Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Have you ever eaten Mochi (rice cake made from sweet rice)? It is one of the traditional food for Japanese people to welcome New Year's. Every year, at Oregon Buddhist Temple, at one of the Sundays in December, members and volunteers make mochi together. The process starts with rinsing the rice, cooking, pounding, forming, drying/cooling, and then finally bagging them according to the weights. We bring out special vats, sieves and pounding machines for this event. Then there are people constantly washing all the utensils, and there are people bringing breakfasts and snacks for all the people working!!! It is a huge teamwork effort to produce OBT mochi. The result is the best mochi ever!
If you came to our New Year's Day Service, you might have come across the ozoni served afterwards, with the mochi everyone made! Ozoni is basically mochi in soup. Every family have their own recipe for that. OBT usually serves the ozoni with clear soy based stock, fish cake slices, shiitake mushroom and some spinach. However you flavor it, ozoni is a warm, hearty and is a very comforting food. Perfect dish to start a New Year!
Making mochi together as we wrapped up the past year, and then to eat the mochi together as we start the New Year of 2019, felt nice and connected. Next December, come make Mochi at the temple!