We love getting care packages and gifts from our Hawaii family. This time our Big Island fam, the Gaughen’s, brought us an assortment of mochi and manju from Two Ladies Kitchen, Hilo. We took the boxed assortment to one of our favorite local coffee shops, Ironsmith Coffee in Encinitas, and sampled all the flavors with a little bit of black coffee and tea. We found that plain coffee with no cream, and tea with no sweetener, paired best with the mochi. This allowed us to taste the mochi, not being over powered by the beverage we were drinking. This is what our friend, Kiaka Gaughen, had to say about Two Ladies Kitchen…
“Two Ladies Kitchen is our families favorite mochi shop in Hawaii. Every time our Oahu ohana visits us in Waimea, we have to drive the 56 mile trek to the little shop on Kilauea Ave in Hilo. It takes us 1 hour and 16 mins to get there, but it’s all worth it when you bite into one of their many varieties of mochi. Our favorites are the strawberry mochi and the brownie mochi. You must try this Hawaii mochi shop! To save time, I recommend you call in your order so it’s ready to for a quick pick up. They do run out of the favorites fast, so pre-order if you can. Love that mochi!”
Assorted mochi paired with Finca El Apostol Costa Rica.
Baby mochi, liliko’i and chi chi (coconut) mochi paired with a Coconut Creme White Tea.
Shiso (Koshi) filled with sweet bean paste. (Sorry Filipino homies, this is not ube… but that sounds ono though!)
Azuki bean filled mochi. One of my faves.
If you don’t like the sweet bean fillings, there are also other fillings like these chocolate surprise baby mochi. I’m not sure, but I think this was a cookies n cream type filling. Either way it was super good!
There is also everybody’s favorite, the brownie filled mochi. This was a winnah! We couldn’t try the strawberry mochi (fresh strawberries inside) because it wouldn’t have traveled well, but we are going to for sure try them when on Big Island.
Last there is Manju, which is a pancake-ish type batter filled with things like azuki bean. This particular one was filled with cream cheese and strawberry jam.
I grew up with “MOCHIKO” flour in my cupboards at all times. My mom would make mochiko chicken, butter mochi, and lots of Filipino desserts that used mochiko. I also love to top my shave ice and frozen yogurt with mochi. I’ve been eating mochi my whole life, but I am by no means an expert in Japanese mochi, so sampling all these mochi varieties was fun and I learned a lot when researching the different names and types of mochi. Mahalo to the Gaughen ohana for the gift and thank you to Two Ladies Kitchen for sharing their craft and passion with those that are fortunate enough to be on the Big Island and stop by. I have never been, but I can tell that this is one of those destination places that I will end up at sooner than later. If you make a trip out to da “big Big Island”, make sure you stop by and grab some mochi and manju in Hilo!
Two Ladies Kitchen
274 Kilauea Ave.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720