If you have been to Japan or searched for Japanese food, you must have come across mochi and daifuku. They are both Japanese rice cakes that are gaining popularity around the world.
These cute-looking and colorful treats are often confused with being the same, but they are not. So, what’s the difference between daifuku and mochi?
Mochi is a traditional Japanese rice cake made from rice starch. It is mostly found in white color, but it also comes in other colors and with filling. On the other hand, Daifuku is a type of stuffed mochi made with adzuki filling. It is a paste made from red beans. It can also have other sweet-flavored fillings and is typically sweet in taste.
Read on to learn what makes mochi different from daifuku despite the two-looking similar.
Daifuku Vs. Mochi | Difference Table
|Basis Of Difference||Daifuku||Mochi|
|Cooking Method||Made with mashed rice or rice powder and steamed.||Made with mashed rice or rice powder and steamed.|
|Flavor||Sweet with more complex flavors due to fillings.||Sweet and starchy flavor|
|Texture||Multi-textured. Chewy, soft, tender, and grainy due to paste filling.||Chewy and tender. Gummy bear-like texture.|
|Variety||Made with sweetened or non-sweetened red bean paste. Can also be made with other fillings.||Can have different colors and fillings. Paired with a wide variety of sweeteners.|
What Is Mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of sweet glutinous rice flour or mochigome. In traditional Japanese culture, mochi is considered a “food of the Gods.” It is a symbol of good fortune and happy marriages.
A single piece of mochi is equivalent to eating an entire bowl of rice. Mochi often served as a central part of the Japanese New Year celebration and is used in religious rituals in the Shinto religion.
Mochi can be incorporated into savory dishes, usually soups and snacks. But its most famous form is Daifuku (mochi with a sweet filling, a confectionery item.
The texture of mochi is slightly sticky, chewy, and stretchy.
What Is Daifuku?
Daifuku is a type of sweet Japanese mochi made with a filling. It is usually stuffed with sweet anko but can have many other sweet-flavored fillings like sweetened white bean paste, custard, black sesame paste, pumpkin spice, almond paste, fresh fruits, ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate, peanut butter, and more.
Daifuku is usually dressed up with food coloring. It typically comes in white, pink, or pale green color. But other colors can also be added.
Mochi Vs. Daifuku | Similarities Between The Two
Japanese traditional food items, mochi and daifuku, are often confused due to some similarities. If you are new to them, read on to know the confusing factors. We will then take a look at their differences.
Mochi and daifuku are similar in appearance. They are soft, big, and round balls that typically come in white, pale-green, and pale-pink colors.
Since daifuku is a form of mochi, they have a similar outer texture that is chewy and starchy.
Moreover, whether it is daifuku or mochi, you will always find them dusted with either cornstarch, potato starch, or rice flour to prevent them from sticking.
One factor that often leads to confusion is the presence of filling. A daifuku always comes with fillings. However, mochi can be with or without filling.
Mochi Vs. Daifuku | What’s The Difference?
You have an idea of what causes the confusion between mochi and daifuku. Let’s find out the differences between the two.
One of the major differences that lie between mochi and daifuku is their flavors.
Mochi is essentially bland in flavor, which makes it an excellent ingredient to be added in savory dishes like soups and stews and can be served as a snack or side dish.
Whereas daifuku is a sweet Japanese mochi that comes with a filling. These fillings are sweet. Common daifuku fillings include sweet ancho, custard, ice cream, fruits, chocolate, peanut butter, and more.
Despite having the same outer shell, mochi and daifuku differ in texture because of the presence of filling. Mochi is typically made without filling, whereas daifuku is made with different fillings. Depending on the fillings, you can experience varied textures when taking a daifuku.
Mochi and daifuku come in different varieties. Daifuku is typically a variety of mochi. It comes in different colors and flavors and has a sweet taste. On the other hand, mochi typically comes in white. It may or may not have a filling. It may be sweetened or unsweetened.
Top Mochi Recipes
1. Ozoni- Japanese New Year Mochi Soup
Kansai-style Ozoni is a special miso-based soup enjoyed on New Year’s Day in Japan. It includes mochi in a clear miso soup flavored with bonito-based dashi and soy sauce. This soup also features ingredients like radishes, carrots, and tofu.
