Have you bought some mochi but don't know what to do with it? Here are a few easy ideas.

Cut the mochi into 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch pieces. Bake it at 450 degrees F until it becomes golden and crisp on the outside, perhaps ten minutes. Let it cool slightly and slit open one side of each piece. Stuff with natto or miso or even peanut butter.

You could also brush pieces of mochi with shoyu (soy sauce), bake them, and then wrap them in toasted nori sheets.

Here is another. Boil the pieces of mochi. After they have all sunk to the bottom of the pot and then have been bobbing on the surface of the boiling water, remove them and roll them in gomasio (sesame salt). Serve them with a dip made from shoyu, wasabi, mirin and minced scallions or chives. Or you could drop them into a bowl of miso shiru or wakame shiru.

You could deep fry mochi, salt them heavily and crunch on them along with some saké and umeboshi.

To add to the list of mochi recipies, I offer a variation my mother used to make. Cut the mochi in blocks as mentioned above or purchase the pre-cut blocks from your nearest mochi vendor. Wrap each block with bacon. Fry the mochi in a skillet until the mochi is soft, and the bacon is cooked.

You can also add mochi to udon or soba.

Another recommendation is tossing your mochi in your New Year's nabe. Nabe is basically a soup with a base of cabbage, onions, and thin strips of beef. You build from there, tossing in another half dozen items. Plain old mochi will absorb the yumminess of your nabe and, being all nice and soupy juicy, easier to eat as well.

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