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Try This Mochi Ice Cream Recipe with Endless Flavor Combos

By Eleonora Badellino
September 12, 2021
Updated: November 4, 2021

Mochi Ice Cream Recipe

Mochi Ice Cream Sweet Potatoes Glaze

Also known as Yukimi Daifuku (雪見大福), a popular mochi ice cream brand name, mochi ice cream is the perfect snack to fight the humid Japanese summer, as well as a fantastic treat that we all deserve at any time (or season) after a long day of work or study.

Learn more about the different types of mochi! Or check out our mochi donut recipe and mochi cake recipe for two modern ways of using glutinous rice flour.

Today, I'm going to show you three versions of mochi ice cream with different flavor combinations that reflect the taste of traditional Japanese confections.

All recipes are prepared with simple ingredients, are made from scratch, and, best of all, you won't need an ice cream machine!

Here, we'll cover how to make these 3 flavor variations:

  1. Anko Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream
  2. Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream
  3. Daigaku Imo Inspired Mochi Ice Cream

How to Make Japanese Mochi

As you can guess by the name, mochi ice cream is a dessert made of a thin layer of mochi that surrounds a creamy, fresh scoop of ice cream. 

The mochi dough is usually prepared from shiratamako (白玉粉), a granulated flour obtained from the processing of glutinous rice called "mochi-gome"(もち米).

Shiratamako

What characterizes this ingredient, which forms the base of many traditional Japanese sweets, is its incredible chewy texture. Despite its complicated appearance, the recipe of mochi dough is really simple and it is based on only three ingredients: shiratamako, sugar, and water.

There are two ways to make mochi:

  1. The "traditional" way, that involves cooking the ingredients in a pot on the stove
  2. The more “modern” one, that makes use of the microwave

What distinguishes them is the speed of execution, as the result is guaranteed in both cases.

Mochi Ingredients:

  • 50g shiratamako
  • 30g sugar
  • 130g water
  • Potato starch (or cornstarch) for dusting

Traditional Method

Traditional method Mochi

In a small saucepan, pour in shiratamako and sugar and mix them with a spatula. Add the water a little at a time and place over low heat.

Cook for a few minutes, continuing to stir and making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom (the mixture will thicken quickly). Continue to cook it until you get a sticky dough, turn off the flame, and let it cool for a few minutes.

Modern Method

Mochi Dough Modern Method

In a bowl pour the ingredients as previously described.

Cover with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave at 600W for 2 minutes.

Take out the bowl, mix the dough vigorously, cover it again and cook at 500W for another 2 minutes.

Mochi Dough

Take it out and again mix vigorously for at least 1-2 mins.

Once we have obtained our mochi dough, dust a good amount of potato starch (or cornstarch) on a pastry board or work surface. This will allow us to manage our mochi's sticky consistency without problems.

Cover the dough with enough potato starch, wrap it in plastic paper and let it rest in the fridge for 15 min so that it cools further.

Once the time has passed, roll out the dough with your hands (I recommend using plenty of potato starch, both on the working surface and your hands), and cut it into several equal slices with a knife.

You should have 6 pieces of mochi that are large enough to cover a big spoonful of ice cream.

Mochi Dough cut

How to Make Japanese Ice Cream Mochi

Here are my three favorite ice cream flavor combinations based on the taste of Japanese confections:

  1. Anko Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream
  2. Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream
  3. Daigaku Imo Inspired Mochi Ice Cream

The procedure for making the ice cream is very similar for all three recipes. The ice cream is based on a batter made of heavy cream, condensed milk, and flavoring of your choice.

Everything should be heated gently over low flame, cooled in ice, and let rest in the freezer—all without using an ice cream churn!

Version 1: Anko Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream

Matcha Mochi Anko Ice Cream

When you think about Japanese dessert, often the first flavor that comes to mind is anko. Sweet Japanese azuki beans are a staple in Japanese pastries and confections, but have you ever tried it in mochi ice cream?

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup anko (koshian - smooth red bean paste) (approx. 150g)
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 200g heavy cream (approx. 0.83 US cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp matcha

Matcha Mochi

Matcha Mochi Recipe

To make matcha mochi, add a tsp of matcha while you are cooking the shiratamako, and mix well until you get a nice, homogeneous green color. I highly suggest using a sieve to help sprinkle the matcha powder, or else you will create many lumps that are difficult to dissolve.

Ice Cream

Before you begin, place the container that you will use to hold the ice cream in the freezer (it must be cold so that the ice cream forms) and make sure you have a bowl full of ice at the ready. The bowl should be big enough to contain the saucepan you will use to heat the cream.

Ice Cream Anko

In a small saucepan add the cream and over low heat let it thicken without bringing it to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once ready, add the anko paste, a pinch of salt, and the condensed milk.

After it has been mixed, let it cool inside the bowl of ice, and once ready, take the container out of the freezer and pour the ice cream into it.

Put the container back into the freezer and let it rest for one hour.

After an hour, take it out and stir. The mixture will have thickened slightly. Stirring it at this point prevents the cream from splitting from the anko paste.

Put the mixture back into the freezer and let it rest for at least 3-4 hours.

How to Wrap Mochi Ice Cream

Before starting, remove the ice cream from the freezer so that it softens and becomes easier to shape.

Take a piece of mochi dough (divided into 6 equal pieces with each piece being at least 1 cm larger than the ice cream scoop), coat a rolling pin with rice starch, and roll out the dough until it forms a thin layer (about 0.5 cm).

Matcha Mochi

Roll out a sheet of plastic wrap and place the dough on top.

Matcha Mochi

With a spoon, place a scoop of ice cream in the center of the dough.

