4 Ultimate Mochi Picks for 2024: Savoring Japan's Finest – Bokksu Market

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4 Ultimate Mochi Picks for 2024: Savoring Japan's Finest

by Bokksu Staff

So, I recently decided to try mochi for the first time. Heady with anticipation, I waltzed into an Asian grocery store in New York, only to be faced with an unexpected problem. There were too many different mochi brands, all with various prices and flavors. The entire experience was simply too overwhelming, and it got me thinking. There must be thousands, if not millions, of people who want to try mochi but find it difficult to pick from the vast array of options available.

Platter of mochi

Hence, I reached out to my colleagues at Bokksu Market, and together, we embarked on a mission to bring the best 4 mochi to our platform. We sampled a number of mochi varieties and came up with this curated list. Enjoy!

Our Mochi Quest

The journey to discover the best mochi varieties for 2024 was anything but easy. Every member of our group tried at least a dozen mochi products. We then undertook an elaborate sorting and deliberation process. Finally, we could proudly announce our list, which contained the best 4 of this beloved Japanese treat. Check them out!

Royal Family Daifuku Mochi - The Exquisite One

Royal Family Daifuku Mochi: Melon

What we loved: Embodies the chewy texture of a perfect traditional mochi.

Great for: Eating with green tea.

I think we all expected to see a daifuku make the list. After all, daifuku, or daifuku-mochi is the most popular kind of mochi in the world. In fact, the majority of the mochi we sampled were daifuku, small round mochi balls stuffed with a variety of sweet fillings. But one of them stood out from all of the others, the Royal Family Daifuku Mochi.

I remember having three different flavors of this product on my table: mango, melon, and strawberry mochi. The best part about each one, irrespective of flavor, is the soft, chewy texture. “Luxurious” is the only way I can describe this texture. If you have any knowledge of mochi, you’ll know that a chewy texture is one of its biggest selling points. Royal Family Daifuku Mochi absolutely knocks it out of the park with its pillowy and soft chewiness.

I wasn’t sure which of the three available flavors to recommend to you at first because they were equally tasty. However, one of our team members suggested I try the melon version with some green tea. I did, and the Royal Family Daifuku Mochi: Melon instantly became my favorite.

Royal Family Daifuku Mochi: Melon

This delicious mochi features a yummy melon taste just perfect for the enjoying in the warm summer weather. Made with a real melon puree filling, this tasty daifuku mochi (filled mochi) is a real treat. Enjoy this soft, pillowy, chewy melon mochi with a cup of your favorite green tea.

Produced in a Facility That Also Contains: Milk, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat, Soy.

7.56 oz

Seiki Warabi Mochi - The Elevated One

Warabi mochi

What we loved: Offers a unique and refined taste compared to traditional mochi.

Great for: Enjoying as a chilled dessert in the summer.

The first time I saw Seiki Warabi Mochi, I knew there was something special about it. Firstly, its appearance was different from what I had come to expect Mochi to look like. Secondly, it seemed to be dusted with a brown powder I didn’t recognize until someone in the room told me it was actually kinako, roasted soybean flour. The product came with its own sachet of kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup), which I generously poured all over the warabi starch cakes.

By the first few bites, I was convinced I had a winner on my hands, even though I still had to wait for the assessment of the others. As I suspected, their reports aligned with my opinion. Seiki Warabi Mochi’s toasted, nutty sweetness and jelly-like texture offer a refined taste experience distinct from traditional mochi. It’s worth noting that this product is best served chilled, making it a great summertime dessert to have in your refrigerator.

Seiki Warabi Mochi

So what is warabi mochi? Warabi mochi is made with warabi/bracken starch and has a jelly-like texture that melts in your mouth! This chewy mochi is dusted with kinako (roasted soybean powder) and comes with brown sugar syrup for a kick of toasted nutty sweetness. These Japanese mochi shine in the summertime as a refreshing chilled dessert!

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

9.5 oz

Kubota Daifuku Mochi - The One for Every Day

Peach mochi

What we loved: Blends traditional and contemporary textures and tastes.

Great for: All kinds of occasions and meals.

