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Being half Japanese, I have a soft spot for snacks like this that remind me of my childhood. If you’ve never had dango, they’re little rice dumplings – kind of similar in texture to mochi, but prepared very differently – and mitarashi dango are covered in a thick, sweet, and salty sauce that’s SO good. They’re especially good when you eat them freshly made since they’re still warm, gooey, and chewy in the best ways possible. And the best part is they’re unbelievably easy to make! So if you’ve found your way here because you were wondering what these little balls are, or if you’re on a mission to figure out how to make dango, we’ve got you covered!
To start off, you’ll need a few things, but luckily dango doesn’t require any special equipment that you wouldn’t probably already have at home except for maybe the skewers. You’ll need a small sauce pan, a small/medium-sized pot, a wooden or silicon spatula, a medium-sized mixing bowl, and 6 small wooden skewers.
Here is the equipment we have and recommend on Amazon:
- GreenPan Lima Hard Anodized Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 1QT and 2QT Saucepan Pot Set (1QT for sauce, 2QT for boiling the dango)
- DI ORO Seamless Series 3 Piece Silicone Spatula Set
- KitchenAid Classic Mixing Bowls, Set of 3
- Kitchen Torch With Butane included
- 6 Inch Bamboo Skewers, 100 count
The ingredients may be a little harder to find if you don’t have a Japanese or more general Asian market nearby, but you can still find pretty much everything online.
Here are our recommended ingredients on Amazon:
- Shiratamako (Rice Flour)
- Mori-Nu Silken Soft Tofu — 12 oz
- Kikkoman Traditionally Brewed Soy Sauce, 1 Gallon
- Kikkoman Manjo Aji Mirin
- JFC Katakuriko Potato Starch, 12 Ounce
Pro Tip: The silken tofu is the secret behind making the mitarashi dango super soft and chewy. You CAN get firmer tofu, but for the absolute best results you should really try to find the soft silken tofu! As of writing this, you can order it through Amazon at the link above, so check there, first, if you don’t have a Japanese market close by.
Mitarashi Dango Recipe – How to Make Mitarashi Dango
- 1 Small Sauce Pan
- 1 Silicon or Wooden Spatula
- 1 Small/Medium-sized Pot
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Kitchen Blowtorch + Butane Or another pan
- 1 tbs Soy Sauce
- 1 tbs Mirin
- 1 tbs Potato Starch
- 2 tbs Sugar
- 0.5 cups Water
- 5.5 oz Silken Tofu
- 1 cup Shiratamako
- 6 Bamboo Skewers
- Place all the sauce ingredients into the sauce pan on medium heat and stir with your spatula until the mixture thickens and has a glossy look to it, and then set it off to the side.
- Mix the shiratamako with the silken tofu in a medium sized mixing bowl until it forms a soft dough.
- Cut the dough into four parts, and roll each into long cylinder-shaped pieces.
- Cut each cylinder into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball in your hands.
- Heat some water in a small/medium pot to a boil and dump the dough pieces in
- When the dough pieces float to the surface of the water, that's when you know they're ready to take out, so at that point, remove them and put them on a plate.
- Put 4 pieces on each skewer.
- If you have a kitchen blowtorch, I'd recommend using that to lightly brown the outside of the dango, but if you don't have one, you can lightly sear them in a pan.
- Depending on how thick the sauce winds up being, you can either pour it on top of the skewers, or if it's not moving, simply roll the dango over the sauce to coat them.
- Serve 'em up!
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