If you are a mochi fan, these purple sweet potato dumplings will be a treat! Mochi are typically pounded sticky rice-based cakes and form the basis of popular Japanese sweet confections (wagashi) and come in all sorts of different flavours and variations. My recipe is based on imo mochi, a pan-fried type of mochi made with potatoes/ sweet potatoes.
I made these lovely little pan-fried dumplings with my boys. They are at the age whereby hands-on squishing, rolling, and exploring with anything resembling modeling play dough means loads of fun, and these mochi scored bonus points as they are tasty to boot!
Sweet potato or potato?
Purple sweet potato or murasaki imo (not to be confused with purple potato, which is a nightshade and hence to be avoided on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol/ AIP) are usually dark purple on the outside and inside as well.
White-fleshed sweet potatoes are often used as a substitute for potatoes in AIP recipes. While other types of sweet potatoes can be used in savoury dishes, purple sweet potatoes have a sweet and somewhat dry flesh akin to starchy baking potatoes, but with a detectable floral flavour. Some folks find the floral flavour off-putting, others love it. I personally think purple sweet potatoes call for recipes of their own, and do not recommend using them interchangeably with other types of sweet potatoes (especially for savoury recipes).
Cooking the mochi
I made these mochi on a Cuisinart raclette griddle (similar to this one) but you can use a frying pan or skillet instead. Just adjust the heat accordingly to avoid burning the mochi. I use high heat setting as my raclette griddle is not as hot as my stove. If you don’t use a stand mixer, you can simply use a hand mixer instead or a sturdy spoon, bowl, and strong arm power!
Mochi and tea
These pan-fried purple sweet potato dumplings may not resemble the classic sticky rice-based mochi, but they are similarly chewy and slightly sweet. Whether served with the syrup brushed on them or on the side, I think the mochi are lovely when accompanied by a nice rooibos tea as the vanilla notes of the rooibos compliment the taste of the purple sweet potato.
Where to purchase certain ingredients online (affiliate links):
- FOR THE MOCHI
- 3 purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (370g cubed)
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (47g) arrowroot starch
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- Coconut oil, for cooking and oiling hands
- FOR THE SYRUP
- 1 tablespoon (22g) blackstrap molasses
- ½ tablespoon hot water
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- Place the sweet potato cubes in a large saucepan and cover with water
- Heat over ‘Hi’ heat on the stove and bring to a boil
- Once it begins boiling, partially cover the saucepan and lower the heat to medium
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sweet potato cubes can be pierced easily with a fork
- Strain and place in a stand mixer bowl, then add the arrowroot starch and salt
- Mix using the paddle attachment at low speed, increasing the speed gradually to 4, until a smooth dough forms in about 1 to 2 minutes
- Preheat an electric griddle over high heat, then coat with coconut oil
- Oil your hands with a drop of coconut oil and divide the dough into 18 pieces
- Roll the dough between your palms to form a sphere and flatten to about 1cm (around ⅓-inch) thick
- Arrange on the hot griddle and cook for a few minutes per side, or until toasted on each side
- Remove and set aside, repeating until all the mochi are cooked
- Combine the syrup ingredients together in a small bowl
- Return the mochi to the griddle, then drip and brush just enough syrup with a teaspoon to cover the surface of the mochi
- Continue for the rest of the pieces, then flip each mochi over and repeat dripping and brushing the syrup over each piece
- Flip the mochi again to caramelise the other side, then remove from the griddle
- Enjoy with a good pot of tea!
You can reheat the mochi on the griddle again if necessary
You can serve the syrup alongside the mochi instead if you don’t want to serve the mochi coated with caramelised syrup.