We tried to keep the list as diverse as possible without straying from our ranking criteria. However, this Kubota product forced our hand with its undeniable appeal, and now we have another daifuku mochi in the top 4. Thankfully, I’m convinced that you will agree that it deserves its place when you try it. Kubota Daifuku Mochi is the perfect everyday choice. It comes in a variety of sweet and flavorful fillings, each one encased in a soft mochi exterior, making it a delightful treat suitable for daily indulgence. The available flavors are:

  • Strawberry (Most recommended)
  • Mikan Orange
  • Chestnut
  • Yuzu
  • Melon
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Mitarashi Sweet Soy Glaze
  • Red Bean

Someone in our group made a comment that I think perfectly simplifies what Kubota Daifuku Mochi is like. After taking a few bites, she said, “I can’t tell if this is store-bought or home cooked.” I couldn’t agree more. The product comes fresh and ready to eat, like traditional mochi, but its texture and flavor profile are akin to 21st-century premium store-bought mochi. It’s this flexibility that makes Kubota Daifuku Mochi the perfect mochi for any occasion, be it parties, tea ceremonies, traditional rites, or simple home meals.

Kubota Daifuku Mochi: Peach

In Japan, nothing says summertime vibes like peaches! Enjoy the sweet flavor of juicy peaches in the creamy paste of this soft and chewy daifuku mochi. It can’t be summer all the time, but it can taste like it! This mochi will surely take a peach of your heart.

Common Allergens: Milk, Eggs, Tree Nuts, Soy.

7.05 oz

Taimatsu Shokuhin Kinetsuki Mochi Rice Cake - The Unexpected One

Grilled mochi cake

What we loved: Fully customizable and easy to prepare.

Great for: Pairing with traditional Asian dishes and sweets.

By the time we got to this product, we were already used to seeing mochi with sweet fillings, which was why we didn’t expect what came next. The Taimatsu Shokuhin Kinetsuki Mochi Rice Cake is a pre-cut mochi with no filling. To enjoy it, you can bake or boil the mochigome as is, or stuff it with fillings beforehand. Its unique preparation method and neutral flavor profile set it apart from typical mochi varieties, offering a surprising twist for adventurous palates.

Some of us at Bokksu Market tried it with traditional dishes like udon and miso soup, and we were not disappointed. Of all the different types of mochi rice cakes we sampled, I least expected a product that’s as traditional as they come to make our list. However, Taimatsu Shokuhin Kinetsuki Mochi Rice Cake deserves its spot as one of the 4 best mochi varieties.

Taimatsu Shokuhin Kinetsuki Mochi Rice Cake

While most see mochi as sweet with filling, that’s actually called daifuku, a type of mochi. Mochi is made of 100% mochigome (short-grained glutinous rice), and plays a significant role in Japanese culture, especially during the New Year. Today in Japan, it's popular to buy pre-cut mochi (just like this one) to prepare at home! Many bake and boil to enjoy as is, while others go the sweet or savory route by adding their mochi to miso soup, udon, ice cream, or making their own daifuku!

12.35 oz

Our Research

It’s time to reveal the methodology behind the painstaking research we carried out to select the best mochi for 2024. Sampling, ranking, and sorting mochi requires a lot more than a good sense of taste. One also needs to have a deep understanding of Japanese mochi and its rich culinary culture.

Thankfully, the Bokksu Market team was able to combine our in depth knowledge of Japanese cuisine and network of quality Asian food sources with a meticulous selection process that yielded the most reliable list you’ll find today. And although we successfully uncovered the best mochi, we came across a few that did not meet our standards. Read on to find out more about our qualifications, our trusty selection process, and some of the products that fell short of our expectations.

Our Qualifications

To fully understand why Bokksu Market and its team of culinary experts are qualified to evaluate and choose the top mochi varieties, we need to highlight the start of our journey with Japanese food. After spending some time in Japan, our founder, Danny Taing, couldn’t get enough of the snacks and sweets he enjoyed during his stay. When he returned to the United States, he had a suitcase full of these delicious treats. Family and friends loved them, but Danny soon realized that they were nowhere to be found in the US. This was the beginning of Danny and Bokksu Market’s mission to bring authentic Japanese flavors from local artisans and family businesses to people in the US.

Starting out as the Bokksu monthly subscription box service, the company is now a comprehensive online platform and offers Asian snacks, sweets, grocery products, and household items via Bokksu Market.

We are committed to bringing you a curated selection of top Asian snacks and treats, including Japanese sweets like mochi. This commitment served as the fuel that spurred us on to put our expert knowledge of Japanese flavors to good use and curate a list of the best mochi products. For this project, I enlisted a team of Bokksu Market QA experts, editors, writers, and content creators. Their entire careers have revolved around Asian flavors and the ever-changing tastes of the audiences they serve.

