Mitarashi Dango is a variety of sweet Japanese dango dumplings. I guarantee you, that this mitarashi dango is as delicious as the one the famous Kamo mitarashi tea house serves. So here is my easy dango recipe using silken tofu.
What is Mitarashi Dango?
Mitarashi dango is a type of Japanese sweet. Its main ingredients are glutinous rice flour and sweet soy sauce glaze. The name of dango “Mitarashi” is said to be derived from water bubbles of “Mitarashi” where you purify your hands with water at the entrance of shrine. The dango are used as an offering to a god at the Mitarashi festival held at the Shimogamo shrine every year.
How to make Chewy “MochiMochi” textured dango ?
So let me share my secret for making a chewy mochimochi textured dango. Ready? It’s Tofu! Adding silken tofu to the flour instead of adding and mixing with cold water or boiling water. The secret is not cold or boiling water, but adding Tofu! There is another benefit as well. It adds more protein and gives the dango a chewy texture which often described with an onomatopoeia “mochimochi” that Japanese love!
Silken or firm tofu? And what can be replaced?
Both silken or firm tofu works, however, I recommend using silken tofu for a smooth chewy texture. If you can not get tofu for whatever reason, you can replace it simply with water. The amount of water should be about 90% of the flour weight. You should aim for a dough firmness similar to your ear lobe. So do not add tofu or water all in one go. Rather add the tofu or water gradually, watching the consistency of the dough.
How to cook dango?
It is super easy too. Simply drop the dangos into boiling water. When cooked they float up to the top of the water. Then scoop them with a sieve and place the cooked dango into a bowl of cold water.
3, 4, or 5 on skewers? How many should be on a skewer?
It is traditionally 5. It originated from an anecdote when Emperor Godaigo washed his hands at Mitarashi. One big water bubble came out followed by four more water bubbles. Personally, when you you make Mitarashi dango at home, I don’t think the number matters. I bought the short skewers from a local supermarket and thought it is really cute to have just 3 on them.
What types of flour do I use for mitarashi dango?
This time, I bought a rice flour (more like granule?) called “Shiratamako” from a local Japanese grocery store. Also I often use rice flour that you can get from the supermarket international isle. The rice flour is a product of Thailand. There are red, blue and green writing packets. Make sure you get the green one.
Grill, fry or blow torch?
It depends what you have. Using a non-stick frying pan will be the easiest, though be careful not to burn your finger when you flip the dango skewers. Also you don’t need oil. I like the burnt mark made by a blow torch. It looks nicer but not much different in taste.
Can you freeze Mitarashi Dango?
Mitarashi dango lose their chewy texture and harden fairly quickly. Therefore they are better consumed on the day made. But you can also freeze mitarashi dango if you follow these steps. Wrap them individually with cling wrap and then put them in a ziplock bag. They will keep for about 3-4 weeks in a freezer. It is the best to thaw them naturally at room temperature, and this takes about 30-60 minutes.
Mitarashi dango is Japanese favourite snack or treat. It tastes amazing served warm or cold with sweet and salty mitarashi sauce.
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- 150 g silken tofu *1
- 100 g Shiratamako *2
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs mirin
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs potato starch
- 80 ml water
- To make the Mitarashi sauce, place all ingredients for the mitarashi syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spatula until the syrup becomes thick and clear. Set aside the sauce
- Place the rice flour and silken tofu in a large bowl and mix well until it forms a dough.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portion.
- Roll each dough into long cylinder shape and cut into 6 each.
- Roll each dough into small round ball shape.
- Boil some water in a pot or sauce pan and add the dango balls.
- Once the dango raises to the surface of the water, scoop them out and put them into a bowl of cold water.
- Thread 3 balls each onto a skewer.
- Char or grill the surface of the balls on a frying pan then set aside. *3
- Roll the skewers in the syrup to serve.