This isn’t a Japanese food onomatopoeia post, but it’s trying to trick me into being one. They’ve infiltrated my brain I tell you, I need succour! You mightn’t think that onomatopoeia could infiltrate a brain but I’m living proof – it’s like Swiss cheese in there from where the onomatopoeia worms have feasted and taken up residence (speaking of which, I’ve also been fretting about whether the audio file on the last post is too small to notice, what do you think?)
I wanted to talk about these round balls of chewy, cheesy bread – which also happen to be gluten-free since they use tapioca flour – from Brazil but the worms, they beat a tattoo in my head that says “mochi mochi, mochi mochi, mochi mochi.”
And mochi mochi they are – a combination of chewy and pillowy that is so moreish I ate an entire tray one afternoon when I was at home alone for lunch and dinner.
According to my Brazilian neighbour, who, when I brought them up at first couldn’t understand what I was saying and then laughed at my mangling of the name, pao de queijo are a snack food that are often bought rather than made at home, but they’re simplicity itself to make.
I think they’re delightful just as a snack but can imagine they’d be a nice accompaniment to something like stew where you could dip and eat as you would with any other kind of bread.
Got any brain worms at the moment?
Pao De Queijo
I used a bit of chilli for kick but I don’t think this is traditional – I can recommend it though.
Makes about 12.
60 ml (1/4 cup) plain flavoured oil (I used canola)
40 ml (2 1/2 tablespoons) water
40 ml (2 1/2 tablespoons) milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
110 grams (1 scant cup) tapioca flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic
30 grams (about 1/3 cup when grated) finely grated parmesan
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 beaten egg
Preheat the oven to 190 celsius (375 fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with paper.
Pour the oil, water, milk and salt into a small pot and bring to the boil.
Remove immediately from heat and stir the flour and garlic in until smooth-ish, allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Stir in the eggs, cheese and chilli, if using.
Place roughly golf ball size dollops (they won’t really be round, don’t worry) onto the baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and serve warm.