5 Ingredients or Fewer

Maple Kinako on Grilled Mochi (Japanese Rice Cakes with Maple Kinako Syrup)

March 29, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1 X as many as you want
Author Notes

So simple and so easy, so delicious. Kinako is the nutritious ground powder of toasted soybeans. It is used in many Japanese sweets and in this dish from the New Year's Holiday. Kinako is usually mixed with granular sugar but because I am not a fan of the powdery texture or the sugar grains in my mouth, I created this maple version last year. Packaged mochi is available all year round, but during the holidays there many mochi-pounding festivals and events. This dish is filling for a snack or light lunch, a simple dessert, or in place of pancakes for breakfast --anytime! —BoulderGalinTokyo

What You'll Need
  • 1 Mochi, rice cake (if frozen, defrost)
  • 1+ tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Kinako, Soy Flour
  1. Put mochi in grill basket or grate over a very hot fire (my stove has an open gas flame). When one side gets brown and maybe puffy, turn over to grill the other side. Keep eyes on mochi because grilling doesn't take long (depends upon mochi size). Bar-B-Q grill is fine too.
  2. Put directly on the serving plate. Don't let two pieces touch each other, or will they will stick together.
  3. Kinako: (This portion is for one rice cake, my family can eat 2 or 3 at a time, so you need to calculate how many mochi X how many people you are making the sauce for.) Start with an even 1 to 1 proportion. Mix well. Let sit about 3 minutes. Taste. The Japanese palette will like this.
  4. Add one teaspoon more of maple syrup, mix again. Let it sit. Taste again. The kinako will be absorbing the maple syrup. Add a little more maple syrup (I liked the sauce around a balance of 1 kinako to 1 1/2 maple syrup).
  5. Serve immediately. If it sits, the mochi will harden as it cools, and the sauce will also harden.
  6. (From Wikipedia) Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice (not to be confused with gluten) pounded into paste and molded into shape.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • BoulderGalinTokyo

10 Reviews

LeBec F. March 30, 2012
since you have just taught me that okara exists, i don't know if it's sold here, but i'll find out!
Massachusetts has its very own tofu manufacturer, Nasoya, so i would think they would sell it....
BoulderGalinTokyo April 2, 2012
Nasoya, think I've heard of them. Okara is usually thrown away (pig food) but it really is the fiber after the soybean juice has been squeezed out to make tofu.
Couldn't email you at abro site. Goes to local page.
BoulderGalinTokyo April 13, 2012
LBF, kinako was used in the "Diet --and "Recipes for a Small Planet " cookbooks, not Moosewood like I thought. Can't believe I still have these, all splattered up..., the book's spines taped and re-taped.
LeBec F. April 13, 2012
That is hysterical. I did not know that. I still make one recipe from that little book. The tacos with a filling of peanuts, tomato paste, cumin, garlic, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds.... Sounds crazy(because we never think of tomato and peanuts together, right?) but it is absolutely delicious. But i bet corn tortillas are not available in tokyo., unless you bring em back from U.S. visits?...
BoulderGalinTokyo March 30, 2012
LBF, sure-the edamame version I really like. Not too sweet, can be used in other things than just wagashi.

Does that mean okara (leftover from making tofu) is not available in US?

I've put soy flour in regular muffins, etc. New fad here is to use in smoothies because its so good for you.

Do you think if we make suggestions that food52 store might carry difficult items?
LeBec F. March 30, 2012
Well galin, you're way ahead of me. I must have missed that part in Moosewood because kinako is the only name i knew for this item before now. I have recipes for cooked soybeans but not kinako. I just found this googling:

As to okara, i'd never heard of it until your note below. found a neat okara 'crab' recipe on google.You have me thinkin' about kinako and this; can't thank you enough for the inspiration! thx again.

p.s. have you had the edamame version of an- red bean paste ,in a bun/pastry etc? Like it?
BoulderGalinTokyo March 29, 2012
I have always used kinako in baking, not 100% but added to wheat flour it supplements the nutrients (I think that I read that in Moosewood Cookbooks in 70s.) I agree it would be a good ingredient. As for donuts and cookies, okara is very popular now.

I do have a fish scaler--you rub the sides of fish and it captures the scales inside. Then they just rinse right out.
Non-stick rice scoop?
At the 100 yen store, my daughter found a milk whipper, put in cup- instant latte.
I like my kappogi (apron with sleeves) for kneading.

Matcha as an ingredient might be good too.
BoulderGalinTokyo March 29, 2012
Sorry, having problem with my picture order. Let me think about the omiage.
BoulderGalinTokyo March 29, 2012
maple very expensive here. I told my Japanese friend I was making in Daigaku Imo with maple and she replied--Motainai (What a waste) I asked what she last made with maple syrup? She said, "I didn't. The date expired. I just looked at it and was happy." I think thats motainai.
LeBec F. March 29, 2012
I WANT! puhleeeeese! would go great with my smoothie (entry here too). I love kinako and you have me thinking about it and wondering if it COULD actually be used like the 'flour' they call it- like chickpea flour is used in India? for fritter batter ,or donuts themselves, or Indian sweets (made with sugar and ghee and milk)....And what about as a Japanese socca (that chickpea flour crepe from France)hmmmmm. would love to see the 52ers choose kinako as a contest subject!!

galin, i have friend visiting from Tokyo late April. Why can't I think of what she could bring me (she asked) that i can't get here as well....? (p.s. i'm not a big yohan fan but maybe she could bring me some fresh mochi... but no, that's too heavy...... What about a clever lightweight tool; i do have a shrimp deveiner and nihonjin mandoline... any tool you can't live without that you found over there?
thx much,
I really do think your recipe would be such a hit during momoji season at some lovely inn....
made all the more desirable because maple must be expensive over there