Rinse the mochi sticky rice and presoak overnight (at least for 5 hours).
The following day, drain it in a fine mesh sieve.
Add water into the rice cooker bowl up to the specified level for mochi sticky rice. Add a little less water since the seasonings will be added too.
Add the ★ ingredients. The flavoring is typically Korean (rich), so reduce the amount of the ingredients for a milder version.
While the flavors are being absorbed, prepare a bowl or a container to mix the ingredients. It is common to add chestnuts, pine nuts, and jujubes, but you could also use dried fruit and nuts.
Dry roast the pine nuts in a frying pan.
Cut the chestnuts in half, then remove them from their shells. It is easy to peel the chestnuts if you first cut them in half with a knife, make a small cut with scissors, then peel. Remove the inner skins, too.
Add the dried fruit of your choice to the rice cooker and mix them into the rice. Top the mixture with the chestnuts and the pine nuts. Set the rice cooker to the "mochi rice" setting and cook.
Let the rice steam a bit. It should look like this when mixed.
Pack the sweet mochi rice into a container or cake pan (to make it easier to serve).
Cut the sweet mochi rice into desired sizes, then serve.
If you don't plan to serve it right away, cover it with plastic wrap and freeze. Defrost at room temperature before serving.
Story Behind this Recipe
My husband is from Korea. When he called his family in Korea and heard that they had "the medicinal cuisine (sweet mochi rice)" during Obon, he said that he also wants to eat it. So, I decided to make this for him.
You could use brown sugar instead as a sweetener. In Korea, you can also buy a sweeter and oilier version of this. This recipe for the rice may also be a bit oily for Japanese people, so I suggest reducing the sesame oil to 1 to 1.5 tablespoons. Reducing the amount of salt might also be good.