Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Imo Mochi

Posted by  Tsukasa Hellinger

I’m fortunate to work at a place where my co-workers come from a variety of backgrounds. In Okinawa when there is a hoji or a Buddhist service for the dead, people go back to their hometowns to offer food and drink to their ancestors. Recently, one of my co-workers had to attend one of these services and was kind enough to bring us back some mochi or rice cakes.
 However, these weren’t ordinary mochi. They 
were green! When I asked her why they are green, she told me that sweet potatoes are mixed in to the dough of the rice cake. This explains why they are called imo mochi; imo means potato. The outer layer has a texture that is a little less sticky than regular mochi, and the center is filled with a sweet bean paste. The bottom is covered with a getto or shell ginger leaf which gives it a nice spicy herbal aroma. My co-workers and I all love it!
A good feature of this sweet potato dessert is that you can wrap it with a plastic wrap and freeze it, allowing you to store it in case you want to enjoy it later. From my experience, it tastes great even after thawing it out in the microwave!
This product is unique to Ie Island, so you won’t find it anywhere. According to my co-worker, there are only two places that sell it; a store at the harbor of Ie Island and a store at the harbor of Motobu Town. Since there’s only a limited supply, if you want to get your hands on this rare item you’ll have to go there early. Otherwise, they will sell out!