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Making mochi to ring in the year

It's the first Food for Thought of 2011, so Nancy and Dick put the spotlight on a little morsel associated with the start of a new year from the Japanese tradition: Mochi making.

Listen to Nancy and Dick by clicking the audio 'play' arrow above

Mochi are small glutinous rice rounds that Nancy describes as being 'a bit' like dumplings. 

Now before we take this any further, take a look at how some fast-moving Mochi makers in Japan paddle their rice gluten, prepping it for the feast:

On this side of the pond, Nancy was invited to take part in an annual mochi-making gathering in Seattle's International District a few days ago.

The families who get together for this annual fun soak sweet rice in water a day before the mochi is to be made, and used electric blenders to prep it for its yummy consumption.

If you thought mochi was ice cream, take a listen to hear Nancy describe how the rice gluten is finished to sweet perfection. 

Stay with this video, showing a more modern approach to mochi making. It has a surprise ending!

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.
Nancy Leson is an award-winning food writer, radio personality, cooking instructor and public speaker who learned much of what she knows about food during her first career: waiting tables. Seattle readers know her as the mouth that scored — for the better part of two decades — as restaurant critic and food columnist for the Seattle Times. These days, when she’s not chatting about recipes or interviewing makers and shakers in the food world for KNKX, she helps end hunger, one loaf at a time, as the Edmonds hub coordinator for the Community Loaves project. Find her @nancyleson and at