Isobe Mochi/磯辺餅

Japanese Food

For lunch today, I had two isobe mochi, together with some leftovers. Isobe mochi refers to a piece of mochi first grilled, then coated with soy sauce, and wrapped in nori.

Individually packaged mochi:

Not all mochi are individually packaged. Mochi not individually packaged tend to get moldy sooner or later even if stored in the fridge.

As this drawing shows,

each piece of mochi has crisscross slits on the top and bottom and a slit on each side. Not all mochi have such slits on them, and believe it not, such slits are quite a recent invention. ECHIGO SEIKA,Co.,Ltd. was the first to get a patent for such slits, followed by Sato Foods Co., Ltd. The former sued the latter for patent infringement. The latter won the first trial, but last year, the former won the second. Click here to see how their slits differ (top: Echigo, bottom: Sato).

The back of the package describes how to grill and simmer mochi.

I was born and bred in Tokyo, and I always grilled mochi before putting them in zoni. Here in Niigata, people simmer mochi to soften before putting them in zoni.

Can you see the slits?

The slits will become more apparent when you grill them. I like to use the toaster oven to grill them.

My father is adamant about the way isobe mochi should be made. He insists that once mochi are grilled, they should be coated with soy sauce and then grilled again to scorch the soy sauce slightly. I agree with him, but I can’t do that with a toaster oven.

So, I just let the mochi soak as much soy sauce as it can,

wrap the mochi in nori.

I placed a slice of processed cheese on the other mochi before wrapping in nori.


I like the combination of mochi and cheese.

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