Is mochi ice cream gluten-free?

What is mochi ice cream?

Mochi ice cream is a frozen dessert consisting of a ball of ice cream encased in a soft, chewy mochi rice dough. Mochi is made from mochigome, a type of short-grain Japanese rice. The rice is pounded into a paste and molded around an ice cream filling.

Typical ice cream flavors encased in mochi include chocolate, strawberry, mango, green tea, and vanilla. Mochi ice cream provides a unique sweet and chewy texture when biting into the soft mochi outer layer to get to the ice cream inside.

Is mochi rice dough gluten-free?

Yes, mochi dough is naturally gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Since mochi is made from rice and does not contain any of these gluten-containing grains, it is considered a gluten-free food.

The main ingredients in mochi dough are:

– Mochigome rice
– Water
– Sugar
– Cornstarch or tapioca starch
– Salt

None of these ingredients contain gluten. Therefore, the mochi rice dough itself is gluten-free.

Could mochi ice cream have gluten from other ingredients?

While the mochi outer layer is gluten-free, most commercially produced mochi ice cream has other ingredients that could potentially contain gluten. These include:

– The ice cream filling – Some ice cream contains cookies/inclusions, malt/barley extract, or other ingredients that contain gluten.

– Dusting powders – Some mochi ice creams are dusted with a starch powder to prevent sticking. These powders may contain wheat.

– Shared equipment – There is a risk of cross-contamination if the facility uses shared equipment to also process gluten-containing foods.

So while the mochi dough itself is gluten-free, the final mochi ice cream product could still contain traces of gluten due to other ingredients and processing factors.

Are there gluten-free certified mochi ice creams?

Yes, there are some brands of mochi ice cream that are certified gluten-free:

– My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream – Certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). My/Mo mochi contains no gluten ingredients.

– Mikawaya Mochi Ice Cream – Lab tested to contain less than 10 ppm gluten. Mikawaya states their mochi ice creams are produced in a gluten-free facility.

– Fujiya Mochi Ice Cream – States their product is gluten-free on packaging. Note Fujiya uses shared equipment so risk of cross-contamination.

– Daifuku Mochi Ice Cream – Certified gluten-free and made in a dedicated gluten-free facility to prevent cross-contamination.

If you have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, it’s important to look for a third party certified gluten-free brand to ensure safety of the product. The certification verifies both ingredients and preparation processes are gluten-free.

How to enjoy gluten-free mochi ice cream

Here are some tips for people with gluten sensitivities to safely enjoy mochi ice cream:

– Look for reputable brands with gluten-free labels and certifications

– Call or email manufacturers if uncertain about ingredients or processes

– Purchase plain flavors like chocolate, vanilla or strawberry which are less likely to have gluten

– Avoid mochi with fillings that may contain cookies or wheat dusting

– Check that your local ice cream shops scoop certified gluten-free mochi brands

– Enjoy mochi ice cream immediately after opening the package

– Avoid mochi that is sold open air or in self-serve bins due to cross-contamination risk

With the growing popularity of mochi ice cream, there are more gluten-free options available. Being an informed consumer and looking for reputable brands can allow those sensitive to gluten to enjoy this unique frozen dessert.

Nutrition facts of mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream is a tasty frozen treat, but how does it compare nutritionally to regular ice cream? Here is a nutrition facts breakdown:

Nutrition Facts Mochi Ice Cream (1pc) Regular Ice Cream (1/2 cup)
Calories 80 137
Total Fat 2g 7g
Saturated Fat 1g 4.5g
Sodium 20mg 74mg
Total Carbohydrate 16g 18g
Sugar 11g 14g
Protein 1g 3g

As shown in the nutrition comparison, mochi ice cream is lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to regular ice cream. Mochi has about 80 calories per piece, while regular ice cream has 137 calories per 1/2 cup.

However, mochi ice cream is relatively high in carbohydrates. A single mochi ball contains 16g of carbs, mostly from the mochi rice dough. So people with diabetes should be mindful of portion sizes.

Overall, mochi ice cream can be a slightly healthier alternative to regular ice cream in moderation. The gluten-free mochi outer layer makes it accessible for people with food allergies when care is taken to select gluten-free certified products.

