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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
japanese/dessert: i recommend MOCHI on a STICK in XIMENDING
MOCHI on A STICK VENDOR
49 Er Mei St, Ximending
Kid friendliness: sticky and messy, but lots of flavors
Visit reviewed: 4/16/2009
Mochi ice cream? Mochi on shaved ice? Mochi on a stick? Traditional mochi desserts? What is your favorite kind of mochi?
For those of you who have never had mochi (or mua ji in Taiwanese or nien gao in Chinese), it's made from a glutinous rice and comes in many different sizes and shapes. It's probably most popularized in the states as mochi ice cream, but I remember growing up eating the brightly colored confections, dusted with white powder on special occasions when my mom would buy a box as a gift in a little shop in Gardena called Sakura-ya. The white ones filled with red bean were and still are my favorite. Or during Chinese New Year, my mom would pan fry brown sweet "nien gao" rice cakes until the outside was crispy and hot, the inside gooey and chewy.
That's what this was sort of like, except on a stick. And covered in sauce.
After eating dumplings near Zhongshan Hall, ice cream from Xue Wang and looking for Ah Chung Noodles, (which were a bit too mushy this time around) my friend JL and I passed by this vendor... and who wouldn't stop for mochi on a stick?!
After asking what the flavors were, he recommended cheese or peanut (though I think there's also quite a few other flavors on the board behind him in Chinese). We picked peanut.
He picked the sticks off the grill, squeezed some white milky sweet sauce on top and poured some ground peanuts on top. At first bite, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but with each bite, the flavor grows on you as you are chewing the sticky texture. Kind of like when you grill marshmallows for Smores and get that crispy outside before it burns and inside is gooey. Man, I wonder what mochi Smores would taste like!
If you are looking to try some of your own, look for the Body Shop, it's right across from it, with bright red lanterns hanging from it.