There’s nothing quite like a perfectly fried doughnut dripping with chocolate or vanilla glaze and covered in sprinkles to brighten your day. But have you ever tried a mochi doughnut? The origin of the dessert can be traced to Hawaii in the 1990s, when a woman named Charmaine Ocasek began selling sweet fried balls of mashed taro and rice flour.
In 2003, the Japanese chain Mister Donut became famous for its super cute “pon de ring” doughnuts made with tapioca starch and shaped in a ring of eight small dough balls. The modern mochi doughnut recipe is a melding of those two treats: a “pon de ring” shaped dessert with a sweet rice flour base.
Even though it sounds like they might be, mochi doughnuts are not made from mochi, a dense dough of sticky rice flour. The doughnuts are made with mochiko, also known as sweet or glutinous rice flour. If you’re not sure you want to invest in the flour, know that you can also use it to make delicious mochi ice cream!
What Is a Mochi Doughnut?
A mochi doughnut is a deep-fried dough ring that is usually dipped in flavored glaze. The doughnuts are light in texture, are crisp on the outside, and have the slightest hint of chewiness in the middle.
The main ingredient in mochi doughnuts is sweet rice flour, also called glutinous rice flour (although ironically it is actually gluten-free). Sweet rice flour is not the same as regular rice flour, which is made from a different type of rice, so make sure you get the right kind for this recipe! The flour can usually be found at Asian markets and in the Asian food sections at grocery stores. You can also order it online.
Besides the flour, this recipe calls for a few other specialized items that you’ll want to gather before you start cooking: a high-heat thermometer, a half gallon of cooking oil, a piping or pastry bag and parchment paper. If you don’t have a pastry bag, pipe your dough from the corner of a resealable plastic bag.
Mochi Doughnut Recipe
1-1/4 cup sweet rice flour, such as Koda Farms brand
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg, whisked
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
Food coloring, if desired
Step 1: Set up your station
Pour oil into a heavy, 12-inch saucepan to a depth of around 1-inch, and place it over medium-low heat. Keep an eye on the temperature as you’re working—you’ll want the oil to be 350°F when you start cooking your doughnuts.
Meanwhile, set up a wire rack with paper towels on top. You’ll use this for your finished doughnuts. Make sure you have your thermometer and a sturdy pair of tongs nearby!
Editor’s Tip: I like to use refined grapeseed oil for frying, but any neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point will work.
Step 2: Prepare to pipe
Find a glass, a cookie cutter or any round object that has a diameter of approximately 2-1/2 inches, and use it to trace four circles on a piece of paper, leaving at least two inches between the edges of the rings. You’ll use this as a guide for piping your doughnuts.
Then, cut a piece of parchment paper into 12 squares that are 3-1/2-inches in length and width.
Step 3: Mix dry ingredients
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, corn starch, flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
Step 4: Mix wet ingredients
Heat the butter until it is just melted. While the butter is melting, combine the milk and egg in a small bowl and add the butter as soon as it’s ready. Whisk until uniform.
Step 5: Combine
Slowly, and whisking constantly, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Scrape the dough into a pastry bag.
Step 6: Make your glaze
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk and, if desired, a drop or two of food coloring.
Step 7: Check your temperature
Carefully, take the temperature of your oil. Remember that you’re aiming for 350° while you’re frying the doughnuts. If it has a ways to go, turn it up to medium. If it’s too hot, turn down the heat.
Step 8: Pipe your rings
Place one of your parchment squares over each of the rings you drew during the preparation step. Working just inside the edge of one ring, pipe eight circular mounds of dough. Continue with the remaining parchment squares. After piping your first four doughnuts, slide the finished rings to the side, and line up your next four pieces of parchment paper.
Continue until all of the dough has been piped. If you need more pieces of parchment, cut them as you go. When you’re done, use a bit of water to dampen your finger, and lightly pat the tops of the mounds to smooth them.
Step 9: Fry the dough
Check your oil temperature and make sure it’s around 350°. Set a timer for one minute, and gently slip your first four doughnuts into the oil, parchment side up.
Continue to monitor the temperature: you’ll want to keep the oil as close to 350° as you can throughout the cooking process, so don’t be afraid to tweak the heat up or down as you go.
Step 10: Turn the dough
When the timer goes off, remove the parchment paper from the oil—at this point it should no longer be stuck to the doughnuts—and flip the doughnuts over. Cook for an additional 45 seconds, or until the doughnuts are golden brown.
Step 11: Cool and glaze
Place the doughnuts on the wire rack covered in paper towels, and start frying your next batch of doughnuts. When the finished doughnuts are still quite warm, but no longer hot, dip each one in the glaze, and swirl it around to coat. Place it back on the rack to finish cooling. If you’d like to add sprinkles, do it while the glaze is still warm.
When all of your doughnuts are cooked, turn off the heat, and let the oil cool in the pot. Once cool, you can strain out any bits, and pour it into a jar to use for future frying projects. Store in the fridge (preferably) or in a cool, dark place.
Tips for Making Mochi Doughnuts
What can you do to fix sticky mochi doughnut dough?
If your dough is sticky, add small amounts of rice flour until it reaches the desired consistency. Dough can be affected by humidity, so it’s not uncommon for this to happen.
How do you keep the mochi doughnuts from sticking to the pot while frying?
Make sure that you have at least one inch of oil in your pot, which will keep your doughnuts from sticking to the bottom. Also, don’t overcrowd the pot when you cook your doughnuts. Cook two to four at a time, depending on your comfort level with frying.
What types of flavored glazes can you make?
The sky is the limit! I had a fresh batch of homemade strawberry jam sitting around, so I added a couple teaspoons to my glaze, and it was delicious. Any fruit jam or jelly would be a great addition. You could also add vanilla bean paste, fine citrus zest, cocoa powder, espresso powder or matcha tea powder.
How should you store mochi doughnuts?
I like to store mochi doughnuts in a snap-top container outside of the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that doughnuts—like most fried foods—are best the day they are made.
The post How to Make Mochi Doughnuts, aka Pon De Ring Doughnuts appeared first on Taste of Home.