Many Americans first encounter mochi as ice cream-filled balls found in the freezer aisle of specialty markets, or on dessert menus at a variety of Asian restaurants. However, the Japanese term covers a wide range of chewy treats and savory dishes made out of glutinous rice flour. The common thread is a springy, bouncy texture Taiwanese diners call “Q” or “QQ.”
Rice dough that’s filled or topped with bean paste or powder, sesame seed paste, or crushed peanuts is a common confection in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines. Leavened versions pop up in Vietnamese (banh bo) and Chinese (white sugar sponge cake) cuisines. There are also sweet Filipino rice cakes like sapin-sapin and kutsinta, or plain rice cake balls set served atop shaved ice or in dessert soups. Modern Asian bakeries add rice flour to all manner of traditionally Western sweets, including doughnuts, cookies, muffins, and waffles to give them that “Q” factor, or to create a more delicate crisp. This map offers a taste of classics and modern mash-ups.
Restaurants on this map may temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, so check with a business before showing up. D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More