Mitarashi Dango

Posted January 7th, 2011 in Food 6 Comments »

Dango is one of my favorite Japanese sweets!  I love the chewy texture.  Sanshoku-dango (three-color-dango) and mitarashi-dango are must item for me for 3PM tea time, and always get one or two while I’m in Japan.

Dango is made from rice flour, but there are actually few kinds of rice flour in Japan, called dangoko, joshinko and shiratamako.  It’s bit confusing and many people don’t know if there are any differences between them.  They are all made from rice.  Differences are the process of making each flour and also a kind of rice.  Dangoko is made from a combination of mochi rice and uruchi rice. Joshinko is made from uruchi rice.  Shiratamako is made from white mochi rice.  Dango made from dangoko are chewer than those made from joshinko or shiratamako.  Shiratamako gives soft texture and chewiness to dango and it doesn’t go hard when it’s cold.  Joshinko is mainly used to make most kinds of Japanese sweets (eg: mitarashi-dango, kashiwa-mochi etc)

I happened to have joshinko at home, and made mitarashi-dango using a recipe from my grandma!

<Mitarashi Dango> makes about 15

  • 70g joshin-ko or rice flour
  • 35g corn flour
  • 10g sugar
  • 170cc water
  • 40g brawn sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 10ml soy sauce
  • 10g corn flour + water

  1. To make dango, blend all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and mix until smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in a sauce pan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thicken and the color is almost transparent.  Remove from the heat, and cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a steamer.  Start boiling water, and line baking sheet on the bottom of the steamer tray.
  4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape into small balls by hands.  You can use corn flour if the mixture keeps sticking to your hands.
  5. Arrange the dango on the baking sheet, and steam for 20 minutes.
  6. To make sauce: place water, sugar and soy sauce in a small sauce pan, and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Mix corn flour with 1 tbs water.  Gradually add the cornflour mixture into the sugar water, stirling constantly, to thicken the sauce.
  8. Pour the sauce over dango and serve.  If you like better flavour, grill dango slightly and caramelize the sauce over the heat.

6 Comments on “Mitarashi Dango”

  1. 1 Carrie said at 11:34 am on May 27th, 2011:

    Can you refrigorate this dango? and will it turn hard?

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 8:14 pm on May 27th, 2011:

    Hi Carrie,

    You can refrigerate this but it will go hard. You can warm up in the microwave though.

  3. 3 carrie said at 6:32 am on May 28th, 2011:

    Lol hi agaiin
    i seen lots of people atjapantown
    eat dango cold. And they sell it cold at the supermarkets
    so would u know how to turn the dango cold without it harderning? Thanks!!!

  4. 4 umepontarou said at 7:23 am on May 28th, 2011:


    If you use Shiratama-ko when you make dango it will be softer, compared with this recipe.
    It will still go hard though when stored in the fridge for more than 2 days. People in Japan usually eat dango at room temperature, not cold.

  5. 5 maddy said at 3:46 pm on May 31st, 2011:

    hello 🙂
    im just learning about cooking things to put in my bento box for a friends birthday,
    and i noticed that you can make coloured ones…
    would you be able to give me the recipe for the coloured dango? if you can , that will be awsome 🙂 x

  6. 6 umepontarou said at 8:06 pm on May 31st, 2011:


    Here is the recipe I found quite easy:

    Shiratama-ko 200g
    Sugar 3 tbs
    Warm water 120cc
    Red coloring
    Matcha powder 1tsp

    1: Dissolve sugar into warm water, and mix shiratama-ko.  Knead well. If the mixture is too stiff, add mire water. The mixture should be as firm as your ear.

    2: Divide the mixture into 3.

    3: Mix red coloring to one of the divided mixture.

    4: Mix matcha powder with little amount of water, then mix with one of the divided mixture.

    5: Shape the mixture into balls.

    6: Bring a large pan of water to boil, and boil the dango until they float to the surface. Wait for another 1 minute, then remove from the water and blanch into a bowl of cold water.

    7: Drain, and arrange on skewers.

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