cream recipe.
I wish I could share it, but since I used some atomised glucose and a pinch of super neutrose – and I doubt you have this in your kitchen – I need to work on a stabiliser-free recipe.

Just milk, cream, sugar and no eggs (don’t ask me why, I always find traditional ice-creams way too eggy).

But please, feel free to experiment with store-bought or homemade ice-creams. I’ve found that the easiest technique for me was to flatten the dough when it was still hot. And wait for it to cool down slightly before encasing the very frozen scoop of ice-cream, pinching the dough together to seal, then cut the overlap with scissors.

Perhaps not the most conventional way, but certainly the most effective not to have a thick layer of dough at the bottom of the mochi.

Ice-cream mochi au thé matcha

for 6 mochi
q.s. ice-cream

100g glutinous rice flour (mochiko)
50g caster sugar
180g water

q.s. cornflour
q.s. shredded coconut

Cover a plastic lid with clingfilm and place it in your freezer. Make six scoops of ice-cream and drop them onto the prepared lid. Put back in the freezer to harden.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the rice flour, caster sugar and water. Mix until smooth. Cover with clingfilm and microwave for one minute. Stir and repeat one or two time until thick and slightly translucent.

Fill a baking tray with cornstarch. Transfer the very hot and sticky mixture onto the cornstarch, and dust it with some more. Flatten using the palm of your hands.

Using a scrapper or a knife, cut into six equals pieces.

Flatten each to a 8mm thick disk. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes or until barely warm.

Working quickly, wrap a piece of dough around the very frozen and hard ball of ice-cream, pinching the extremities of the dough together to seal the ice-cream inside. Cut the overlapping bit and roll in cornstarch or in shredded coconut.

Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure you place the finished mochi back into the freezer as you do so.

Allow the mochi to sit outside for 15 minutes before eating.


  1. I didn’t actually know what mochi was. Thanks loads for the introduction – it sounds great with ice cream! Esp eggless, which I also prefer. Eggs just get in the way of the other flavours don’t they, particularly milk and subtle additions like herbs or fruit. I love making it the Sicilian gelato style which doesn’t even include any cream – so light and refreshing. Recipe here for a lavender version if anyone wants to try http://www.sonndapond.com/journal/2010/12/2/lavender-ice-cream-sicilian-gelato-style.html Lavender ice cream mochi… sounds yum!

  2. Mochi is easy to come by here, and glutinous rice flour a common ingredient in our desserts, but I have never even thought of making my own mochi! This sounds delicious…loving the thought of the green tea ice cream combination…

  3. It’s very easy to get mochi ice cream here in Brooklyn, but making my own sounds interesting. Red bean mochi is my favorite!

  4. Mochi is the main reason why I’m sorry I don’t have a microwave – I’ve heard it is a nightmare without one.
    I’m dreaming of the macha ice cream as well – I adore the commercial variety and am just wondering how much better is the home made one.
    I dream too of learning Japanese – I will surely start to study some when I get to organise my dream holiday in Japan, with my sister (who will of course learn Japanese as well, she’s very good with languages).
    A dreamy comment for sure :)

  5. Oh Fanny! This looks much like ”klepon”
    it’s a ball like this ice-cream mochi but it’s made of glutinous rice flour and has a filling of brown palm sugar. The ball is also covered in shredded coconut.
    ps: I’m so gonna make this ice-cream mochi!!

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