Does Mochi Have Dairy?

green mochi

If you’re looking to experience traditional Japanese cuisine, look no further than mochi. This soft and chewy rice cake can be a delicious treat. But does mochi have dairy?

No, mochi does not have diary, but mochi ice cream does. Traditional mochi is only made with Japonica short-grain rice and water.

Mochi ice cream however, does contain dairy. It will need to be frozen, in order to prevent melting. There are some brands that offer diary-free mochi ice cream.

Does Mochi Have Ice Cream In It?

Yes, some types of mochi can have an ice cream filling. This dish is known as mochi ice cream, and can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery store.

Mochi ice cream is a popular Japanese-American dish, that can be eaten anytime of the day. However, just like traditional ice cream it is consumed after dinner (just like a desert).

Similar to ice cream, there are many different flavors that will add variety to your taste buds. Some popular flavors are chocolate, green tea, mango, strawberry, and vanilla to name a few.

Types of Mochi

Mochi is a popular Japanese rice cake that can be eaten plain, or with a variety of different fillings. Although popular during the New Year celebrations, mochi can be eaten regularly throughout the year.

green mochi

Traditional Mochi

Traditional mochi is so popular, because of its simplicity. Short-grain glutinous rice is steamed, before being mashed into tiny cakes, or balls.

Regardless of the final shape, the taste remains the same. It has a soft, chewy, and sticky texture. You can add sugar to make it sweet, but traditional mochi should taste like rice.

Mochi Ice Cream

Mochi ice cream is a newer take on the traditional cuisine. It is made up of a sticky rice outside and has an ice cream filling. Mochi ice cream can have dairy, or be dairy free.

The ice cream adds more flavor than the original dish, which makes it the perfect desert. Mochi ice cream was invented by Frances Hashimoto – a Japanese-American businesswoman.

Other Types

  • Warabi Mochi – Has a jelly texture and a sweet, soybean covering with syrup
  • Hishimochi – Three layers of red, white, and green mochi for “Girl’s Day” festival
  • Sakura Mochi – Pink mochi with a red bean paste filling, wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf
  • Hanabira Mochi – Sweet flavored mochi normally eaten at the start of the New Year
  • Daifuku – Mochi with sweet filling and usually served with green tea
  • Kirimochi – Hard texture mochi that can be heated up, or cooked before eating
  • Kusamochi – Green colored mochi kneaded from yomogi (mugwort) leaves
  • Botamochi – Sweet rice with red bean paste eaten during the spring
  • Kuzumochi – Jelly-like texture mochi cake made with kuzu starch


The article began with a question: does mochi have dairy? The answer really comes down to what kind of mochi.

Traditional mochi does NOT contain dairy, because rice is the sole ingredient. However, mochi ice cream does have dairy.

Remember this the next time you’re about to eat the popular Japanese dish.

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