2. Yaki Mochi
Mochi is also found in two shapes. The Kanto region in Japan has rectangular-shaped mochi, whereas the Kansai region has round-shaped mochi. The Yaki mochi recipe uses rectangular-shaped mochi that is grilled and served with three sweet toppings. This recipe provides a chewy and soft mochi with a delicious toasted flavor.
3. Isobeyaki Japanese Rice Cake
Japanese mochi is a favorite winter food, and isobeyaki is a popular style of enjoying Japanese mochi. The isobeyaki Japanese rice cake involves seasoning warmed, toasted, or grilled mochi with soy sauce and wrapping it with a piece of dried seasoned seaweed (ajinori).
4. Norimaki Mochi
If you wish to have mochi as a snack, you must try norimaki mochi. It is a traditional Japanese dish of mochi seasoned with a sweet and savory soy glaze wrapped in seaweed. To make it more flavorful, norimaki mochi can be had with sweet soy sauce, which is used as a dipping sauce.
Top Daifuku Recipes
1. Ichigo Daifuku
“Ichigo” is the Japanese word for strawberry. So ichigo daifuku is a sweet mochi filled with anko wrapped around a whole strawberry. The tart flavors of strawberry combined with the sweet anko and mochi create a wonderful balance of flavor.
Daifuku Mochi is the simplest Japanese sweet treat. It is usually served with green tea. This daifuku mochi is made with red bean paste. If you are looking for a simple tea-time snack, try the daifuku mochi recipe.
3. Mochi ice cream
If you can’t do without ice cream, try out the mochi ice cream. This sweet treat is made with green tea ice cream wrapped in mochi made with matcha powder. This recipe is quite unique.
4. Mango Daifuku
Mango daifuku is an incredible treat for mango lovers. As the name suggests, mango is wrapped in white bean paste and stuffed inside a chewy mochi shell. Can’t wait to make it? Well, then try it.
Mochi Vs. Daifuku | Which Is Tastier?
Mochi and daifuku are both great-tasting Japanese delicacies. But which one is tastier depends on what you are looking for. Mochi works best for savory dishes, whereas daifuku is a dessert that is typically sweet.
If you are looking for dessert, you should pick daifuku. If you are looking for a tasty savory dish, you should go for mochi.
Mochi Vs. Daifuku | Which Is More Versatile?
If you are curious to know which one of the two is versatile, then mochi is a clear winner. Mochi has a bland taste, making it suitable to be paired with various flavors, sweet or savory. On the other hand, a daifuku is a form of mochi that is sweet in taste. It can be enjoyed as a dessert only.
Can We Substitute Mochi For Daifuku?
Mochi and daifuku can’t be used interchangeably. Since daifuku is sweet, it is only served as a dessert. However, a mochi with some sugar can still be used to make savory dishes like soup, stews, and snacks.
Mochi Vs. Daifuku | Which Is Better?
Mochi and daifuku are two great-tasting Japanese food items gaining popularity worldwide. But to say which one is better depends on personal preference.
If you plan to make a savory dish, mochi is the best choice. But if you are looking for a dessert option made with rice, daifuku should be your pick.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made by pounding steamed short-grain Japanese sticky rice.
What does mochi taste like?
On its own, mochi tastes like rice but has a sticky, stretchy, soft, and chewy texture.
Is mochi gluten-free?
Yes, mochi is gluten-free.
Is mochi healthy?
Mochi is low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol. Thus, it is healthy to eat.
What’s the difference between mochi and daifuku?
Daifuku is a stuffed mochi. It is sweet in taste.
Is daifuku a type of mochi?
Yes, daifuku is a type of mochi that typically features a red bean paste filling.
Is mochi eaten hot or cold?
Mochi is often served at room temperature.
How do you eat daifuku?
Daifuku is eaten as a dessert or a quick snack and is usually served with a cup of refreshing green tea.
What does daifuku mean in English?
Daifuku means great luck.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and have clarity on how different mochi and daifuku are. If you would like to learn more about the differences between similar-looking food items, head to our website for some interesting and informative reads. If you have any questions related to this topic, type your queries in the comments section below.