These rice dumplings covered with an irresistible soy-based sweet sauce are known as mitarashi dango. Since I tried them in Japan, they are one of my favourite Japanese sweets and the best part is that they are very easy to prepare.
Mitarashi Dango Origin
This sweet has its origins in a small teahouse established in 1922 called Kamo Mitarashi, located in front of Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto. The shrine’s pond, called Mitarashi, is said to be the inspiration for the creation of this sweet.
As time went by, street vendors in Kyoto started selling dango as a snack, and it became very popular among the many visitors.
Today, such is its popularity that you will find mitarashi dango in supermarkets, konbini and speciality shops.
How to make mitarashi dango
This recipe calls for two types of rice flour. Both can be found in shops specializing in Japanese products and/or online.
The second, shiratamako, is made from glutinous rice and produces a silky, chewy dough. This is the flour we have used before to make mochis.
This sweet and savoury sauce is a real treat when used to accompany dango. The best part is that it can be prepared in a matter of minutes. If you want to change things up a bit, you can also serve dango with anko.
The final touch
Once you have the dango ready, you can grill it on a previously greased barbecue to give it that grilled flavour and take it to the next level. If you don’t have a barbecue or are looking for a quicker option, you can do what we often do at home, use a kitchen blowtorch.
How to make Mitarashi Dango (Video)
- 50 g joshinko
- 50 g shiratamako
- 80 ml water, hot
- Combine the shiratamako and joshinko in a bowl.
- Add the hot water little by little while stirring with the chopsticks.
- The flours will start to stick together and form lumps. Using your hands, knead until the dough is smooth.
- Divide the dough into 9 equal-sized portions.
- Prepare a bowl with ice cold water
- Add the balls to a pot of boiling water, stirring to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- At first, the dumplings will sink and, once they are cooked, they will float. When they start to float, let them cook for a couple of minutes more.
- Remove the balls and pour them into the bowl with ice water.
- While the dumplings are cooling down, prepare the sauce.
- Heat the pan and stir constantly.
- As soon as the sauce thickens, remove from the heat and pour the sauce into a bowl.
- When the dumplings have cooled, place 3 to 5 balls on a skewer.
- To give it an extra touch, we can brown the dango skewers that we have prepared on the barbecue, making sure to place a piece of paper with a little oil on the grill to prevent them from sticking. Another option is to use a kitchen blowtorch.
- Finally, just pour the sauce on top and enjoy.