You just need the confidence to work with a dough that is unfathomably stretchy and sticky. Dust your hands generously with cornflour and work quickly and assertively. And don’t worry if they look a little wonky – they will still taste amazing.
Mochi (as they call them in Japan) have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and are now widely available filled with ice cream, but when I was growing up I knew them as lo mai chi (in Cantonese) – sticky balls filled with either red bean paste or peanuts with coconut. They were, and still are, one of my favourite desserts from the sweets trolley at yum cha.