Where to buy mochi ice cream

Here are some places where you can find and purchase mochi ice cream:

Grocery Stores

Mochi ice cream is popping up in the freezer aisles of mainstream grocery retailers like Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, etc. Major national brands like My/Mo Mochi and Mikawaya are commonly stocked. Check the labels for gluten-free certifications if needed.

Asian Grocery Stores

Local Asian supermarkets will have a large selection of mochi ice cream, including both major brands and smaller producers. Flavors like mango, green tea, and red bean are commonly found. These stores also sell individual mochi balls if you want to try a variety.


Mochi ice cream can be ordered online directly from brands like My/Mo Mochi, Mikawaya, and Daifuku. Amazon also carries select flavors. Purchasing online allows you to compare ingredients and certifications easily. Check shipping costs and delivery times.

Japanese or Asian Restaurants

Some Japanese, Thai, and Hawaiian restaurants serve mochi ice cream for dessert. The chewy mochi paired with frozen ice cream makes for a unique sweet treat after a meal. Ask your server if they have gluten-free options.

Specialty Ice Cream Shops

Gourmet ice cream and frozen yogurt shops are starting to offer mochi on their menus. These are fun spots to try flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough or rocky road encapsulated in soft mochi. Check the ingredients since toppings may contain gluten.

With mochi ice cream gaining popularity nationwide, there are more ways to get your hands on this tasty frozen dessert. Be sure to check labels for gluten certifications if needed.

How to make mochi ice cream at home

Want to try making your own mochi ice cream at home? Here is a simple recipe and directions:


For Mochi Dough:
– 1 cup mochiko (sweet rice flour)
– 1⁄2 cup sugar
– 1⁄2 cup water
– Cornstarch for dusting

For Ice Cream Filling:
– 1 cup high quality ice cream, slightly softened


1. Make the mochi dough. In a saucepan, combine the mochiko, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until thickened to a dough, about 6 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Dust a work surface with cornstarch. Place warm mochi dough on surface and dust hands with cornstarch. Knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

3. Scoop and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Press thumb into each ball to create an indentation.

4. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of softened ice cream into the mochi indentations, filling them completely.

5. Pinch and seal the dough over the ice cream, rolling gently between hands to encase the ice cream.

6. Repeat with remaining dough and ice cream. Dust finished mochi with cornstarch to prevent sticking.

7. Place filled mochi balls on a baking sheet and freeze for 2-3 hours until hardened.

8. Serve frozen mochi ice cream immediately or store frozen up to 2 weeks.

Making your own mochi is a fun weekend project. The soft, homemade mochi dough pairs deliciously with your favorite ice cream flavors. Feel free to get creative with different ice cream flavors and mix-in’s!

Common questions about mochi ice cream

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about mochi ice cream:

Is mochi ice cream gluten free?

The mochi dough itself is naturally gluten-free, being made from rice. However, the entire product may not be gluten-free depending on manufacturing processes and ingredients in the ice cream filling, such as cookies or wheat dusting powders. Check labels and certifications if avoiding gluten.

How many calories in mochi ice cream?

On average, one piece of mochi ice cream contains around 80 calories. For comparison, 1⁄2 cup of regular ice cream has about 137 calories. So mochi ice cream is a lighter alternative when watching calories.

Is mochi ice cream vegan?

Some mochi ice cream varieties are dairy-free and vegan, containing no animal products. Brands like Bubbies Mochi and Sun java offer vegan flavors like chocolate, coconut, and pineapple. However, most standard mochi ice creams are not vegan because they contain milk/cream as the ice cream ingredient.

Can you freeze mochi ice cream?

There is no need to freeze mochi ice cream. Mochi is purchased already frozen solid and should be kept frozen until ready to eat. Storing mochi ice cream in the freezer preserves the soft, chewy mochi texture and creamy ice cream filling.

Can you refreeze mochi ice cream?

If mochi ice cream partially thaws during transport or after opening, it is safe to refreeze. For best texture, do not allow it to thaw completely. Refreeze mochi in original packaging or tightly wrapped to prevent ice crystals. Eat within 2 weeks after refreezing.


Mochi ice cream is increasing in availability, providing a tasty gluten-free dessert option made from chewy rice dough encasing ice cream. Plain ice cream flavors likely do not contain gluten, but always check labels for certification or wheat-based ingredients if highly sensitive. For homemade mochi, use high quality gluten-free ice creams to control the ingredients. Store bought or homemade, mochi ice cream is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

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