This article originally appeared in the January 2016 Issue: Flavours of Fermentation
Is there much difference between the mango mochis of the world? We seek to find the answer and travel the breadth of Hong Kong to sample four versions of this sweet treat and choose a champion.
1 Hing Wo Street, Aberdeen
The mango: Was more on the sweet side than some tarter versions. It was not robust in flavour but seemed fresh nevertheless.
The mochi: Was denser, sweeter, thicker and more strongly rice flavoured than the others we had tried. All these things worked out good, as the mango was less flavoursome so needed a bit of bolstering. The mochi itself was velvety and most satisfying.
The mango mochi: This mochi should be sought out if only to encounter the kindness of the lady who makes and serves them. Obscurely tucked away on the back streets of Aberdeen, this literal corner store pumps out plump mochi at $11 per pop.
The verdict: For anyone who finds themselves hankering after a mochi in Aberdeen.
Shop 1, 311 Hennessy Rd, Wanchai
The mango: This was the best of all the hidden fruits. A beautifully dark orange with a nice sourness to complement its immediate sweetness; it was possibly a tad on the overripe side, but with mango, that is often the best time to eat it.
The mochi: It held together very well with a solid exterior that made the whole pastry easier to eat and less messy. There was a nice powdery finish to this long squishy bun.
The mango mochi: We preferred the contrasting flavours of the sweet outside and the sweet then sour inside. The harmony of the thin dough and thick mango with a slight acidity to the fruit made for the perfect mochi balance.
The verdict: An absolutely matchless mochi.
Street stall on the corner of Chung Hing San Street and Tai Hing Tai Road
The mango: The fruit on this one was a very pale yellow, extremely sweet and quite stringy.
The mochi: This shorter, thicker version had a beautiful dough that was sweet and glutinous with a heavier pastry than the other contenders.
The mango mochi: Harder to eat, this one was a bit messy, but it had also travelled the furthest and therefore endured more on its trip.
The verdict: For those with a sweet, sweet tooth.
316 Jaffe Road, Wanchai
The mango: The sweet aroma of the fruit was the first thing that hit us when we opened the bag. This may have been because the mochi didn’t fully cover the mango and it was seeping out the back and was on the overripe side with a deep yellow-orange colour to its flesh.
The mochi: A very thick dough on the bottom with a very floury residue. This mochi stuck around on the tongue afterwards and although it had a good consistency it didn’t have much flavour.
The mango mochi: This one was more mochi than anything else and although not overall our favourite, the texture of the mochi was very pleasant.
The verdict: For those that like their mochi with a bit of mango.