Our Process

The testing and evaluation process took several days to complete. Each panelist graciously took out a few hours a day from their busy schedule to do this with me. Overall, we tested 74 different mochi products. The testing process was in two phases. The first phase involved eating only the mochi, and the second involved pairing it with tea, soy sauce, seaweed, or any random dish. The panelists scored the mochi based on the following criteria:

  • Chewiness

  • Elasticity

  • Flavor

  • Moisture content

  • Mochi dough: traditional mochigome or Western glutinous rice flour

  • Softness

  • Uniqueness

  • Authenticity

Based on the above criteria, we started testing from one category to another, discovering the top daifuku, kinako-mochi, dango, sakura-mochi, warabi-mochi, yatsuhashi, kusa-mochi, kuzu-mochi, and more. We then created a short list of the best mochi varieties in each category and pitted them against each other. Finally, I looked through the scores, comments, and observations left by the panelists for the shortlisted mochi and ranked the top 4 based on those reports. Although tasking, I’m confident in our process and believe that we found the best mochi of 2024.

Our Disappointments

Mochi ice cream

Some of the delicious mochi we tested fell short of expectations at different stages of evaluation. It wasn’t because they were bad products, but rather due to the high standards we set. Getting the top 4 out of 74 items is no small feat. A few of them went all the way to the final shortlist, but some others were left out as soon as they were tested.

We’re sure that after seeing our list, many of our readers wondered, “Where is mochi ice cream?” While mochi ice cream is popular in the US, we wanted to focus on recommending more authentic Japanese mochi products. But if you would like to try some, we think Maeda-en Mochi Ice Cream is one of the best. It’s not overly sweet; hence, it offers a pleasantly distinct taste from the widespread chocolate flavor or vanilla ice cream mochi.

Why Mochi

Mochi pounding

To many Japanese people, mochi is more than just a sweet treat. It’s a symbol of good fortune and a traditional food eaten during festivities in the New Year, Children’s Day, Girl’s Day, and spring. Even the traditional preparation method used to make the treat (mochitsuki) holds cultural value. Having been around since the Nara period (710–794), mochi is one of Japan’s most beloved wagashi (traditional Japanese confections). People of all ages and social classes eat it. Mochi is also at the forefront of Japanese cuisine in foreign countries. Even in the US, you’ll find specialty stores and shops selling different mochi flavors and types, from traditional sweet fillings to innovative savory options.

Mochi Spectrum: From Sweet to Savory

Mochi comes in so many flavors and types that it’s hard to keep track of every one of them. This is one of the reasons shopping for it at the store can be overwhelming, a problem that necessitated the creation of this mochi guide. However, if we were to oversimplify mochi categorization, we would say there are primarily two types of mochi based on taste: sweet mochi and savory mochi.

Sweet mochi typically contains super sweet fillings flavored with ingredients like anko (sweet red bean paste), fruits, and even flowers. They’re eaten as a quick snack in moderate doses, such as the Seiki One-Bite sakura-flavored mochi or the chocolate mochi from the same brand. Savory kinds of mochi have deeper flavor profiles. They also tend to serve as more mellow, long-lasting snacks, such as the Funwari Meijin black sesame paste-coated mochi puffs.

Mochi Pairings

While mochi can be enjoyed on its own, pairing it with other foods and drinks greatly elevates the eating experience. A lot of people in Japan like to eat mochi with green tea, but I’m sure you already know that. So, what I’ll be suggesting to you are some of the lesser-known but equally terrific mochi pairings for 2024. The UCC Matcha Latte is one of the best drinks you can have with mochi. It adds a rich, sweet, and creamy taste to every meal.

Lovers of coffee would be happy to know that Suntory BOSS Cold Cafe Au Lait is another great pairing option. If you want to avoid caffeine, try Itoen Kaori Kaoru Mugicha Barley Tea to add a nutty and refreshing twist to the taste of Japanese mochi.

The Culmination of the Journey

That concludes our exploration of the best mochi for 2024. As I reflect on the diversity and richness of mochi, I can only describe it as a culinary art form, one that I was fortunate enough to enjoy to the fullest. You too can experience the joys of exploring different flavors by checking out Bokksu Market's Mochi Collection.

This article is the second in a series focusing on the personal exploration and meticulous selection of Asian grocery products, with each piece a narrative of discovery, quality, and unmatched flavor.

Author Bio

4 Ultimate Mochi Picks for 2024: Savoring Japan's Finest


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