A savory version of mochi sounds like perfection to us.

Alex Loh
May 28, 2020
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Trader Joe's

We can always count on Trader Joe's to brighten up our homes and kitchens. From their beloved peonies to their new summer salad mixes, Trader Joe's is constantly coming out with new treats. And this time, they've taken their creative energy and combined two of our favorite things—mochi and kung pao chicken—into one appetizer: Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls.

According to their website, the idea behind this appetizer was inspired by a recent visit to Tokyo where they discovered an "unforgettable savory mochi appetizer." This led to developing the new dish, which is described on Trader Joe's website as "spicy chicken in a crisp, chewy mochi rice wrapper." We've never seen a savory version of mochi before (usually mochi is used in desserts) and we just had to learn more about it.

After it's baked, the appetizer should have a crisp texture on the outside, which contrasts with the "soft, chewy texture of the mochi's interior," according to Trader Joe's. Inside the mochi is a mix of chicken, veggies—including cabbage, peppers and water chestnuts—and a sweet and spicy Kung Pao sauce. Each 9-ounce package costs just $3.99 and contains 7 to 8 mochi.

A three-piece serving contains 270 calories, 11 grams of fat (4 grams of which is saturated), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar (all of which is added), less than 1 gram of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

To make a satisfying meal of these tasty morsels, eat with some steamed edamame or a side of our Asian Tofu Salad.