Kirimochi waffles

This is literally the simplest recipe I have ever posted on this blog. Mostly because it was something I thought of randomly when I was watching videos of Japanese chefs making yakimochi. Yakimochi is a grilled mochi, made by slowly charring kirimochi. Now, kirimochi is a mochi that is slowly dried out until it is a hard hockey puck. The magic behind kirimochi is that it softens, puffs up, and gets super crunchy on the outside when you heat it up. I don’t fully understand the physics behind that, but I have eaten a lot of yakimochi growing up and realized that it is something that could be adapted to a couple of different shapes and forms. One of those forms being waffles!

So I had purchased a mini waffle iron a while ago, with the intention of practicing liege waffles. But the iron didn’t arrive in time, and I kind of forgot about making liege waffles at that point. Around the time my iron finally came, I was watching aforementioned video of a Japanese chef grilling yakimochi, mostly because I miss traveling and Japan, and came to the realization that grilling kirimochi on a waffle iron could work, and it could be amazing! Funnily enough, I didn’t realize that my food blogger friend, Sylvia Wakana, had already done this. I literally had no clue, which is why I’m linking her article so that I can give credit where credit is due, and not make it look like I’m plagiarizing somebody who’s work I actually admire. For my waffles, I garnished them with simple macerated strawberries and some cream, just to keep it summery and light! The beautiful thing about making a waffle out of kirimochi is that you get the crunchy exterior from using the griddle, but also a soft chewiness from mochi! Also, it’s 100% gluten-free, so for people who can’t have gluten, this is a great alternative, and super easy to make!

For the waffles:
1 block kirimochi
cooking spray

Line a waffle iron. Place a piece of kirimochi on the heated griddle and gently press down. The mochi will soften and expand over time, so do not try to press down too hard at the risk of breaking the griddle. Cook the mochi in the griddle, flipping it to make sure both sides get some browning on them(that’s the best part in my opinion!). Serve the waffle right away so that it stays crisp.

For the strawberries:
1/4 cup strawberries, quarted
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Toss together. Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Serve the strawberries with the syrup that forms around them for a 2 for 1 kind of garnish!

For the cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip to stiff peaks.

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