No hammers here as rice looks like it’s decided to transform into mochi all on its own.

The traditional way to make mochi is to boil some glutinous mochigome rice and toss it in a wooden bucket. Then you pound it with a large hammer, turn or stir the rice so you can hit it from a different angle, and continue that pattern until all the grains solidify into a solid rice cake.

Needless to say, most people these days don’t have a giant mallet in their kitchen, and even if they did, they probably don’t want to go to all that trouble. There is, however, another way to make your own mochi: a mochi making machine. Not only does it involve a lot less blunt force, the machine is fascinating to watch in action, as proven by a recent video from Twitter user @QEaWtKcIaGJfVTE that captivated the Japanese Internet.

At first glance, the machine seems like an ordinary rice cooker. Once the action starts, though, the pot of cooked rice begins undulating and shaking, billowing up from its center and pushing out towards it edges while rotating in a clockwise direction.

It starts to spin more quickly, and the individual grains begin to stick and then fuse together. As the outer layer of the mass smooths, it starts to take on a shiny luster, and eventually forms into a gigantic ball of mochi.

There’s something both soothing and satisfying about watching the rice transform into a huge spherical rice cake, and commenters have chimed in with;

“I keep watching this over and over and over.”
“The mochi looks so cute!”
“This feels so comforting to watch.”
“Now I want a mochi maker too.”
“Oh, wow, you don’t have to close the lid?”
“Is…is the mochi alive?”

As touched on by the last commenter, part of what makes the video so cool is that it looks like the rice is magically willing itself to become mochi. What’s really happening, though, is that fins at the bottom of the mochi maker are stirring and kneading the rice from below, the reverse of what people are used to seeing when mochi is made with a hammer.

▼ An alternate version of the video with less of the footage sped up

▼ Bite-sized pieces cut from the giant mochi ball

You can find basic mochi makers for about 10,000 yen (US$75) in Japan, so if you’d like to munch on fresh-made mochi at home, it’s an affordable dream. We might have to pick one up for ourselves after seeing it in action, but first we think we need to rewatch @QEaWtKcIaGJfVTE’s video a few dozen more times.

Source: @QEaWtKcIaGJfVTE via IT Media
Images: @QEaWtKcIaGJfVTE
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