If you love dumplings and chocolate, this recipe is for you. Chefs Alexander Ong and Michael Siegel of Betelnut restaurant invited me for a lesson on how to make Siegel’s tasty creation, a mochi (sticky rice) wrapped dumpling that contains a filling of chocolate ganache. When I arrived at the San Francisco restaurant, Siegel was ready with all of his mis en place. We joked as he whisked, steamed, cut, and wrapped the dumplings. Siegel made it look so easy that for the first time, I felt like I could master Japanese wagashi-style confections and teach others too as well.
I had invited my dear friend Carolyn Jung of Foodgal.com to join us that afternoon, but I hadn’t fully explained what Siegel’s mochi dumpling was about. Carolyn had to squeeze our get together into her schedule, and when she arrived at Betelnut and discovered that the dumplings contained chocolate, she nearly exploded with glee.
“You didn’t tell me that he put CHOCOLATE into them!” she said. Oh. I told her they were truffle dumplings but the dumpling part got more to me and I overlooked the chocolate attraction to her!
When Carolyn tasted Siegel’s trio of mochi dumplings, she could barely contain herself to share them with the rest of us. I turned away for a few moments and when I returned my gaze to the mochi plate, it was empty.