This is a Japanese New Year’s decoration called kagami mochi literally means “mirror mochi.” Mochi is Japanese rice cake made of sticky rice, and it is stretchy like cheese.
Mochi-pounding ceremony is one of the winter fun events in Japan. It was traditionally a year-end event, but today it is often held anytime during winter by neighborhood councils and children’s parties.
To pound mochi, we use a wooden mortar and a mallet. The sticky rice has to be cooled and hot.
As it is pounded repeatedly, the rice grain gets mashed up and the rice cake gets smooth.
Mochi-pounding is usually performed by two people; one pounds and the other person sticks his hand into the mortar, and turns mochi so that it is pounded evenly.
At Nakatani-dou, a Japanese sweets store in Nara Prefecture, the confectioners perform mochi-pounding super fast!! Check this out!
Wow, it’s amazing. The two are perfectly in tune with each other. The mochi is green because it is mixed with yomogi (mugwort). After they finished pounding, they wrap sweet red beans with the mochi and coat it with kinako (soybean powder).
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