The newest season of Hetalia—season 5, The Beautiful World (coming to DVD July 22! Pre-order now!)—is full of new Hetalia goodness: new countries, a new style based on the mangaka’s artwork, and new genderbent characters! Even the mochi Hetalia characters, the fan-favorite blob versions of our nation boys that Hetalia readers have seen for years, show up for some squishy fun in this season! Check out ALL THE MOCHI in this super-cut video.
The Hetalia mochi are just like their country counterparts, but squishier, more hyper, and a little… weirder. As you may know from anime, mochi are a Japanese rice cake confection, soft and slightly gooey and delicious.
To celebrate their appearance in the new season, we made our own mochi! Traditionally, these are made from glutinous rice and involve hours of rigorous pounding, but you can also make them much more easily with pre-made flour in the microwave.
You will need:
• 1 1/2 cup sweet rice flour/mochiko: available at Asian supermarkets
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• Cornstarch or potato starch
• Fillings: optional. We’ll get to these later!
Here’s how to do it!
1. Combine flour, water, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix thoroughly until it’s perfectly smooth.
2. Microwave for two minutes. Take the mixture out and stir it a little to make sure it cooks evenly. Microwave again for two minutes. The mixture should firm up to a smooth, sticky consistency.
3. Let the mochi sit until it is cool enough to work with your hands. In the meantime, liberally dust a plate with corn or potato starch, and cover the surface of your hands in it as well.
4. Once the mochi is cool enough, grab enough dough for a 1 ½ inch ball and roll it into shape.
a. To make plain mochi: roll the ball around in the starch so that it doesn’t stick to other surfaces. You’re done!
b. For filled mochi, flatten the ball into a disc and press an indentation in with your thumb. Scoop a small amount of filling into the center, and wrap the edges of the mochi around it to close. You’re done!
For the fillings: mochi filled with a sweet ingredient are known as daifuku, and there are plenty of traditional mochi ingredients (red bean paste, green tea), as well as some more contemporary ones (fruit, ice cream, chocolate). Usually the ingredient is wrapped inside the mochi, although some will be mixed in with the rice flour or used as coatings. We suggest making some varieties based on your favorite Hetalia characters! Here are some ideas of types of mochi you can make for each of the Main Eight:
Italy mochi: gelato mochi, a variant on the popular ice cream mochi, which wraps mochi around super-frozen ice cream balls
Japan mochi: sakuramochi, a pink-colored mochi with red bean paste inside, all covered with a sakura leaf. Japan!mochi is a sakuramochi in Hetalia canon, hence the little pink blossom on his design.
Germany mochi: choco daifuku (mochi with chocolate inside), using German chocolate. Cube mochi like Germany!mochi’s design are less common, but they exist! Just cut your mochi dough with a knife.
America mochi: mochido, or mochi donut, an unconventional dessert found only in a few mochi shops in Japan. These are essentially donut-shaped (and donut-sized) mochi covered in glaze.
England mochi: tea mochi. Green tea mochi, with tea powder mixed into the rice flour, is pretty traditional, but British gentlemen will appreciate this confection with other types of tea as well.
France mochi: ichigo daifuku (mochi wrapped around a strawberry and sweet filling like red bean paste or jam). Garden strawberries were first cultivated in France and were popular with French royalty.
China mochi: mochi with sesame paste inside and a black sesame seed coating. This is fairly popular in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Russia mochi: zouni—soup with plain mochi rice cakes. Unfortunately there’s no vodka mochi, but Russia would appreciate the warmth of delicious mochi floating in hot soups, Russian or otherwise.
You might have some other ideas too—perhaps a maple-flavored mochi for Canada? A mochi waffle (this is a thing) for Belgium? Spain or Romano might like a cherry tomato daifuku, and peanut mochi are the most popular type in Taiwan. Let us know if you try your own hand at making mochi—we’d love to see some pictures of how they turned out (and hear how they taste!). Send us your pics at our Hetalia Facebook page or tag us on Twitter or Tumblr (handle @hetaliaofficial on both platforms), and we’ll share them!