These mitarashi dango are made from soft and chewy mochi balls, grilled for a smokey flavor and brushed in a sweet and salty soy glaze
What is mitarashi dango?
Mitarashi dango is a traditional Japanese sweet, aka wagashi, made with 3-5 rice dumplings skewered on a skewer covered with a sweet and salty soy glaze.
They are known for that sweet and savory flavor with a slight char from being grilled.
There are also heaps of other kinds of dango ranging from ones covered in anko aka red bean paste, to ones rolled in sesame seeds.
You can find these outside shrines being sold by street vendors, in tea houses, or even in convenience stores!
What is the difference between mochi and dango?
Mochi and dango are very similar, however, there are a few differences.
Mochi is typically made from steamed and pounded glutinous short-grain rice. On the other hand, dango is made from shiratamako. The shiratamako is typically mixed with water, rolled into balls, and boiled to form these rice dumplings.
Both have a similar flavor and bouncy texture, but are served very differently! Dango is almost always served on a stick, while mochi is typically served as it is, or with different kinds of fillings.
- Shiratamako: This kind of glutinous rice flour that can be found in Asian or Japanese groceries. The granules are much larger than regular glutinous rice flour. If you can't find this you can also use regular glutinous rice flour, but the texture won't be as soft.
- Silken tofu: Tofu acts as the water in this dough, as well as giving the resulting dango a softer texture.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce gives the sauce that salty umami flavor. You can add more if you want a more savory dango.
- Mirin: Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine, this is optional if you don't have it available.
- Granulated sugar: This gives it a sweet flavor, you can add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want it.
- Water: Water helps to thin out the sauce and make it nice and glossy
- Potato starch: Potato starch is needed to thicken the sauce. If you don't have potato starch cornstarch works just as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do these last?
If you are grilling these, they are best eaten straight away as they will be warm and slightly crispy.
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for a day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you're storing them in the fridge make sure you heat them up in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through before eating.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes, you can! You can make the balls, boil them and skewer them beforehand. You can also make the sauce beforehand too. When you are ready to serve just grill the dango and lightly heat up the sauce.
I can't find shiratamako, can I use regular glutinous rice flour?
Yes, you can! Shiratamako can be slightly harder to find than glutinous rice flour.
I found mine in my local Japanese grocery, but you can also find them at Asian grocery stores. If you can't find any you can also use mochiko or regular glutinous rice flour. It will work the same, but the texture will be slightly different. Regular glutinous rice flour is chewier and bouncier than shiratamako.
Traditionally dango uses a mix of shiratamako and joshinko, but I find joshinko even harder to find so I've left it out in this recipe.
Are these sweet or savoury?
These are middle ground between sweet and salty. If you prefer a sweeter dango you can add more sugar, and if you like a saltier dango you can add more soy sauce. Just adjust it to your taste.
Is mitarashi dango eaten hot or cold?
You can eat dango both cold and hot! When dango is hot the rice dumplings are softer, and when cold they are firmer and chewier.
Can I grill these in a frypan?
Yes, you can! I grilled these on a charcoal grill because I had one, but you can use a frypan greased with a little neutral oil too! Just pan-fry the dango, flipping occasionally, until lightly charred.
Or you can use a kitchen torch to give them a quick char!
Let's get Cooking!
This sweet and salty treat is a must-have during the spring-time snack in Japan, if you haven't tried these you won't regret giving these a go!
If you liked this recipe make sure to leave me a comment and rating down below, I would love to know how you went.
Also, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @catherine.desserts and hashtag #cattycakes so I can see and share your desserts. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and TikTok for more of my baking creations and updates! Until next time... happy caking!Print
These mitarashi dango are made from soft and chewy mochi balls, grilled for a smokey flavor and brushed in a sweet and salty soy glaze.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 Sticks 1x
- Category: Mochi
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 100g Shiratamako
- 150g Silken tofu
Sweet Soy Sauce Glaze
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 60ml Water (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp Potato starch or corn starch
- Combine the tofu and shiratamako in a large bowl and knead with your hands until it forms a smooth dough
- Divide the dough in half and roll it into 2 logs
- Cut each log into 12 equal pieces
- Roll each piece into a ball
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil
- Prepare a large bowl of iced water
- Add the dango to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, or until they float to the surface of the water
- Remove the dango from the pot with a slotted spoon, drain and place it directly in the bowl of iced water
Sweet Soy Glaze
- Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth
- Heat the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly
- Prepare 8 wooden skewers
- Skewer three dango balls onto each skewer
- Optional: Grill the dango until lightly charred
- Brush the dango in the mitarashi sauce and enjoy!
Keywords: dango, mochi, mochiko, Japan, cherry blossom