Mochitsuki '00

The Story of Mochi: It starts out looking like regular white rice, but that's where the comparison ends...


Every December, WCBT members get together during Mochitsuki to make the traditional Japanese treat known as "mochi" (moh-chee). The first step after the rice is steamed is to punch it with long wooden sticks for a few minutes.

After the sticks, the mochi is pounded into soft submission by big guys (like Johnny Martinez and Raleigh Waller) with heavy mallets...

Of course, not so big guys help out also, like Ricky Leong, here helping Glenn Nakatani

The soft rice is put through this machine to cut it into smaller pieces

At a large table, many gather around to shape the mochi pieces into the traditional uniform round shape

Here, Hisa Konno, Claire Hansen, Vicki Takemura, Merry Jitosho and Diane Hata roll the sweet bean filling called "an" into small round balls. These balls are placed inside some of the mochi for a sweeter version

The end result...