Matcha Mochi Recipe

Taking care to seal all sides, close the mochi by pinching the surface as shown in the picture.

Matcha Mochi

Wrap it quickly and let it rest in the freezer for at least 60 minutes.

Take it out of the freezer at least 10 minutes before eating to let the mochi soften a bit.

Want more mochi recipes? Join one of our mochi classes in Japan or sign up for byFood's Intensive Wagashi & Mochi Making Course to learn from home!

Version 2: Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream

Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream Recipe

A tasty black sesame ice cream, topped with a layer of chewy mochi and covered with honey-glazed white sesame seeds.

Ingredients 

  • 6 big tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 200g heavy cream (approx. 0.83 US cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • Honey
  • White sesame

Black Sesame Paste

In a saucepan, toast the black sesame seeds over medium heat for a few 3-4 minutes to release the oils and aroma.

Once they're ready, place them in a blender along with the tablespoon of maple syrup and grind until you have a creamy, thick paste.

Ice Cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Before you begin, place the container you will use for your ice cream into the freezer and make sure you have a bowl of ice ready (it should be large enough to hold the pot you will use to make the ice cream base).

In a small saucepan over low heat, add the cream and let it thicken without bringing it to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once ready, add black sesame paste, a pinch of salt, and condensed milk.

Once mixed, let it all cool inside the bowl of ice.

After the mixture has been chilled, take the container out of the freezer and pour the ice cream into it.

Put it back into the freezer and let it rest for one hour.

Once the time has passed, take it out and mix the ice cream to prevent the cream from splitting from the sesame paste.

Put it back in the freezer and let it rest for at least 3-4 hours.

Black Sesame Mochi

Make the mochi as described before, cover the ice cream in mochi, and let your mochi ice cream rest in the freezer for at least one hour.

Before eating, you can glaze the surface with a bit of honey and cover it with white sesame seeds!

Explore Japan through food! Join a mochi food tour in Japan featuring several stops, including local mochi shops.

Version 3: Daigaku Imo Inspired Mochi Ice Cream

Daigaku Imo Mochi Ice Cream

Who said ice cream should only be eaten during warm weather? As an ice cream lover, I confirm that this theory is wrong, and I want to prove it to you, using a typical autumn ingredient: satsumaimo, the Japanese sweet potato.

Here is a mochi ice cream recipe inspired by the famous daigaku imo, or rather, candied sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large sweet potato 
  • 20ml soy milk (4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or same amount of another sweetener)
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 200g heavy cream (approx. 0.83 US cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

For the glaze

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Black sesame seeds

Sweet Potato Purée 

Bowl with Sweet Potato Puree

To start, we need to prepare our sweet potato puree for the base of our ice cream. 

After peeling the sweet potato, cut it into small cubes and wash them in a bowl full of water to remove excess starch. 

In a saucepan filled with water, pour in the sweet potato cubes and bring to a boil. Cook until soft. 

Drain and, while still hot, mash them with the help of a fork to obtain a floury mixture.

Add soy milk, 1 tbsp maple syrup (or another sweetener), and let cool.

Ice Cream

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Before you begin, place the empty container that we will use for our ice cream in the freezer (it must be cold so that the ice cream forms) and make sure you have ready a bowl full of ice ready. The bowl should be large enough to hold the saucepan that you will use to make the ice cream base.

In a small saucepan, add the cream and over low heat let it thicken without bringing it to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once ready, add the sweet potato puree, a pinch of salt, and the condensed milk.

Transfer the saucepan to the bowl of ice to cool. Once cooled, take the container out of the freezer and pour in the ice cream base from the saucepan.

Put the ice cream container in the freezer and let it rest for one hour. Once the time has passed, take it out and mix the ice cream, which will have thickened slightly.

Put the ice cream container back into the freezer and let it rest for at least 3-4 hours.

Glaze

While the ice cream is in the freezer, we can prepare the daigaku imo (candied sweet potato) inspired glaze.

In a pan, add sugar, water, and mirin. Let it cook a bit on low flame, and when it starts to boil add the soy sauce. Taking care not to burn the glaze, cook until it starts to get thicker. Then, turn off the flame and transfer to a glass container.

Cover the ice cream in mochi as described before, and let it rest in the freezer for at least one hour.

Before eating, take the sweet potato mochi ice cream out of the fridge and brush it with the glaze.

Sprinkle with some black sesame and enjoy it with a cup of fresh tea!

Discover the connection between traditional Japanese sweets and tea culture at one of these wagashi shops and tea houses!

THE MORE YOU KNOW

  1. To make a creamier ice cream, you should add a little bit of alcohol to prevent small ice crystals from forming. For example, you can add vodka, which has no odor or taste and does not affect the final flavor of the ice cream. (Having prepared this recipe for children, I omitted this ingredient).
  2. The secret of this recipe: be quick! When sealing the mochi, you must be very quick as the ice cream will start melting and it will become difficult to work with. Be organized and ready for any eventuality.
  3. Instead of making black sesame paste from scratch, you can also buy it ready-made. It will be easier, but pay attention to the ingredients as the ice cream may be way sweeter if the black sesame paste already contains a sweetener.
  4. Before eating the mochi ice cream, bring it to room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving so it has time to soften.

Hungry for more Japanese recipes? Find out how to use goya (bitter melon), Japanese eggplant, and nagaimo (mountain yam). Or, browse cooking classes in Japan!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan’s food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Eleonora Badellino
Born and raised in Italy, Eleonora has been a food enthusiast and nature lover since she was a child. After graduating from "Gastronomic Sciences" university and work experience abroad in the food industry, she arrived in Japan intrigued by the culinary culture of Washoku. Destiny made her meet her husband here, and now they live together in the Japanese countryside, with their newborn baby.
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