Vegan Meera Sodha Recipe for Sweet Potato Mochi with Black Sesame Sauce | Vegan food and drink


When I think of food that “brings joy,” to use the phrase of a well-known home organizer, I don’t think of colorful cakes or the smoke and sizzling dance of Mexican restaurants. This is the fun and playful chewy of Japanese sticky flour rice cakes called mochi that I want. They are often sweet, filled with adzuki beans or peanuts, but they can also be salty, as in today’s recipe. Here they are fried like pancakes to give them a crispy, toasted exterior before being coated in a dark and deeply flavorful sesame sauce.

Sweet potato yaki mochi with black sesame sauce

You will need glutinous rice flour which you can buy in most Asian grocery stores and online at Sous Chef, and black sesame seeds, which are likely to be found in the same place, as well as in larger supermarkets. That’s a lot of sauce, so save any leftovers for up to a week and use them as a dipping sauce for the veggies.

Preparation 10 minutes
cook 50 minutes
Makes ten

For the mochi
500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into pieces
200 g glutinous rice flour
teaspoon of fine sea salt

4 new onions
, trimmed and thinly sliced

For the sauce
100g black sesame seeds
½ teaspoon of chili flakes
1 ½ cm of fresh ginger
, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, plus extra for cooking
1½ tablespoon light soy sauce
1½ tablespoon of rice vinegar

Put the sweet potato in a pot of water, cover with freshly boiled water, then place over medium-high heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until tender – the potato should be soft and not resist a knife when pressed. Drain in a colander, then put the strained potato colander on the hot pan and let it steam dry and cool.

While the sweet potato is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat a small skillet over low to medium heat until it is really hot. Add the sesame seeds, chili, ginger and garlic and sauté for six to eight minutes, taking care that they don’t stick or burn, then remove from the heat. Let cool, then pour into a blender and add the three tablespoons of oil, six tablespoons of water, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and blend until you get a smooth and fairly liquid sauce (think with tahini).

When the sweet potato is cold, pour it into a large bowl and add the flour, salt and spring onions. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth, firm and bouncy dough similar in consistency to Play-Doh.

Pour a drizzle of oil into a large non-stick skillet, turn to coat the base, then set over medium heat until very hot. Remove a ball of sweet potato dough (about a tenth of the total, or 60 g), then roll it up and flatten it into a circle between your palms, to make something about ½ cm thick x 10 cm of diameter. Repeat with another couple of sweet potato balls, then place all three flat in the pan. Cook for four to five minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until top and bottom are golden brown and the mochi begin to puff up a little in the middle. Slide or remove with a spatula, and repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with black sesame sauce.

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