Homemade Kudzu Mochi: Only in Nara | Ancient Healing Sweet| Translucent Arrowroot Mochi

Homemade Kudzu Mochi: Only in Nara | Ancient Healing Sweet| Translucent Arrowroot Mochi
Kudzu (葛)Arrowroot starch

Kudzu, or arrowroot starch as it’s known in English, holds a special place in the heart of Nara, Japan. This highest-quality starch is not just a cooking ingredient; it’s a cultural emblem of the region I call home.

Nara, Japan: Meet Cute Dear

The Magic of Kudzu Mochi

Kudzu Mochi (Long Shelf Life) sold at souvnir shop

In Nara, kudzu is transformed into a translucent mochi that boasts a natural sweetness unique to the starch itself. This isn’t your average mochi. It’s a culinary delight that’s both delicious and beneficial to your health. When you find yourself wandering the historic paths of Nara, you can purchase this delectable treat in any local souvenir shop— a specialty found only here.

Preparation of Kudzu Mochi

Although you can buy ready-made Kudzu Mochi with a long shelf life, I strongly recommend buying Kudzu starch and making it at home. The texture and taste are completely different!

Preparing kudzu mochi at home involves a fascinating process. Start with kudzu starch, which typically comes in chunks, showcasing its authenticity. First, combine it with water and let it sit to soften. After it’s completely rehydrated, which is crucial for achieving that bouncy and chewy texture mochi is famous for, whisk to dissolve the starch completely.

Allow the mixture to rest until the kudzu starch settles at the bottom. Cooking starts with transferring the smooth mixture into a pot, passing it through a sieve to ensure even consistency. Cooking the mochi involves high heat initially, then reducing it to medium, stirring continuously until it turns translucent.

Serving the Mochi

Once cooked, transfer the mochi to a tray and submerge it in water. While still warm, cut the mochi into bite-sized pieces. Before serving, immerse again in water to separate the pieces easily. Place them on a serving dish, and they’re ready to be enjoyed.

Experiencing Kudzu Mochi

The first taste of Kudzu mochi should be without any toppings, akin to a soba lover enjoying their noodles without dipping sauce. Savor the inherent sweetness and aroma that are truly incomparable. The texture is chewy yet smooth, melting effortlessly in your mouth.

For those who like a little extra sweetness, serve it with kinako (roasted soybean flour) mixed with sugar, or kuromitsu (black sugar syrup). This not only enhances the flavor but introduces a delightful contrast in textures.

Kudzu’s Health Benefits

Beyond its culinary uses, kudzu has numerous health benefits. Historically, it was used as a home remedy for colds—a tradition that persists to this day in Japan. Its popularity as a natural remedy underscores kudzu’s cherished status in Japanese culture.

Kudzu Mochi (葛餅)Arrowroot starch Mochi

Ancient Magical Healing sweet of Nara
Prep Time 1 hour
Soaking time 2 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 small bowl to mix kudzu and water
  • 1 large bowl to chill Kudzu Mochi
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 tray (preferably metal)


  • 30 g Kudzu starch (arrowroot starch)
  • 135 g water
  • Kinako (roasted soy bean flour)
  • Kuromitsu (black sugar syrup)


  • Combine with water and let it sit for a few minutes to soften.
    Then, whisk to dissolve completely.
    Let it sit until the Kudzu starch sinks to the bottom for an hour.
  • Mix until smooth again and transfer a frying pan or a pot, passing it through a sieve.
  • Before cooking, prepare water in a bowl, a cutting board, and a metal dish like this. You don't really need a mold, so any dish works here.
  • Start cooking on high heat, constantly stirring, until partially cooked; then reduce the heat to medium and cook until translucent.
    It's going to take a few minutes.
  • Transfer the mochi onto the tray, then submerge in the water.
    After a minute or so, when the mochi is still warm, take it onto the cutting board and cut it into bite-size pieces.
    Rerelease in water to separate to make it easy to eat.
  • ransfer to the Serving dish with splash of water.
    Serve with Kinako and Kuromitu.
Keyword aroowroot starch, kudzu, kudzu mochi, kudzu starch, mochi
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