Mitarashi Dango: Sweet and Savory Mochi Dumplings

 mitarashi-dango-1

Whenever I visited Japan growing up and saw mitarashi dango (みたらし団子) being sold on the streets, I had to have them. I loved the chewiness of the dango (unfilled mochi dumplings), the char from the grill and the sweet and savory mitarashi sauce drizzled all over. Little did I know how easy it is to recreate this dish at home. Mochi has been on the rise over the last few years and if you are a mochi lover, you'll love this snack/dessert.

mitarashi-dango-glutinous-rice-flour

Most recipes will require flours only found in Japanese grocery stores or some silken tofu. Since Japanese grocery stores are not always accessible, I wanted to find a substitution that could be found in almost every Asian grocery store and was cost effective. My favorite solution is the glutinous rice flour that's usually sold for $0.99 a bag. It's a Thai brand that I've seen in every Chinese grocery store I've visited.

mitarashi-dango-dry-ingredients

First, mix your dry ingredients together.

mitarashi-dango-dough

Slowly mix in about 3/4 of the water into the dry ingredients. For the last 1/4, add 1 tbsp at a time as you knead to achieve a dough that comes together just enough. The dough should not be loose and should feel like your ear lobe.

mitarashi-dango-dough-balls

Next, roll the dough into small balls. The size is really up to you but I usually do a little less than an inch in diameter. If you have children, this would be a great thing to do together.

mitarashi-dango-dough-balls-in-ice-bath

Boil the balls of dough in a medium size pot until they're floating. Once they rise to the top, boil for an additional 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the dango and place them in a bowl filled with water and ice to immediately cool down and stop the cooking process.

mitarashi-dango-skewered

Skewer the dango and let them dry on a sheet rack. I did about 4 dangos to a skewer but use your judgment depending on the size of your dango and skewers (7" skewers used here).

mitarashi-dango-searing
Once the dango skewers are all dry, grill directly over open flame or in a smoking hot frying pan. If you're using open flame like I did, I suggest soaking the skewers for 30 minutes beforehand and being very careful.

Heat up the sauce ingredients in a small pot while continuously whisking until the sauce thickens. Brush the sauce over the dango skewers and serve immediately.

mitarashi-dango-2

Mitarashi Dango: Sweet and Savory Mochi Dumplings
 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 skewers
Ingredients
  • Dango
  • 200g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 180ml water
  • Mitarashi Sauce
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp potato starch
Instructions
  1. Mix the glutinous rice flour and sugar
  2. Slowly mix in about 3/4 of the water into the dry ingredients. For the last 1/4, add 1 tbsp at a time as you knead to achieve a dough that comes together but not loose (should feel like your ear lobe)
  3. Roll up the dough into small balls (about 1 inch in diameter or smaller)
  4. Boil the balls of dough in a medium size pot until they're floating. Boil for an additional 2 minutes
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the dango and place them in a bowl filled with water and ice to immediately cool down
  6. Skewer the dango and let them dry on a sheet rack
  7. Once dry, grill the dango directly over open flame or in a smoking hot frying pan
  8. Heat up the sauce ingredients in a small pot while continuously whisking until the sauce thickens
  9. Brush the sauce over the dango skewers and serve
 


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