Mochipang is a popular mochi small business that sells fresh fruit and cream mochi. Many in Sydney have gone made for Emily Chen's mochi that come in flavours like watermelon & rose, strawberry, mango, peach, Oreo and golden kiwi. So how do you get your hands on Mochipang's mochi?
Mochi are a sweet Asian cake made with sweet rice flour or glutinous flour. The rice flour is made from "mochigome" a short grain glutinous grain Japanese rice. This glutinous flour gives the cake a stretchy, chewy texture that is very popular in Asian cuisine. The Mochipang business started in November 2021 and the name Mochipang is a reference to the word 胖 or Pàng which means having a full, rounded shape. These mochi have a thin skin and are filled in the centre with whipped cream and fresh fruit in flavours like watermelon & rose, strawberry, mango and peach.
The woman behind Mochipang is 22 year old Emily Chen who made her first mochi in 2014. Before starting Mochipang, she was studying Bachelor of Primary Education at university. "I’ve been making mochis since I was very young with my mum! Whenever we had picnics with friends and family, we would always bring fresh fruit and cream mochi! As the saying goes, “It's the finale. It's the last impression. A bad dessert can ruin the meal.” Whenever I would bring mochi to picnics with friends, they can never get over the soft and pillowy texture and would always want more! They suggested that freshly made mochi weren’t popular in Sydney, so it was very hard to find a place selling them! So this thought suddenly hit one day while I was trying to start a new hobby during lockdown (which was painting)!" says Emily.
You can try Mochipang's mochi two ways. First you can head to Thai Kee IGA in Haymarket where they stock Mochipang on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 12pm in the dessert section but they sell out quickly there. The advantage is that you can buy individual or multiple mochi. You can also order directly from Emily via Instagram DM in boxes of four. A box of four mochi will set you back $30. Her most popular flavours are watermelon & rose, strawberry, mango and peach but there are also flavours like Oreo, durian and golden kiwi. Emily only takes orders on Saturdays for the following week and doesn't take orders ahead of time in case she cannot fulfil them. This is "to ensure we are able to source enough good-quality fruits for the week ahead. If fruits are not high quality, we will not take orders for that flavour,"says Emily. They deliver within 50kms of Wolli Creek for orders $75 and above (excluding delivery fee).
Picking up the mochi is done with precision as Emily makes them fresh for each order. Customers are asked to let her know what time they will arrive and the mochi will be made fresh for their arrival (they cannot for example come earlier). "My biggest priority is to ensure all mochi and fruits are fresh! We always make mochis on the day of pickup so all mochis are as fresh as possible for our customers!" says Emily. This freshness puts constraints on the number of mochi orders that she can take and she currently has a maximum of 50 boxes per day.
I drive to an apartment block in Wolli Creek and pick up my box with the most popular mochi flavours. They're soft and plump just the way that you want them to be. I cut into them and open them up. Each mochi has a good amount of fruit in them. The watermelon rose has chunks of fresh watermelon and a rose cream and I'm also struck that these aren't overly sweet, so very typical of Asian desserts. And for any coeliacs they are also gluten free as they are dusted in cornflour.
The peach is designed to resemble a peach with vanilla whipped cream and peach pieces. I also really love the mango which reminds me of mango pancakes at yum cha. And then of course strawberry is a classic and another favourite with a thin, mochi skin. If you do like your mochi a bit sweeter than try the one with sweet red beans in it.
I ask Emily what makes a good mochi. "Everyone has their personal opinion on what makes a good mochi! Some believe mochi should be firmer and chewier while others like their mochi pillowy and chewy! I honestly love both textures! Some days I crave mochi that is soft, pillowy and with some chewiness and other days I’m a sucker for a firm and extra chewy mochi. I don’t have a sweet tooth so I’m not a fan of super sweet desserts! So yes! These mochis are suitable for my Asian mums and aunties out these," says Emily. She has tips on her storage page that help you get the desired texture with your mochi whether it be a soft or chewy mochi. And if you can't eat your mochi within 6 hours of pick up you can cling wrap them to ensure that they stay as moist as possible in the fridge. If they last that long!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like mochi? Have you ever tried a fresh fruit and cream mochi? Which flavour do you like the sound of the best?