Brown Rice Moffles (Mochi Waffles) 玄米モッフル
Moffles (mochi waffles) are crisp and airy with a chewy center. Made with soaked brown rice, they are a great nutritious snack and a fun alternative to other whole grains at any meal.
Let me tell you a little story. In Japan, mochi is often roasted over hot coals to get that amazing browned, crispy exterior and the molten, chewy center. The problem is, I don’t have a tiny Japanese indoor grill, and I doubt most of my readers do. Do you? So one day I had a bit of extra brown rice mochi from my usual batch, and pondered how I could recreate that deliciousness. I had a little light bulb moment and turned on my waffles iron and plopped it in. When the timer went off and I opened the lid, I was a little surprised at what I saw. It was a pretty pale-looking waffle, so I hadn’t achieved what I was hoping for at all. But then I picked it up with a pair of chopsticks and took a bite. Super light and airy and crisp but still with that amazing mochi chew in the center. I dipped it in my go-to mochi dip of soy sauce, fresh ginger, and a tiny splash of pure maple syrup, and it was like fireworks, it was so mind-blowing.
So I took a picture with my phone and sent it to my Japanese and Japanophile friends and family to share my new invention. I got a lot of excited responses, and I knew I had created something awesome. I instantly went to work soaking more rice for a new batch to photograph for my readers. The hilarious thing is then I discovered that it’s actually a thing. Like, I totally didn’t invent it at all! [insert cry-laugh emoji] But I suppose just because someone else invented it before me doesn’t mean I didn’t invent it, too, right? [still laughing]
The good news is that mine are made completely from scratch, save the growing-and-harvesting-rice-yourself part. And fresh, whole grain mochi is a completely different beast of flavor. Plus, because this mochi is soaked ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about the thumbs-down part of eating whole grains. These grains are properly soaked, allowing your body to actually absorb the nutrients in the whole grain, don’t prevent your body from absorbing other nutrients, and are super fun to eat. My kids devoured them, begging for more. Just keep in mind that one moffle is about the equivalent to a bowl of rice, so … enjoy as many as you feel fit.
You can eat them alone or dipped in sauce or wrapped in nori or even with soup. The latter is fun because it instantly starts to absorbs the liquid and dissolves pretty quickly, too. So you have some crunchy bites and some soft, melty bites, and all yum. However you decide to eat it (and I have some grand plans for variations in the near future, so get excited), just try it so you can decide what you like best. Because … well, just look:
- 2-1/4 cups (or 3 rice cooker cups) sweet brown rice, preferably organic
- 3 cups very warm water, preferably purified and dechlorinated* (for soaking)
- 1/3 cup acidic medium such as raw apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, or fermenting liquid
- 2-1/4 cup water, preferably purified and dechlorinated* (for cooking)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
- cornstarch for dusting your surface (preferably organic and/or non-GMO)
- In a clean large glass or ceramic bowl, combine the rice, 4 cups warm water, and acid or fermenting liquid. Cover, and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Once soaking is done, wash thoroughly to prepare for cooking.
- After rinsing the soaked rice thoroughly, shake excess water off and use one of the following methods, either with a rice cooker or on the stove top.
- Rice cooker method
- Add the rice to the bowl of the rice cooker and fill water to the 3 cup marking. It should amount to about 2-1/4 cups of water, which is significantly less than you would use to cook unsoaked grains due to the water absorbed during soaking. Turn on and cook according to regular brown rice setting on your rice cooker. (I've even used the regular white rice setting in my older model with no problems)
- Stovetop method
- In a large pot, combine soaked rice and water. Bring to a boil, then drop down to a simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let cook with lid on until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy, no longer opaque, and has a tender center, about 40 minutes.
- Making the mochi
- While the rice is still very hot, place all of the rice into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Turn on the stand mixer to medium-low speed, add salt (if using), and let mix until the rice grains break down and get very sticky, with an almost gluey appearance, 8~12 minutes. Because you're using brown rice, it will never get perfectly smooth.
- Turn on a waffle iron to the hottest/darkest setting. While the waffle iron heats up, scrape the mochi onto a cutting board lightly dusted with cornstarch. Using wet hands, take about a 1/4~1/3 cup portion and roll it into a rough ball. Place it in the middle of the waffle iron and let it cook like a normal waffle. Once the timer has gone off, take out the moffle and serve immediately.** Repeat with remaining mochi.
- *to dechlorinate and purify water, simply boil for 20 minutes and let cool to room temperature.
- **These will lost their very crisp texture quickly, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They remain slightly crisp and the chewiness is highlighted as time passes. But to enjoy the ultra-light crunch, I recommend eating it pretty much straight out of the waffle iron. I like to serve it by itself or dipped in a combination of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably organic, 1/8~1/4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon pure maple syrup. It's also great dipped in soup, on the side of a salad, or even with cheese.
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