Mochi is versatile and easy to cook. Once pounded, shaped, and dried until firm, mochi can be baked, broiled, grilled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. When prepared using any of these methods, mochi puffs up to nearly double its size, developing a crisp exterior and a soft, melting interior. If cooked too long, the surface will crack and the soft inside part will ooze out. So watch mochi carefully while it cooks.
Baked, broiled, or grilled mochi is often eaten with a sweet miso topping. Baked mochi can also be cut into bite-sized pieces and added to soups during the last minute of cooking. Pan- or deep-fried mochi needs nothing more than a light seasoning of soy sauce or a soy sauce and ginger-based dip. Mochi can also be rolled in rice syrup, then coated with walnut meal and eaten as dessert. Melt a couple pieces of mochi in a waffle iron, then top the delicious whole grain waffle with warmed rice syrup and chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts.
Soaking excessively dry mochi for several hours in cold water will cause it to soften. It can then be prepared in any way.