Mochi, a Japanese soft and chewy cake made of rice flour and coconut milk, can be flattened and wrapped around jam, bean paste and even ice cream to make a sweet dessert. Traditional preparation of mochi involves a large group of helpers who pound sweet rice and other ingredients into a paste consistency, then hand-form it into cakes. Though frequently eaten fresh in Japan, homemade mochi can be frozen for later use. You can also purchase frozen pre-made mochi at grocery stores with ethnic foods sections. A few tricks preserve the soft texture of fresh mochi when you freeze it.
Roll prepared mochi pieces in potato starch, available in the baking aisle at grocery stores, to keep them soft and prevent them from sticking together when you freeze them in a large batch.
Wrap each individual piece of mochi in clear plastic wrap before you place it in the freezer to keep it from drying out. Store the individually wrapped pieces in a large plastic freezer storage bag or airtight container.
Pan fry fresh mochi to give it a slightly crunchy exterior but still maintain the soft center. Cut mochi into bite-size pieces and lightly coat the outside with cooking oil. Pan fry them on medium until the exterior turns slightly crunchy and the pieces start to puff up. Toss the mochi pieces in kinadko or sugar shoyu to finish them. Store these in the freezer in a plastic freezer storage bag or an airtight container for later consumption.
Bake fresh mochi pieces in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 to 4 inches from the top of the oven on the broiler setting. After 5 to 10 minutes, the mochi will start to soften. Flip it over at this point and continue to bake it until it starts to puff up.Toss the pieces in sugar or kinako powder and store them in a plastic freezer storage bag or an airtight container in the freezer.
You don't have to freeze freshly made mochi. You can eat it right away, especially if you pan fry or bake it.
Freeze pan-fried or baked mochi pieces on a cookie sheet before putting them in a storage container to keep them from sticking together.