In many Japanese homes, grilled plain mochi rice cakes* are most often appreciated at New Year's time. They can be eaten plain, dipped in soy sauce, or coated in kinako roasted soy flour as seen in the image below or added to savory or sweet soup dishes.

* Mochi is simply japonica glutinous rice pounded into a sticky paste, and should not be confused with mochi ice cream (sometimes erroneously referred to as "mochi" outside of Japan) in which mochi only forms the outer layer.

shige hattori / © PIXTA

However, no matter how you eat it, the first step is almost always heating it to make it tastier and easier to eat.

Grilling mochi seems like it should be an easy task to handle but there are some common-sense basics to keep in mind, for one thing, knowing that mochi gets very soft and gooey when its hot...

When Japanese Twitter user しぃ Shii (@c_san43th) tried to grill rice cakes in her toaster oven a few days ago, it seems she made a mistake and ended up ruining the batch...

Here's what her mochi cakes looked like when she opened the toaster:

Reproduced with permission from しぃ Shii (@c_san43th)

"If I may direct your attention to your front, here stand the famous Parthenons."

Perhaps because Shii hadn't grilled mochi in a long time, they forgot to use a baking tray and aluminum foil.

As a result, the softened hot mochi beneath the toasty top crust fell through the holes in the grill, creating impressive "columns." Then, as the mochi pooled at the bottom of the oven, it solidified, creating the impressive "architecture" you see above.

But rather than lamenting their loss, Shii put a positive spin on their mochi mishap, pretending they were a tour guide in Athens, directing their followers' attention to the Parthenon, or rather, six replicas of the Parthenon arranged in two rows of three...

Stock photo for illustrative purposes

The incident drew many laughs and comments on Twitter, such as:

  • "The New Year has hardly begun and I'm already laughing! I'm going to remember to put my mochi on a sheet of aluminum foil (when I grill it)!"
  • "Such positive thinking. Awesome!"
  • "The heater on the right looks like a beautiful morning glow..."
  • "Wow! That's going to be hard to clean!"

According to Shii, after some time, the mochi cooled down so they were able to cleanly "dismantle" the mass of mochi without leaving any traces in the oven.

Thus, the six little mochi "Parthenons" were disposed of as they should be, enjoyed by Shii as a tasty, albeit unconventional, New Year's treat!

Surely, we can all learn from Shii's positive attitude, turning failures into a source of laughter!

By - Ben K.