Mochi is the Japanese name for a chewy, almost elastic preparation of sticky rice that may be formed into balls or into thin sheets for wrapping around a filling of some kind. It’s made by steaming sticky rice, then pounding it to a paste, or by making a dough from sticky rice flour and kneading it for 30 minutes. The pounding or kneading organizes the bushy amylopectin starch molecules into an intermeshed mass that resists changes in its structure.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee.
By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.