Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long Weekend Day 2: Glutinous Rice Balls

One of my favorite frozen yogurt toppings is mochi. This sweet, chewy treat compliments the creamy tartness of yogurt. You could say I'm a mochi fan. So when I found a magazine recipe for mochi, I was completely won over. Never mind that its a Filipino recipe and the type of mochi that I like are Japanese almond-scented ones. For weeks, I read and re-read the recipe and imagined myself chewing on a piece of home made mochi at home. 

Never mind that I never handled galapong before or that I don't even like beans. I wanted to make mochi filled with sweet bean paste, like the one in the picture above. I even spent the whole afternoon shelling red beans; a very long process involving not only one cup, like the recipe called for, but rather two, since apparently dried monggo beans expand when soaked overnight. My fingers are still smarting from squeezing out shelled beans from their peel. At the end of a long journey which took most of my free time, I ended up with these: 

Instead of sweet, chewy mochi, I ended up with failed biko balls. There's nobody to blame but myself, of course. The only thing I can do now is chalk up this recipe as a lesson learned. As a number of lessons learned, actually:

  1. Galapong and giniling na malagkit (ground glutinous rice) are different. Had I Googled galapong before plunging head-first into mochi-making, I would have had a (relatively) breezy afternoon which will end up with a lot of bites of mochi.
  2. Munggo is hard to peel and cook and ultimately not worth the effort. I felt like a god fashioning each and every minion with my own two hands. You see, I have enough perseverance to peel two cups of soaked red munggo beans for one whole afternoon. The problem is: I don't even like munggo! 
  3. People who have more time in their hands cook slower recipes. Unfortunately, I do not fit the bill. In the magazine, the author tells a story of how one of her grandmothers who turned out to be just a friend of her grandmother (!) would cook these mochi balls for them. Lesson: our grandmothers' friends probably have more time than us and their cooking belongs to a higher level of slow cooking.
I apologize in advance because more likely, I'll feel better tomorrow and I'm only upset right now because all my efforts amounted to nothing. The next time I find mochi in a fro-yo store, I shall eat with revenge!