Mochi is a Japanese treat made with sticky rice that is pounded into a paste texture then rolled gently into balls.Above the rice is cooked in these handmade boxes stacked up over steaming boiling water. Cooks monitor the steam so it does not escape. Cloth is woven into braids that are positioned between each box to hold steam inside the wooden boxes. I have some photos of that below.
Many temple members of The Buddhsit Temple of Chicago help the whole procedure. This is Anna and Noreen.
Here Gary is overseeing the pounding of the cooked sticky rice.
I forgot to ask what they are doing with the small pots, but I am guessing they are adding boiled water that streams through the boxes to replace evaporated water. Easier than taking all the boxes off and losing heat and steam momentum.
These folks are waiting for the pounded rice. It will arrive in a huge ball like bread dough in appearance. However it feels more like "silly putty". Then the big ball of pounded rice paste will be pulled apart and rolled gently into little balls. Some will be stuffed with a sweet bean paste.
Here you can see Stan prepare the rice and edge the braided fabric on the box.
Still waiting for rice t cook and be pounded LOL, so cute!
Below you can see the braided cloth soaking. Then it is positioned as a seal on the boxes above.
Looking for steam breaching the layers of boxes. That is not good it inffluences the cooking and consistency of all the boxes heat.
Rolling the sweet bean paste for making centers of yumminess in some of the mochi.
Always monitoring the heat and steam...and placing new loads of rice.
Some rice cookers as back up.
Stan arranging the position of the braided cloths again.