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Where can I get mochi balls?

Is there a place to buy the mochi balls they have at Pinkberrys? I assume a Japanese market but figured it was worth asking.

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  1. Mitsuwa markets downtown & west LA (don't know if they're the same variety) Gelsons has a variety - again don't know if they're the same as Pinkberry.

    1. They can be found in the canned fruit and bottled syrup section of any Korean supermarket ('cos they're often found in bingsu)

      1. Trader Joe's has the mochi ice cream balls.

        1. I love mochi and adore Pinkberry, but does anyone else notice that the mochi balls at Pinkberry have a nasty chemical aftertaste? Is it just me?

          2 Replies
          1. re: hrhboo

            It might be that they're rolled in cornstarch.

            And from their dry looks, I believe they're vacuum sealed packaged ones, not frozen or fresh. I prefer the boiled pink and white ones you get at Taiwanese shaved ice places.

            1. re: Pei

              Yes, those are delicious. That's what I was hoping the Pinkberry ones would taste like. It's a shame since all their other toppings are so fresh-tasting.

          2. You'll have many mochi options at any East Asian market, as well as confectionaries that specialize in mochi, usually found in the South Bay and J-Town. The stuff at PK probably comes wrapped in plastic, and my guess would be that it also contains some sort of softening agent as well as other preservatives, as plain sweetened or unsweetened mochi has a very short shelf life. PB's mochi is plain sweetened mochi which should be relatively easy to find, but can you imagine a strawberry, orange, or melon flavored mochi with the PB original?

            1. What about 99 Ranch Market? I don't know. Aren't there many types of mochi?

              7 Replies
              1. re: katkoupai

                99 Ranch does carry mochi. It's more or less for the Chinese and Vietnamese customers. Very good, but tends to be very soft and usually has fillings like black sesame, red bean (different from the Japanese version), lotus seed paste, etc. I think they'd be interesting with a froyo, but probably wouldn't be easy to cut into mochi balls. I'm not familiar with the Korean mochi-type products, but I do know the Japanese versions would probably work better, as they tend to be a little harder in consistancy. You'll also find some of the flavored mochis - usually for kids (young and old!) - that might interest you. Any Japanese market will have it, as well as Fugetsudo mentioned by MLGB, and a couple of mochi places on Western in Gardena.

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Thank you. :) I used to be the kid with a pomegranate in her lunchbox. All the kids looked at me like I was weird. Now you can buy pomegranate juice at Whole Foods and pomegranate kernels at Costco. How the world changes...:)

                    I found the avatar through a basic Google search of images. :)

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      One of my childhood neighbors had a tree... we'd pick them, break them open, and have those little "capsule" filled with what we thought was punch, and come home to our mom's horror with stains everywhere! Who would have thought that we were actually eating something that was good for us?

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        My mom has a pomegranate tree and so did my grandpa. It is possibly my favorite fruit, and it is used in many ways in Persian cooking (pomegranate kernels, pomegranate paste, pomegranate juice, pomegranate fruit snack). It's the complete symbol of my family and culture. I love it. :)

                        1. re: katkoupai

                          I can't remember where I had it - maybe it was Rose Market on Westwood - pomegranate gelato. Wow - what a treat it was... it's been a while since I've been there, but they always have amazing flavors. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a big 5-gallon tub of it just waiting for you!

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            Are you serious? That would be heaven! I have to look for it.

              2. A lot of places in Little Tokyo downtown have them. Just head down there and you will find what you are looking for.

                1 Reply
                1. re: knowyoursoul

                  Best mochi is from Fugetsudo, a Little Tokyo institution on First Street.

                2. Little Tokyo Shopping Center, of course! Mikawaya supposedly invented mochi.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mojoeater

                    Mmmm....mochi was around before Mikawaya. I think they are credited with creating the mochi ice cream balls. Fugetsudo, I'm pretty sure is the oldest commercial Japanese-American business in Little Tokyo. Mikawaya has been around a long time (I think the late 40's), but Fugetsudo is really an old business.

                  2. I've seen them at the West Hollywood Pavilions. Not sure if all Pavilions carry them though...

                    1. Trader Joes as someone else indicated ... the chocoloate is very good ... i've also seen them at Maruka Market in Gardena ... more exotic flavors.

                      1. Like the chocolate mochi at TJs too. Saw a different brand at WF the other day -- Hawaiian -- with blueberry, mango and some other flavor. Didn't buy... yet...

                        1. You also might try heading to one of the Korean grocers in K-town. I'd guess it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than anything imported from Japan. Ask for "bing-soo duck".

                          Duck (Koreans would write it in English as "dduk") is Korean for "ricecake" - there are lots of kinds of ricecake in Korean cooking, so you have to specify that you want the kind that Koreans normally put on top of "bing-soo", a summertime shaved ice treat (which I think is on the menu at Pinkberry).

                          1. The portion of this topic that became a general discussion about mochi has been moved to the General Chowhounding board:

                            1. I think I saw what you're looking for, at Seafood City at Eagle Rock Plaza. it was a small package of pink and white tiny mochi balls, called rice balls.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: slacker

                                No, that's not the Japanese variety as it's not as soft and elastic as waht they serve at PB's. The tiny rice balls in Filipino stores need to be cooked for a long time and become translucent.

                                1. re: slacker

                                  bingo this is it.
                                  the taiwanese have been serving these rice balls in their shaved ice for years. haha

                                2. How much are you planning to purchase? If it's just a little bit then go to any korean market and find the light blue package that is 300g. That should be the same one.

                                  If you're still not sure, let me know. I will post an image for you.

                                  1. I think thats the name but you can get them at Little Tokyo (:

                                    Little Tokyo Ice Cream & Yogurt Deli
                                    351 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    1. Found Mochi Balls at an unlikely place.
                                      Costco Business Center in the City of Commerce.

                                      Costco Business Center
                                      6333 Telegraph Rd, Commerce, CA 90040

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: monku

                                        Those are not the ones that are sold at the frozen yogurt shops.

                                        1. re: pooger77

                                          Costco warehouses actually now sell mochi in boxes of about 36. They seem to have reached main-stream status.