Mochi is a Japanese confection made from a sweet glutinous rice. Traditionally, mochi is made by pounding steamed glutinous rice in a large wooden mortar, called the usu, with a wooden mallet called the kine. Mochi-tsuki is the Japanese name for the traditional ceremony of pounding the steamed glutinous rice. It turns into a dense sticky mound that is shaped and steamed, fried or grilled. The mochi is shaped into a small, round cakes and eaten with roasted soy bean flour, sweet red bean paste, soy sauce dip, or seaweed. Sometimes the mochi is made into ice cream. Mochi is a traditionally eaten for New Yearâ€™s food in Japan. I came across this great video of the ceremony, thought it was cool and decided to share. Mochi is very sticky and always comes with a warning not to choke. After every new years, the Japanese media reports how many people die from choking on mochi. The Heimlich maneuver isnâ€™t very effective against the treacherous mochi because it is so sticky. Thereâ€™s this Japanese comedy called Tampopo where someone is choking on mochi and a vacuum cleaner is used to suck it out â€“ itâ€™s pretty funny. Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!