Daifuku Vs Mochi

Daifuku Vs Mochi — What’s The Difference?

Traditionally eaten with a filling, mochi is a sugary treat from Japan that’s slowly gaining popularity around the world.

Why is daifuku different from mochi? Mochi is a Japanese dessert made from rice starch, sometimes colored or filled with stuffing inside. An adzuki filling is stuffed into daifuku, a type of mochi with a red bean paste.

Discover how daifuku and mochi are made, how to eat them, and some famous mochi varieties!

What Are Mochi And Daifuku?

In Japan, mochi is a dough-like dessert made from rice starch, sugar, salt, and food coloring.

There are a lot of fillings and colors you can mix and match to make new kinds of mochi.

There’s a variation called daifuku, which is also Japanese for “good luck.” So, mochi and daifuku are pretty similar!

People think it was first invented in China, then spread to other countries before becoming popular in Japan.

There are several traditions and superstitions associated with mochi, but this dessert holds a special place in the hearts of local foodies and is a great light snack or dessert after a meal.

Desserts like this can also be used as toppings for ice cream, cereal, frozen yogurt, and more!

Mochi can be found year-round in Japan, and nowadays you can find it all over the world, including North America.

How is Mochi Made?

To make mochi, you start with a rice slurry – but not just any rice! The rice of choice for mochi is always glutinous rice.

The mochi is made from glutinous rice because it has a low amylose content, which makes it sticky when cooked.

By cooking and mashing this rice to a point, you get a liquid slurry of sticky rice that can be molded.

But how does it set?

Like rice paper, the slurry is scooped out and spread over a steaming pot after it’s been mixed with salt, sugar, and other additives.

Using a steamer tray lined with parchment paper at the bottom, the rice mixture sits above the boiling water and creates steam.

You cook the mochi for about 35-45 minutes, then cut it into pieces. These pieces are then rolled into flat balls.

At this point, the mochi is ready to eat. You can add glaze, honey, or maple syrup (just about any syrup or flavoring you like) and enjoy!

To make daifuku, you’ll need a filling of sweetened (or savory) red bean paste!

Mochi is folded around the filling to trap it inside by adding a tablespoon of the paste in the center.

Daifuku is mochi dusted with sugar or rice flour.

Check out this video from Great Big Story on YouTube to see a traditional mochi master at work. Be sure to read the captions and turn on your speakers!

Differences Between Mochi And Daifuku

It’s time to learn what makes each variation of daifuku unique, now that we know that daifuku is a traditional mochi making and eating method!

Not all mochi are daifuku (unless they’re made a certain way), but all daifuku are mochi – it’s just made with different fillings.

We’ve already talked about how traditional mochi is made, but daifuku has several variations.

Here’s everything you need to know about mochi and daifuku!



A mochi is a sweet snack made with gelatinous rice. It has a mild flavor with sweet undertones.

There are literally thousands of variations of mochi. Some people add color, which adds vibrancy – but the flavor stays the same.

While most people eat mochi as a dessert, it can also be filled with meat-based fillings! Although this is uncommon, it speaks volumes about the versatility and range of mochi.


Daifuku is traditionally made with mochi and red bean paste, but it can also be made with other fillings (like black sesame).

That means daifuku’s flavor will never be the same and can change a lot!

Mango mochi can also be a type of daifuku, depending on terminology and preference. You might find places that sell “center-filled” mochis that aren’t considered daifuku too.

There are two traditional flavors of daifuku: sweet or savory with a tinge of sweetness. The red bean paste filling can be sweetened or left plain.

You’ll get a sweetened daifuku, whereas an unsweetened daifuku will be savory with a bit of sugar.



You can compare mochi’s texture to a very soft gummy bear – it’s chewy but very tender.

It’s easy to bite into a mochi, and the texture can vary depending on how it was made.

A mochi made with mashed gelatinous rice is chewier and has a more textured mouthfeel because the rice is manually refined, which is prone to human error.

Using rice starch makes a more homogenized slurry, which cooks evenly and is more tender than a manually refined slurry.

Traditionally, mochi is made with mashed rice, but since the difference is so subtle, either method will work.


There are multiple textures in Daifuku. The first is from the mochi, followed by whatever filling is inside.

This dish has a hearty, grainy texture from the red bean paste, but it works so well that you’ll hardly notice any differences between the two.

Red bean paste can be customized according to your preferences. Some people like it smooth, while others like it chunky.

There’s a wide range of textures in daifuku depending on the filling!

