These Purple Sweet Potato Mochi were inspired by a delicious dessert I had on holiday in Thailand a couple of years ago: taro balls in coconut milk, which I’ve been dreaming about ever since. I recently found out that they’re made by cooking taro (a root vegetable that’s a bit like sweet potato) then mixing it with glutinous rice flour to create these delicious dumpling-like balls that are both soft and chewy at the same time.
So it’s a kind of mochi (a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice beaten into a sticky paste and moulded into shapes) that’s made with taro. Given my recent love affair with purple sweet potatoes I thought it would be nice to make the mochi with those instead of taro. Not to mention I wasn’t sure where I could easily get hold of taro. You can read more about purple sweet potatoes here.
If you live in the UK, Waitrose have recently started selling purple sweet potatoes so you’ll be able to get hold of them easily!
Also there’s no need to be scared of making mochi yourself (as long as you can get hold of glutinous rice flour, which you can buy in Asian supermarkets). You don’t need to spend hours beating rice into a sticky paste as they traditionally do in Japan – just cook the potatoes, add rice flour, mould into shapes and boil them for a few minutes. It’s basically like making gnocchi but with purple potatoes and rice flour.
As the purple potatoes are naturally sweet there’s no need to add any sugar, meaning these little mochi are free from added sugar, as well as being naturally vegan and gluten-free!
I love to eat these mochi covered with kinako (roasted soybean flour) and drizzled with date syrup, which I find really resembles kuromitsu (a Japanese sugar syrup that’s similar to molasses but milder and thinner) – this is how mochi is traditionally eaten in Japan.
Any leftover Purple Sweet Potato Mochi can also be used for my Anmitsu recipe.
If you like purple sweet potatoes as much as I do, be sure to check out my Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream, Purple Sweet Potato Milkshake, Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl, or Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecakes!
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 140g (5oz) purple sweet potatoes, peeled
- 90g (3/4 cup) glutinous rice flour
- 60ml (1/4 cup) water
- Boil or steam the purple sweet potatoes until soft
- Place them in a large bowl and mash with a fork
- Add glutinous rice flour and water and mix well – it should form a sticky paste-like mixture that’s easily moulded into balls (add a tiny bit more water if necessary, but be careful not to add too much)
- Mould the mixture into small balls
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add about a handful of the balls once the water’s boiled, leaving the pan on high heat throughout – it’s very important to wait until the water’s boiling and you mustn’t add too many at a time otherwise the temperature of the water will drop and they won’t cook properly!
- Cook the balls in a few batches – they’ll be ready about 1 minute after they’ve risen to the surface of the water
- Scoop them out with a spoon once they’re done and transfer to a bowl filled with cold water
- Repeat this process until all the balls are cooked
- Leave them in the cold water for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a dry bowl or plate
- Best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days
- Dusted with kinako and drizzled with date syrup (or any other sweetener if you don’t have this)
- Served in (hot or cold) sweetened coconut milk – you can make this by adding sweetener of choice to coconut milk diluted with water