Is Mochi Vegan? A Dairy-Free Mochi Guide

Photo is mochi vegan on a backdrop with flowers

Let’s talk mochi! If you haven’t heard of it, get acquainted, because mochi is about to become one of your new favorite vegan desserts!

Mochi ice cream has vegan-friendly offerings and is easily the best naturally vegan dessert, a bite-sized treat consisting of pounded glutinous rice with a variety of filling options such as sweet soy sauce red bean, matcha paste, or fruit filling.

This chewy Japanese vegan treat is dairy-free, gluten-free, and has a lovely slightly sweet taste. It is a vegan and vegetarian favorite alike.

But be aware, mochi isn’t only vegan-friendly offerings, there are types of mochi ice cream that do contain dairy. But the vegan mochi is dairy-free, well labeled and the two are easy to distinguish.

Flavors of Mochi

Vegan mochi flavors

Mochi comes in all your favorite flavors such as:

  • Vanilla (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavor are probably the most popular)
  • Chocolate
  • Belgian Chocolate
  • Mango
  • Coconut
  • Pistachio
  • Cookie Dough
  • Strawberry
  • Green Tea
  • Injeolmi (roasted soybean mochi made from soy)

(Some of the flavors are vegan, some are not, make sure to check the label! Also, some are filled with cream which does contain dairy so be sure to do your homework.)

My personal favorite is either the green tea and coconut flavor…Yum!

How To Make Your Own Mochi

Mochi is so simple in fact, that you can find your favorite recipe and make it yourself at home! When checking for recipes make sure to read thoroughly, however, because some recipes are not dairy-free and are actually ice cream wrapped.

The basic premise of Mochi is pounding glutinous rice into rice flour. Eventually, that rice flour turns into a gelatinous dough that takes on a more smooth texture. Then the dough is rolled into mochi balls which eventually will form into the chewy texture that tasty Mochi is known for.

Mochi Ingredients

Vegan Mochi Ingredients

  • Mochiko (or Shiratamako) – Note that this is different from regular glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour. You can find Mochiko in most Japanese grocery stores or online.
  • Sugar – You’ll need to use vegan sugar for this recipe. 
  • Cornstarch – This ingredient doesn’t go into the mochi, but you’ll need to use it to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the sheet.
  • Azuki Beans (Red Beans) – You’ll need azuki beans and sugar to make the red bean paste. They’re available at most Asian grocery stores or you can find them online and in the Asian section of many grocery stores.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Making the Red Bean Paste

To make the red bean paste, simply place the red beans and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove the water. Add more water and bring to boil for a second time.

Cover with the lid and let simmer for 60 minutes or so until they are easily mashable with your fingers. Then, remove the water and stir in the sugar. Keep stirring until you achieve the desired texture.

Pro Tip: Prepare your azuki paste in advance.

Vegan Mochi

Making The Mochi

  1. Combine the mochiko flour, sugar, and water in a bowl that is microwave safe. Make sure to stir everything until completely dissolved. Feel free to add food coloring to the mix at this point to brighten up your mochi balls.
  2. Seal the bowl loosely with the plastic film. Heat at full power for a couple of minutes. Remove from the microwave and combine everything well with a wet spatula. Cover again and microwave for another 30 seconds or until the mochi dough becomes slightly transparent.
  3. Transfer the sticky mixture of mochi dough onto a parchment paper sheet dusted with cornstarch. Dust more cornstarch evenly over the mochi dough’s surface. Brush off any excess cornstarch.
  4. Split the mochi dough into 3-4 even pieces and flatten each piece of dough in a rounded shape. Use your hands to shape and stretch out the dough.
  5. Take out the red bean paste and put a thin layer in the middle of the mochi envelope.
  6. Fork the 4 angles of the mochi wrapper and press the rest of the sides together. You can allow it to cool or you can cook it for a few minutes in a toaster oven. If you decide to cook keep a close eye on it to ensure your ideal texture. Allow the cooked mochi to cool for a few minutes and then serve and enjoy your delicious sweet treat!
  7. To store the extra simply wrap the sticky mixture in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

This is a simple, quick, and delicious recipe but there are many mochi recipes. There are many that vary in flavors, filling, level of soft vs. chewy outcome. There are vegan chocolate mochi recipes, coconut, mango, and many more.

Vegan Moci Recipe on plate

Read Next: Is Vegetable Oil Vegan?

Whichever vegan mochi recipe you choose it is a great way to make your own healthy, vegan and delicious dessert. To see more recipes on how to make mochi and mochi foods, check out the Mochifoods website!

Mochi is sure to become one of your new favorite vegetarian and vegan dessert. A sticky sweet dessert that is filled with healthy fillings, packed with protein, and tastes delicious? Yes, please!

So is mochi vegan? For the most part…yes! There are brands, flavors, and fillings that can cause exceptions to that rule however so be sure to check your labels and do your research! But with the right brand, you can be assured of a yummy vegan treat!


Is Mochi Ice Cream Vegan?

There is vegan mochi ice cream. But there is some mochi that does contain dairy and is not dairy-free. Some mochi is wrapped in ice cream which contains milk. So the key to finding milk-free, non-dairy mochi, is simply to read the label! Vegan mochi is clearly labeled as vegan and gluten-free.

Does Mochi Have Gelatin?

No, Vegan Mochi does not contain gelatin and vegan Mochi is dairy-free and gluten-free.

What Mochi Brands Are Vegan?

Buono is the Trader Joe’s brand of vegan mochi.

My Mochi and My Mo mochi are also vegan mochi brands.

Little Moons is a popular brand and Aldi also has their own brand of vegan mochi. Although Little Moons is still one of the most common vegan mochi brands and Little Moons offers a variety of flavors and fillings. .

These brands do not contain milk, eggs, or gluten. To see all of Little Moons offerings, check out their website!

Still have a sweet tooth? Check out our vegan chocolate gelato recipe, or our vegan fried ice cream recipe!

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