Made in Japan Volume 6 is here 😀
Back to traditional Japanese things, and this time i present to you a Japanese utensils for making a good Mochi or Rice cake. Japanese people call it as Kine and Usu 「杵と臼」. This utensils always used alongside, Usu (the mortar) usually made by a stone that carved into a bowl shape, or made by wood. Kine (the mallet) made by wood and usually used alongside with usu, this mallet length is about 1 meter. To make a perfect rice cake or Mochi, usu and kine operated by 2 person, usually men, One person swings the kine to pound the rice in a similar motion to chopping wood, and another person give water to the mochi dough and flip it. This activity requires precission in timing, because the person who swing the kine will hit the mochi dough rapidly fast and the person who give water to the dough need to flip the dough before the kine hit their hands. In another words Between each swing, another person puts his hand in the bowl to turn the rice. Timing is critical for safe operation of the usu.
Like any other traditional food, or snacks, Japanese people believe that mochi pounded in an usu and kine tastes better than mochi that has been processed by an electric machine.
Here’s some video from the making of Mochi in Nara city, perfecture Nara, Japan. The amazing part start at 1:00 😀