Does Mochi Have Gluten?

If you’re craving Japanese sweets, look no further than mochi. This bite sized food is highly addictive and it comes in a variety of flavors. But does mochi have gluten?

Mochi is naturally gluten free, because it’s made from rice flour. Other traditional ingredients include sugar, cornstarch, water, and sometimes milk.

Most ice cream mochi brands are also gluten free, but it’s always safe to read the label before eating. This is especially true if you have a sensitivity to gluten, or are celiac.

What is Mochi?

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from short-grain glutinous rice. Traditional mochi is usually filled with anko (sweet red bean paste) or other fruit flavors.

It’s important to note that “mochi” covers a wide range of various Japanese rice cakes. There are many different types of flavors, colors, and types of mochi that can be eaten, depending on the time of year.

What makes this cuisine so unique is the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to make. Making mochi can be very labor intensive and take days to bake the traditional way.

Making Mochi

The process begins by washing and soaking glutinous rice 2 days in advance. The rice is then transferred to a steaming box, where it will cook for around 1 hour.

Before turning the rice into a paste, the pounding mortar is heated up by hot water. This ensures that the rice will not get cold during the next step.

The rice is then kneaded, so that rice particles do not escape and fly through the air during the pounding stage. This labor intensive process is what gives mochi a soft and creamy texture.

After some time has passed, the rice will need to be flipped and sprayed with water. This keeps it from becoming too sticky and prevents the wooden mallet from getting stuck in the pounding mortar.

Finally, the mochi is transferred to a tray and formed into rice cakes. Red bean paste is used as a traditional filling, but other ingredients can also be used to make up the center of mochi.

Is Glutinous Rice Gluten Free?

We mentioned above that mochi is made from short-grain glutinous rice (also known as rice flour). But is glutinous rice gluten free?

Even though it has gluten in the name, glutinous rice is gluten free. This ingredient refers to the sticky “glue-like” texture of rice after is has been cooked.

What makes it feel like glue is the strenuous process in which it’s made. When you knead glutinous rice and then pound it with a wooden mallet, it makes the consistency very sticky.

This is what mochi is all about. If it were not for the glutinous rice, the rice cakes would not be able to hold together. This also makes them the perfect ingredient for filling with red bean paste.

What about Ice Cream Mochi?

Now that you have a general understanding of traditional mochi, let’s talk about the ice cream kind. This version is made in the same way, the only difference is that it can have an ice cream filling.

Nutrition Facts

Calories610 (per container)100 (per piece)
Total Fat18g3g
Saturated Fat11g2g
Trans Fat0.5g0g
Dietary Fiber1g0g
Total Sugars78g13g
Includes Added Sugars70g12g
Vitamin D1mcg0mcg

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