Quick Comparison

FlavorSweet with more complex flavors due to fillings. Sweet and starchy flavor (no syrups or garnish). TextureMulti-textured. Chewy, soft, tender, and grainy (with paste filling). Chewy and tender. It has a gummy bear texture. VarietyCan use sweetened or non-sweetened red bean paste. Can also come in different colors and fillings. Paired with a wide variety of sweeteners. Cooking MethodMade using mashed rice or rice powder. Made with mashed rice or rice powder. Steam-cooked.

How To Make Mochi And Daifuku

We’ll cover both daifuku and mochi, since they’re made with the same ingredients! Here’s some easy, foolproof ways to make both.

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How To Make Mochi

Time to prep: 5 minutes

16 minutes to cook

21 minutes total

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  • Glutinous rice flour, 34 cups

  • Water in 34 cups

  • Sugar, 14 cups

  • 12 cups rice flour or potato starch

  • Organic and non-flavored food dyes (optional)


  1. Whisk together the rice flour and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add the measured water while mixing.

  2. Once the mixture is homogeneous and clear, add the remaining water slowly. The rice slurry should not have lumps. If you see lumps, whisk them down. Optional Step) If you want to be creative or festive, add food color during this step. Go organic and non-flavored for the best results!

  3. Steam some water in a big pot.

  4. Pour the rice and sugar mixture into a heat-resistant bowl and carefully place it inside the steamer. You can also add parchment paper to the steamer base and pour the slurry directly over it, but the bowl method is neater.

  5. Take off the lid after 7 minutes and agitate the slurry with a spatula. Mix it around for 1-2 minutes, and then steam for another 7 minutes with the lid on.

  6. Remove the hot bowl and set it aside. Congratulations, you’ve made mochi!

It’s Jaron

Let’s make some daifuku now that we’ve made our mochi!

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How To Make Daifuku

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  • Glutinous rice flour, 34 cups

  • Water in 34 cups

  • Sugar, 14 cups

  • Rice flour or potato starch, 12 cups

  • 112 cups red bean paste


  1. Dust your work surface with rice flour.

  2. Dust more rice flour over the mochi after it’s on the work surface.

  3. To make daifuku, thin out the mochi with a rolling pin. You don’t need to make it paper thin; a medium thickness (1-2 inches) should do.

  4. From the flattened mochi, cut circles with a cookie cutter or a round mold.

  5. Take each circle and brush off the excess starch with a small cooking brush. We’ll be making one mochi at a time.

  6. You can use this perfect pre-made red bean paste if you don’t have time to make red bean paste at home.

  7. By now, the mochi should look like a dumpling. Bring each corner of the circle over and pinch it together. Start with the left and right corners.

  8. Be mindful of the amount of filling you use, too much filling might tear the mochi, and too little filling won’t make a good daifuku!

  9. Put a little potato or rice starch on the sealed/pinched area.

  10. For presentation, put the prepared daifuku in a paper cupcake mold and repeat!

It’s Jaron

Other Cooking Methods

Daifuku and mochi can be made several different ways. The most popular and convenient way is to microwave the rice slurry mixture until it turns into mochi.

Daifuku can be made with microwaved mochi – and the best part is that if you do it right, you won’t notice any difference in texture from steaming and microwaved!

People who don’t have a steamer at home or don’t want to deal with a double boiler will love this. 

In the microwave method, make the slurry as described above, but instead of steaming it, place the contents into a microwave-safe bowl with a lid and microwave it.

After one minute on the highest setting, carefully take out the bowl and mix the slurry with a wet spatula. 

You’ve successfully made mochi! Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir it again with a wet spatula. Continue cooking for one more minute.

Make daifuku according to our recipe by spreading the mochi and rolling it with a rolling pin.

Related Questions 

Both mochi and daifuku have a common foundation (you guessed it, mochi). Here’s what you need to know about them.

Can daifuku be fried?

Daifuku can be fried since the mochi surrounding the filling expands and puffs up. This will give it a crispy outside and a soft inside!

When making daifuku, you can also color the mochi with flavorless food coloring, which will add presentation points and make the puffy daifuku more appealing.

Are daifuku and mochi gluten-free?

Traditionally, daifuku and mochi are made from rice flour or mashed rice. However, there are many variations for each treat.

There are many ways to prepare mochi. Daifuku can be made with a variety of fillings or even dusted with flour, so make sure you check for dietary restrictions.

What do mochi and daifuku pair with?

It’s easy to pair mochi and daifuku with pretty much any type of fruit or syrup since they both have a mild sweetness to begin with.

You can top daifuku with strawberries, chocolate syrup, or sweetened heavy cream or condensed milk.

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