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Snack Series: Meet Mochi in Japan

Remember that cool ice pop freezer we found a while ago in Epcot’s Japan pavilion? (Get it – cool … freezer – oh, never mind.)

Epcot Japan snack stand

The happy freezer has more than just ice pops in it these days. Meet the Mochi.

Japan snack stand freezer

Mochi is actually a Japanese version of a marshmallow, sweet and somewhat bland, but with a smooth texture and easy chew.

The product sold here is mochi ice cream — a golf-ball-sized scoop of ice cream covered fondant-style with a mochi marshmallow shell and dusted with a very light coating of powdered sugar.

The mochi coating makes this a completely mess-free way to eat ice cream with your hands. I was able to eat a mochi ball in three bites without getting even a spot of ice cream on my hands.

During this visit, the freezer held mango, green tea, and strawberry flavors, but I’ve seen other options during past visits to the pavilion.

Strawberry mochi ice cream whole and in cross section

The mochi treat has a subtle fruit flavor that’s perfect for taking the edge off a spicy meal from Mexico.

Currently a box of six two-ounce mochi ice cream balls sells for $7.99. This is definitely something that’s great for a family to share. If you just want a little nibble, split the box between six people; if you want a more substantial snack, split it between two or three.

After trying the mochi ice cream at Epcot, I started to notice that it is sometimes available out in the real world. My local Whole Foods has carried it from time to time. If you’re eager to try this at home (and perhaps pay a bit less) check out the mochi website and follow the store locator link.

I have to say that I’ve become a little addicted to these little balls of ice cream love. There’s more than one box in my home freezer right now. At only 90 calories per serving, they really are a great way to control your ice cream portion if you’re prone to over-indulge. (Um, I confess.)

Nutrition facts

At Walt Disney World, it serves as a nice way to have a little something cool and sweet, but not fill you up so much that you’re walking around stuffed in the Florida heat.

Have you tried the mochi ice cream balls at Epcot or elsewhere? What did you think? Just the right size, or not quite enough? Let us know in the comments below.

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

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19 Comments

  1. Shanna S says:

    I love Mochi Ice Cream! My Trader Joes caries it, as well as the local Hmart of course. I will have a hard time resisting this snack in Epcot!

  2. Jenn says:

    It’s a must to get mochi at every Japanese restaurant by me. I’m addicted to the green tea ones! SO happy you can buy them while wandering the World!

  3. vanessa gordon says:

    I just saw pocky sticks at my grocery store, now I want to run back out and see if they have these !

  4. James A. says:

    I actually had a box of these(Green Tea from Trader Joe’s) sitting in the back of my freezer. This post reminded me about them and I just had one for the first time. They were delish

  5. Michelle says:

    In our family, mochi is either a love ‘em or hate ‘em item. My husband spends a lot of time overseas and he said he has had enough of foods wrapped in stuff. I, however, LOVE mochi and can’t get enough of them. As others have mentioned, I get mine at Trader Joe’s. I don’t recall what the price was off the top of my head, but I am thinking that it would be about half of what you quoted for eating them at Epcot. I always buy the chocolate, but after reading good reviews here for the green tea ones, I might try those next.

  6. Disney Hipster Andrew says:

    Mochi is one of my favorite things in the world! Especially the non-frozen red bean paste mochi! So gooooood!

  7. Amanda says:

    These are so good! And they’re only $2.99 at our local Trader Joes

  8. Rosie says:

    I LOVE Mochi balls. I am currently in Korea and discovered them in our commissary. I think that’s a bit expensive at the park though. I also know you can get them at Trader Joes. I love vanilla and I hate the green tea!

  9. Essie says:

    I think they look very interesting and I’m up for anything that makes me feel close to Disney World! :) So I checked the Mochi website and…Hooray, I have a store in my area that sells them; thanks so much for sharing this with us. I’m going over near the store this weekend, sooo excited!!!

  10. James A. says:

    I just went to get another one(they are addictive). I noticed the package is exactly the same manufacturer(Mikawaya) as the ones in Disney.

  11. Asuka says:

    I never thought of mochi as marshmallow. It’s rice that’s been pounded enough to become sticky and sort of gelatinous.

  12. MaryM says:

    Agree – mochi is not marshmallow nor does it particularly resemble it. It’s pounded rice paste. In Japan, it’s a traditional food at New Year’s. (It’s also very very sticky and annually there are at least a few people who die from choking on the stuff)

  13. !!!! Now if only they’d start selling the red bean flavor – those are my favorite. And if they REALLY want to make me happy, they should stock the kind filled with sweet red bean paste, no ice cream.

  14. Erin F says:

    Shanna – There’s a new HMart in my area! Thanks for reminding me to go check it out. I always love a new source for Mochi!

    Jenn – I love having them at Epcot too.

    Vanessa – Pocky is getting quite easy to find these days. I’m rooting for Mochi to storm the world as well.

    James – Glad you enjoyed!

    Michelle – Personally, I’m partial to the mango flavor. Let us know how you like green tea.

    DH Andrew – I like the plain mochi balls at my local fro-yo topping station, but I’ve never seen red bean. Where do you get them?

    Amanda – That’s a great price!

    Rosie – I’ve never had the vanilla, I’ll have to check it out.

    Essie – Enjoy!

    Asuka/Mary – Yes, of course it’s rice, but some Americans get kind of freaked out if you describe it that way. The mochi texture and flavor is enough similar to artisan marshmallow that most newbies can relate to it that way. Some groceries near me have signs describing mochi as Japanese marshmallow.

    Jenn – They may have non ice cream mochi treats inside the Japan store at Epcot. I’ll check it out when I’m there in September.

    James – There are several brands out there, but the one sold at WDW does seem to be the most prevalent.

  15. Jenn says:

    I love mochi – both the ice cream and red bean paste versions – (some red bean ones in my fridge right now). I usually get mine at the local asian market – or whenever I go to my local Thai restaurant. Now it’s going to be a toss-up between mochi or kaki-gori whenever I go to the Japan pavilion.

  16. Sarah Cameron says:

    I need to try this stuff. I have also seen it at our Trader Joes, but now will have to get it. ;)

  17. Theresa says:

    They sell Mochi ice cream at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Palm Beach County-that’s where I first tried it. My favorite is the red bean with mango a close second. I didn’t know you could also get them at Epcot!

  18. Venessa Hinojosa-Wright says:

    This is too funny, I just came back from a weekend trip to NYC to try the famous CRONUT and see The Lion King (both amazing btw,) and while at the apartment we rented, we wanted some fruit and we were in the lower east side in Alphabet City on Ave A, there was a Union Square Market and they had these just incase anyone was near that area! In all sorts of flavors! Didn’t get them because we were set on fruit.

  19. Angelina says:

    Our local japaneese restaurant serves mochi at the end of your meal with the check. I was hesitant to try them at first but quickly grew to love them. It even made me branch out an try the green tea cheesecake!

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