Kabocha mochi – Pumpkin Rice Cake

Mochi is basically a rice cake, which is made using sticky rice. My participants often ask me if the rice I use for daily cooking is sticky rice. For Japanese people, we just use normal rice and we call it uruchimai. Then we have mochigome, sticky rice. To make rice cakes, you can use mochiko, which is sticky rice flour. Once you know how to make this one, you can replace pumpkin with other vegetables, such as purple sweet potato.


Bag of mochigo rice flour.

Bag of mochigo rice flour.


  • 2 oz sticky rice flour
  • 2 oz pumpkin
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 3-4 tbs water



1. Peel the skin off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pith with a spoon. Keep some of the skin and cut it into small triangles (for the eyes) and sticks (for the stem and mouth).

2. Boil the pumpkin until it becomes soft, mash it while it is hot and mix with sugar. Boil the small face parts for 30 seconds.

3. Add sticky rice flour and 3 tablespoons of water. The dough should not be so soft that it sticks to your hands but should be soft so that you can make small balls. If you need, add some more water.

4. Make small balls (mini-pumpkin shapes) and etch lines from the top to the bottom using a toothpick. Stick the face parts on the balls.

5. Boil water in a saucepan and add all the balls. They will sink to the bottom of the saucepan at first before floating back to the surface.

6. Prepare cold water in a bowl and once the balls come up to the surface of the water in the saucepan, cook them for one more minute and the take them out and place them in the bowl of cold water to cool down.

7. They are ready to dish up once they sink to the bottom of the bowl.


Coming up!

Introducing Japanese Cooking 3-week course

Week 1 – A supermarket tour, gyoza and miso soup cooking – fully booked

Week 2 – Tempura and Japanese soba cooking – spaces left

Week 3 – Japanese curry from scratch – spaces left

¥5,000 (cash) or ¥5,175 (Paypal) per class

The class size is small and limited to 6 people. There will be a lot to learn and cook. A very hands-on cooking class in a homely atmosphere.

Website: okinawa-cooking.com

Facebook: facebook.com/cooking.school.with.nao Tel: 098-955-5311 Address: 1414-61 Sobe, Yomitan Village, Okinawa 904-0304. Closed on Sunday.


23:21 25 Feb , 2024