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In the spring, Setsuko purveys a pink sakura or cherry blossom mochi that will fill you with the essence of the season. (Image: Photo: Chona Kasinger / Seattle Refined)
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Mochi Mania: Stuff Your Cheeks at These 5 Local Spots

What is mochi? Glad you asked! Mochi is a sweet rice cake originating from Japan and comes in a variety of unique flavors and is typically filled with red bean - or sometimes ice cream! Expand your flavor horizons and try something new with the guidance of this Seattle mochi checklist. From matcha to ube, here are five excellent local spots where you can stuff your cheeks with as much mochi as your heart desires.

Tokara

Located in north Seattle, Chef Tokara has mastered the art of mochi and then some. Her freshly made goods are known as "wagashi" and are influenced by the way things are done in Kyoto. Her offerings rotate depending on the time of year, so drop in often to see what she's got up her sleeve.

Setsuko Pastry

In the spring, Setsuko purveys a pink sakura or cherry blossom mochi that will fill you with the essence of the season. Also in rotation here are their strawberry mochi, ohagi, and traditional mochi, which is filled with red beans. Yum!

Cafe O Dessert

Cafe O Dessert does a couple interesting things with mochi. While they offer mochi as a delicious topping for shaved ice, they also offer a mochi sweet potato and ginger soup as well as mochi guilinggao (grass jelly). Here's your chance to try something new!

Mee Sum Pastry

The sesame red bean mochi ball here at Mee Sum Pastry in Pike Place Market is not to be missed. If you've got a sweet tooth after getting your fill of hum bao here, the mochi has a thick-ish texture on the outside, with a sweet red bean paste on the inside.

Hood Famous Bakeshop

At long last, Hood Famous has a permanent home in Ballard! While the Filipino bakery is well known for its purple ube cheesecake, Hood Famous also carries a scrumptious ube butter mochi that packs quite a flavor. For the uninitiated, ube is a popular ingredient in Filipino cuisine that is made with boiled purple yam. The bakery rotates its offerings on a seasonal basis, so time will only tell what they have in store for 2018.

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