Sesame Brown Butter Mochi
A modern twist on my mom's chewy butter mochi recipe.
I am very excited to share today’s recipe. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I made my mom’s butter mochi recipe - with a modern twist!
As a kid, my parents took us to the Pacific Rim Festival each May. We would visit our family in Hawaii, but it was always fun to celebrate the food and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands on the mainland.
My grandpa and his ancestors are from the North Shore of Hawaii, by way of the Philippines. He moved to California before marrying and raising my mom and her siblings, but we’ve always stayed connected through food and family.
When my mom is visiting, we take turns cooking, mostly stir-fry over rice or with noodles. That is comfort food to me. I mentioned this earlier in the month, questioning if she might even share a recipe with us. Well, the night before she left, she baked me a fresh batch of butter mochi. My favorite!
Butter mochi is an insanely chewy, coconut dessert commonly found in Hawaii. Made with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and a few other pantry staples, this uniquely textured treat is unlike any other bar, cake, or brownie. It bakes up with a slightly crisp and caramelized crust. But by the second day, the custardy centers basically melt in your mouth - so good.
Though a classic, mom’s recipe is pretty plain. I jazzed up this version by browning the butter, swapping in some golden sugar, and adding salt and vanilla.
A lot of butter mochi recipes have a crust of toasted coconut. While I love the flavor, I can’t get over the texture. Instead, I sprinkled the top with sesame seeds and turbinado sugar. The bit of crunch offsets the chewy centers perfectly.
Know someone who loves the food of Hawaii? Be sure to share this recipe!
Pending your ability to find the correct rice flour (this is key!), this recipe is crazy easy to throw together. It is baked and served in its own pan - no need for extra toppings or utensils. Butter mochi is also naturally gluten free. If you want a firmer texture, increase the bake time.
Have you tried butter mochi before? Let me know in the comments!
Sesame Brown Butter Mochi
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100 g) golden yellow sugar
2 large eggs
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 tablespoons (250 g) glutinous rice flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Sesame seeds for sprinkling
Turbinado or demerara sugar for sprinkling
Place the butter in a light-colored sauce pan and melt over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the butter is toasted and fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. When done, the milk solids will be dark brown (not burnt) and it will smell beautifully nutty.
Pour the brown butter into a heat-safe bowl and place in the refrigerator as you prepare the rest of the recipe. Do not scrape any burnt bits that stick to the bottom of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the sugars and eggs on medium speed until slightly thickened and pale in color, about 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and brown butter. Mix until well combined.
Stop the mixer and sift in the rice flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth.
Tip the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and tubinado sugar.
Bake until the top is golden brown and dry to the touch, 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove the mochi from the oven and let rest for a couple of minutes. Use the edge of a small knife or offset spatula to gently press down the edges of the baked mochi to keep it from sinking in the middle.
Allow the butter mochi to completely cool before slicing. For super clean slices, cool several hours or overnight.
Store butter mochi in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. It will have a slight crunch to the crust on the first day, but it will soften overnight.
Be sure to use glutinous rice flour, like Mochiko Flour. Regular rice flour will not work with this recipe. Despite the name, glutinous rice flour is gluten-free.
The caramelized crust will soften overnight.
For clean slices, wait until completely cooled and clean the knife between slices.
If you do not have golden yellow sugar, substitute it with ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup light brown sugar.