Frozen desserts featuring ice cream wrapped in mochi are popular in many countries of the world. In the United States, Mikawaya invented "mochi ice cream" in the early 1990s and many other competitors followed suit. In Japan, Lotte has been making Yukimi Daifuku 雪見だいふく since 1981. In the original and most popular version, it's a ball of vanilla ice milk wrapped in a thin layer of mochi then bathed in coconut milk. You can find it in almost any convenience store and supermarket in Japan.

Earlier this month, Lotte started a new campaign promoting a surprising recipe featuring Yukimi Daifuku, and it looked so good we just had to try it for ourselves. It should work with any mochi ice cream, but we used Yukimi Daifuku since it was in the convenience store right next to our office:

Mochi ice cream cheese toast melt

What you need

  • One slice of Japanese shokupan milk bread (or other white bread, if you can't get shokupan)
  • One slice of cheese of your choice (in Japan, it's easy to use the torokeru made-to-melt variety)
  • Yukimi Daifuku, original (or other mochi ice cream, if you can't get it, or if you prefer to support a particular brand)

Simply put your slice of cheese on the bread, put one ball of Yukimi Daifuku or mochi ice cream in the center.

Put it in a toaster oven and toast it at 700 W for 4 to 5 minutes (settings may vary according to the oven-toaster).

Photo by © Grape

When you're making it for the first time, you may want to check your progress as you go. The bottom surface of the toast is easy to burn, so you can also put it on a sheet of aluminum foil to reduce that risk.

Looks like ours is just about done, so let's open up the toaster oven!

Photo by © Grape

The Yukimi Daifuku has melted all nice and gooey, blending in with the melted cheese.

Time to dig in

Photo by © Grape

So what's the verdict?

We'd definitely make it again!

The sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and the slight saltiness of the cheese make a great combination and the chewy, gooey texture of the mochi together with the light crunch of the toasted bread is also a winning pair. (Depending on the temperature and length at which you toasted it, it may be piping hot, so you may want to make sure it cools down a bit before you bite into it.)

With a few extra touches, it can even turn into a breakfast dish:

Photo by © Grape

Why don't you give it a try!

And if you need some more convincing, take a look at Lotte's commercial for the campaign, featuring actress Tao Tsuchiya:

Oh, and if you thought vanilla was good, wait until you try strawberry or chocolate flavor!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.