Mochi, the popular Japanese rice cakes, can be tricky to store. Whether you make them yourself or buy them, it is important to know about the shelf life of mochi.
How long does mochi last? Homemade mochi is rather perishable and lasts only a couple of days at room temperature. They last 7-14 days in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer. Unopened store-bought mochi has a longer shelf life thanks to the added preservatives and airtight packaging.
Continue reading to learn more about the shelf life and storage conditions of mochi and how to detect bad mochi.
Does Mochi Go Bad?
Mochi is highly perishable especially when it is homemade. Mochi is made from glutinous short-grain rice. This is why the texture of mochi is chewy and sticky and described as something in-between rice and dough.
Various other ingredients can be mixed with mochi to give it other flavors and colors. But no matter what you add, you should store mochi properly to prevent it from going bad.
How To Store Mochi
You can store mochi at room temperature, in the fridge, and in the freezer.
When it comes to homemade mochi, it is best to eat it right after making the rice cakes as it is when they are the softest.
Store mochi at room temperature only if you are going to eat them within a day or two. Keep the rice cakes covered to prevent them from drying out. It is also important to keep mochi away from sunlight and heat sources.
If it is humid where you live, the chances are high that mochi will get moldy within a day. In such cases, you can keep mochi in the fridge.
The fridge is the next best place to store mochi if you are planning to eat it within the following few days. However, keep in mind that the cold air in the fridge causes the rice cakes to dry out and harden.
When storing mochi in the fridge, keep them tightly wrapped in food wrap or store multiple rice cakes in a single airtight container. If you are not planning to eat them soon, it is best to store mochi in the freezer.
As for store-bought mochi, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the storage conditions of the rice cakes. As commercially manufactured mochi often contain preservatives, they are more shelf-stable.
How To Store Mochi In The Freezer
To store mochi in the freezer, do the following.
- Coat the rice cakes in corn starch. This step is optional. However, it helps prevent mochi from drying out as well as prevents the rice cakes from sticking to each other.
- Individually wrap the rice cakes in food wrap.
- If you want to skip the previous step, put starch-coated mochi into a zip-top bag and push out the excess air. But before you put mochi in the bag, flash freeze the rice cakes by placing them on a baking tray and keeping them in the freezer until they harden and aren’t sticky anymore.
- Label the mochi with the date.
How Long Does Mochi Last?
Fresh mochi lasts 1-2 days at room temperature depending on how hot and humid it is where you live. Refrigerating extends the shelf life of mochi to 7-14 days. If you want to keep mochi longer, store them in the freezer. Homemade mochi can last around a month in the freezer.
Store-bought mochi has a longer shelf life. Check the packaging for information about the expiration date of the rice cakes.
Commercially manufactured mochi in airtight packaging can last a few months at room temperature and up to 12 months in the freezer. Once opened, they can last around a week in the fridge and up to 2 weeks in the freezer.
Signs That Mochi Has Gone Bad
If you have had mochi for a few days, inspect the rice cakes closely before you eat them or serve them to your guests.
There are a few signs of spoilage to help you identify bad mochi.
Firstly, the most common sign of bad mochi is mold. It is common for mochi to get moldy especially when you leave it at room temperature for too long.
Secondly, you should discard mochi if it is too dry to eat. The outer layer of mochi dries out quickly when the rice cakes are left in the fridge uncovered.
Lastly, you should get rid of the rice cakes if they have lost their chewy elastic texture and become hard and stale.
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