Steamed Pumpkin Mochi

I finally did it! The past few weeks I’ve been working on trying to create individual pumpkin mochis. I’ve made pumpkin mochi cake several times and it is a staple every year at the Thanksgiving table, but I wanted to see if I could make a non-cake pumpkin mochi.

First I attempted making it with the microwave, using similar recipes to the ones I used to make microwave mochi. However, the dough kept sagging when I tried to make it into balls and it was extremely sticky and hard to work with.

Then I tried boiling the balls. The pumpkin balls ended up being too light in color and lacked flavor.

Finally, I attempted making a steamed version. And success! The balls weren’t too sticky and maintained it’s dark orange color.  They also held up their shape and I was even able to make them look like mini pumpkins.

I carved some knife incisions to make the balls look like pumpkins. Then I stuck a tiny piece of parsley on top to resemble a leaf.  I was really pleased with how these turned out.  My mochi balls are only flavored with pumpkin. You can add cinnamon and nutmeg or some pumpkin spice for a more Autumn flavor. You can also fill the center with something.

Steamed Pumpkin Mochi

2 cups glutinous rice flour
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
(optional spices: 1 tsp cinnamon, or 1 tsp pumpkin spice)

1. Pour all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. You may need to add some water to the dough if it is too dry. The dough should be sticky, but if you touch it, it should not stick to your hands. Add water, or more glutinous rice flour until the dough comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands.
2. Take small chunks of dough and roll them to form balls and place them on a steamer, about 1 inch apart. The balls will not really expand when steamed, so use portions similar to what you want your serving size to be.
3. Using a sharp knife, draw indents into the balls, so that they resemble pumpkins. I found that the best technique was to start at the bottom of the dough and slice upward and curved at an angle.
4. Steam for approximately 10- 15 minutes. Make sure a cover is put over the steamer.
5. Let the balls cool completely. When they are completely cooled, they should be easy to pick up to serve. You can garnish with something green for decoration. I put tiny parsley leaves on top.
6. It is best to serve these balls the same day or the next day. After that they will lose their chewy texture.

12 comments on “Steamed Pumpkin Mochi”

  1. Kirbie! These are SO adorable. You could totally sell these, I think. I’d try making them , but I don’t have any steamers. It’s at the top of my list to get but i don’t have any more room in my kitchen. Sad! I guess i will have to wait to make these cute little suckers.

    • Thanks! I don’t think they are good enough to sell, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. I use a little bamboo steamer and just stick it in a pot with some boiling water, so the steamer doesn’t take up much room. The steamed ones seem to stay soft longer than microwave cooked mochi.

  2. OMG-I love this, especially since I’m a huge mochi fan and love pumpkin!

  3. these look super cute and yummy

  4. Excited to try this recipe! Funny enough, I’m from SD and now I’m living in Kyoto. (So I LOVE your blog!) Japan has a lot of pumpkin goodies but I want to try a lot of your pumpkin recipes while I’m here. I’m obsessed with pumpkin… I even brought some pumpkin pie spice from home with me. I bought some mochi flour and kabocha at the grocery store so I will try it with the spices 🙂 I’ll post pics on my blog and link to your site if I succeed! Thanks for all of the great recipes!

    • Oh that’s so great that you even bought pumpkin pie spice to Japan with you! Ah, living in Kyoto, I’m jealous! Good luck with the recipes!

  5. Oh my goodness I just made them and they were the most delicious things I have ever had in my entire life!

  6. I made this and found it wonderful. I had to add an egg just to not keep adding so much water. I did add 5 tablespoons of water. I found 20 minutes was perfect in my steamer. I plan to make these for Thanksgiving.

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