Traditionally, mochi is made by pounding cooked brown rice until all the individual grains are broken down into a sticky paste. Then, it is eaten fresh or dried into cakes for later use. When I first learned to make mochi waffles, I was taught to grate the hard, dried mochi and spread the flakes onto the waffle iron. The mochi is very hard and this was tedious business. Then one day a friend showed me how to use slices of mochi. Wow! Now these are the easiest waffles ever!
Mochi has gotten harder to find since I first posted this recipe. You may be able to find it locally if you do a good search. You can also order it from stores like Goldmine Natural Foods. I use a traditional waffle iron, not the one that makes Belgian waffles. I think the Belgian waffle iron is too deep.
1. Heat your waffle iron until the green indicator light is on. If your waffle iron has different temperature settings, it may take a few tries to find the ideal setting.
3. Lay the mochi in a single layer across the iron. Close the lid. In my experience the indicator light is not useful for telling when the waffle is done. I just open the top after several minutes and check to see if the waffle is puffy and crisp on the outside.
4. The waffles are super hot when they are first done. So, be cautious. They are also best eaten fairly soon, because as mochi cools the texture is not as soft.