Making mochi is a Christmas tradition in my family. My mom taught me how to make it. It is a sticky process, but well worth it in the end.
2 cups sweet rice flour
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup potato starch (exact amount may vary)
3/4 cup sweet red bean paste
(amount will vary depending on how much you love bean paste)
Mix together the sweet rice flour and 1 1/3 cup water. I added a tiny bit more water to make the dough into a playdough consistency.
Place the dough in a damp towel and steam for 30 minutes.
Use a fork to check for doneness. The dough should be moist and gummy throughout. If it's dry and crumbly inside, it may need some more time steaming.
Heat the sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved. Place the dough into a mixer and add the sugar water a little bit at a time to combine.
Now you are ready to form the mochi. (Warning: It can be VERY hot!) Put the potato starch and red bean paste into two bowls within reach. The potato starch is used to help prevent the mochi from sticking to your hands (too much). Dust your hand with it and scoop a spoonful of mochi dough onto your hand.
Work the dough a little bit to make a flat surface. I like to use potato starch to help me.
Add about 1 Tbsp of bean paste to the mochi.
Pull up the edges of the mochi and pinch together to encase the bean paste.
It may take some practice to get even, smooth mochi. There's nothing like fresh mochi. So good!