Mochi is a delicious ball made with glutinous rice flour that’s soft, pillowy, and chewy. It’s significance in Japanese culture is undeniable as many of Japan’s visitors leave with 2-3 boxes to stock up at home. Many years ago, Japanese people thought that mochi was a sacred food that had the power to provide good fortune and health.
These Japanese sweets started becoming very popular in the Heian period and were a staple for New Year's celebrations by the year 1000. Now, it's offered as a thank you to the gods for a fruitful harvest.
There are many varieties of rice cake (mochi), both sweet and savory. Below, you'll find a guide on the best mochi flavors. These mochi fillings range from fruity to more decadent options.
Offering a juicy, summery flavor, peach is a delicious option for mochi. It typically includes a yummy peach jelly in the middle, ensuring a recognizable peach flavor. These orange or pink mochis are not too sweet, making them an excellent snack or afternoon treat.
This peach mochi is made with marshmallow-wrapped peach jelly encased in a soft piece of mochi; you'll find this treat irresistible. However, some other varieties include a slightly different peach filling. Like most mochi, this option is dusted with cornstarch, so it won’t stick to your fingers while eating. We also sell a peach kibi dango mochi, which is a rice cake made with kibi, or millet flour.
Sweet and juicy, this citrus fruit is a unique choice for a mochi flavor. It's typically offered in an orange color similar to the physical fruit. You’ll find that orange-flavored mochi is usually sweet and tangy, creating a complex flavor that not all mochis offer.
Some orange mochi includes real pieces of fruit. While others, like this orange mochi, are made with orange jelly and marshmallow before being covered with a chewy mochi.
Matcha and chocolate are the perfect flavors for a tasty daifuku stuffed mochi dough. A slightly bitter green tea outside balances the creamy, rich chocolate-filling interior. It's an ideal Japanese dessert that's not too sweet yet very decadent.
The matcha chocolate mochi flavor is an excellent option to help satisfy sweet cravings.
You'll enjoy mochi fillings like walnut if you typically reach for nutty-flavored sweets. To help spice up walnut mochi, it's devoid of cornstarch outside. Instead, it has a sticky sweet rice dough outside and chopped walnuts throughout.
This walnut mochi also includes a soy sauce flavor, which might seem unusual, but it helps provide a complex umami taste.
Aromatic and citrussy, lemon mochi is the perfect warm-weather mochi flavor. This lemon option is made with lemon peels to help boost the citrus scent and flavor. These peels are kneaded directly into the dough.
Pillowy and light, lemon mochi is a sweet treat bursting with flavor. You'll recognize lemon mochi by its yellow color.
Persimmon is a more unusual mochi flavor since the fruit is typically only grown in the fall. A darker orange color, like the fruit, persimmon mochi has a sweet flavor between cinnamon and vanilla.
Since it’s a seasonal fruit, most persimmon mochi options include bits of dried persimmons to boost the flavor of the glutinous rice flour balls.
Ripe strawberry is a mochi flavor you'll typically see as a mochi ice cream flavor and a standard mochi option. Mochi strawberry ice cream and typical strawberry mochi provide a delicious berry flavor.
Choosing a truffle strawberry mochi offers a more decadent experience. The chocolatey outside is dusted with a slightly bitter cocoa powder. Inside, you'll find a delightfully sweet and slightly sour strawberry filling.
Alternatively, you can select a simpler strawberry mochi for a fresh, summery flavor. This option is great if you're not a chocolate lover.
The combination of mochi and chocolate truffle offers a rich, sweet yummy flavor. The interior of the truffle mochi is a decadent, creamy dark chocolate ganache. It's surrounded by mochi and dusted with cocoa powder. Try this 8-pack of truffle mochi when you're craving a chocolatey dessert.
Banana mochi, a light yellow color, typically offers a very subtle flavor. For some people, banana is much too light in taste. You'll find various mochi fillings when purchasing banana mochi, from real bits of the fruit to banana flavoring.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit in Japan that's somewhere between a lemon, grapefruit, and orange in its flavor. This tasty fruit makes the perfect base for a mochi flavor, as it's bright, tangy, and sweet. Many people enjoy this flavor the most out of the citrus offerings because of the balance between sweet and sour in the light yellow glutinous rice balls.
This stand-out flavor appears as a light purple mochi, much different from its root vegetable. Taro mochi offers a delicious, complex flavor that's nutty and sweet. Often, it has a light vanilla flavor.
Since taro is not typically very sweet, it's often dyed and sweetened; hence, why taro mochi is a purple color.
Sweet mango is a favorite mochi flavor for many. This tropical fruit provides a delicious taste when used for mochi. Often, mango powder is used to provide a mango flavor to mochi dough. This powder does not offer the same juicy flavor as fresh mango, though it’s equally delightful.
Don’t confuse this flavor with orange mochi, as it has a similar appearance.
If you’ve had white sesame paste before, you’ll enjoy a black sesame mochi. Black sesame has a bolder, nuttier flavor than white sesame. It also provides a unique black color to mochi.
Black sesame is made by toasting and grinding sesame seeds, which helps bring out the flavor of the seeds. It's ground into a paste before being included as a mochi filling.
Nutty and a bit bitter, black sesame-filled mochi is a great option for those who don't want to eat a too-sweet dessert. You'll typically see this paste surrounded by a pillowy white mochi dough.
Red bean paste is a classic mochi filling. It’s made from the adzuki bean, offering a nutty, earthy, sweet flavor. Sweet red bean paste is a mochi filling that pairs well with various other flavors, such as yuzu and matcha.
You'll likely see options for mochi with red bean paste as the primary flavor or where red bean paste is paired with another mochi flavor. For example, this miso monaka mochi offers a delicious, unexpected miso-flavored red bean paste filling.
The ultimate Japanese mochi flavors list would not be complete without sakura mochi. This distinctly pink-colored mochi is popularized by the Kansai-style that has red bean paste and is wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf.
If you’re still hunting for additional mochi flavors, you can try the warabi mochi box. This box includes an array of jelly-like treats featuring brown sugar, matcha, hojicha tea, and a plain warabi flavor. Or, check out this kuzumochi box with delicious yuzu or plain mochi flavors. Kuzumochi is made with kudzu plant starch, giving it a chewy consistency.
Taste your way through more Japanese cuisine by purchasing a Japanese subscription box from Bokksu. In each box, you’ll find an array of sweet and savory snacks with tea pairings. Each box features a unique and fun theme, so you can learn about Japanese culture while snacking!