When I was young, “luo mai chi-s” or these soft, peanut-filled mochi balls were one of my favorite items to get at the Chinese bakery. The pillow-y, outside dough is actually made from rice flour. The filling is a mix of crunchy peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut and a bit of sugar.

Tip: I’ve wanted to make these mochi balls for a long time and had been researching some good recipes. The biggest tip I can give when making these guys is to get those plastic gloves you see the people at the deli counter use. It’s nearly impossible to work with the sticky rice dough otherwise.

The outer shell is only slightly sweetened, but how sweet you want to make the filling is really up to you.

In terms of technique, you will get the hang of it the more you make, but know that when filling the mochi, it’s obviously easier to start with less filling first. If you’re a greedy eater like I am, you try to fill up the mochi the most you can (and I’ve had many exploding mochi dumpling moments).

Just know that the whole rice dough is super sticky and so as long as you pinch hard at the seams, the mochi will close. Like I said in the video, if some of the filling tries to spill out, just keep grabbing more bits of the mochi and continue pinching to close that seam. If it’s still a mess, and it very well could be if this is your first time, know that you will be rolling the whole thing in coconut afterwards, so any minor imperfections you have will be covered.

Peanut Mochi

(makes 8)

Mochi:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cup non-dairy milk
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
  • 3 1 /2 teaspoons rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant custard powder (vegan), can be omitted

Filling:

  • 2/3 cups peanuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut

Coating:

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Directions

  1. For the mochi: In a pot, whisk together the non-dairy milk, coconut milk, sugar and oil. Bring to a boil. Then turn off heat and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, rice flour and custard powder.
  3. Pour hot milk mixture over the flour mixture and combine with a spatula until a smooth paste forms.
  4. Put paste onto an oiled plate and place into a steamer on medium high for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let mochi mixture cool.
  5. For the filling: While the mochi cooks, prepare the filling by mixing the peanuts, sugar, sesame seeds and desiccated coconut.
  6. To assemble: Put mochi between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and roll into circular disks about 3/8-inch thick.
  7. Put in about 1 tablespoon of filling and close the mochi by pinching at the seams.
  8. Drop into desiccated coconut to coat the outside. Place into cupcake paper and serve.