Combine crunchy bacon; gooey, gluten-free mochi; and a sweet finishing glaze wrapped in dried seaweed and you’ve got a popular winter finger food in Japan served here by Chef Sho Kamio of Iyasare restaurant in Berkeley, California.
Bacon-Wrapped Mochi with Sweet Tamari Glaze
MAKES 8 Mochi is gluten-free and available at Japanese markets in small individually wrapped blocks. If you can’t find it or aren’t a mochi fan, you can sub large scallops with equally exciting results. Shichimi togarashi is a traditional Japanese seven-spice mix, and aonori is seaweed flakes.
- 4 (2-1/2-inch) blocks mochi, halved lengthwise
- 4 slices bacon halved crosswise
- 1 recipe Sweet Tamari Glaze (see below)
- 2 nori seaweed sheets quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon aonori for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi spice for garnish (optional)
Wrap each mochi in a half slice of bacon. Heat a cast-iron or other heavy pan over medium-high heat. Sear the bacon-wrapped mochi on all 4 sides until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook until the mochi is soft and melty, 1 to 2 minutes. Brush glaze on each piece, place it in the middle of a nori sheet, fold the nori edges up around the mochi like a taco, sprinkle with the garnishes, and serve.
Sweet Tamari Glaze
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sake
- 1-1/2 teaspoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
In a small saucepan, warm all ingredients over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is melted.
Photography Emma K. Morris