We made rice cakes / 餅をつきました！
Last December 30, we made rice cakes. The rice cakes are used for New Year's decorations and dishes. In Japan, there is a custom of making rice cakes at the end of the year and during the Girls' Festival season in March.
When I was a child, my grandparents and parents pounded rice using a mortar and pestle, but from some time ago, they started using a rice cake pounding machine. The entire process, from steaming the glutinous rice to making the mochi, is done by this machine. However, we had to take out the hot rice cakes from the kiln with my bare hands, which looked very hot... only my mother could do that.
Then we dusted the rice cakes with flour, stretched it out, and let them cool. That night my sister-in-law and I cut those rice cakes. We used a rice cake cutter to cut them. There were four or five of these board-shaped rice cakes, but we cut all of them into blocks. It was cold in the storage shed, and because the stand was halfway high and we were cutting in a mid-sitting position, my back was already aching and sore... At first we were cutting while making small talk, but gradually both of us became silent...lol
Too bad I didn't get a picture of us cutting the rice cakes because it was pretty frantic!
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Interesting that they now have rice cake machine. It's my first time seeing that because what I normally see is still the old method of doing it. How did the rice cake turned out? was it yummy?
Yes, we had mochi flavored with soybean flour and red bean paste, and they were very tasty.
The old method of pounding rice cakes is interesting to watch, but requires a lot of tools and is very labor intensive. I think many households now use machines😉
What is your opinion: is the taste as good by machine as by hand?
My wife and her mother always complain that it doesn't taste as good when the machine does it. But I notice my mother-in-law always uses the machine, anyway 😂 I guess the saving of labor is worth the lessened taste.
I think the taste is the same whether it is made by hand or by machine. However, I think the special feeling of using a mortar and pestle to make the mochi makes it taste better.
Mortars and pestles are difficult to clean up and store, so it's better to use a machine😊😊