5 Things about Dango: Japan Confectionery

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Japanese Dango
Source: Vegan Feast Catering

Dango is a popular Japan confectionery made with sweetened rice flour, related to mochi, and often skewered onto bamboo sticks. It’s basically a sweet dumpling, ideally served with green tea. This chewy delight is consumed all-year-round, but a few different varieties are consumed in specific seasons. One of the Japan’s favorite and traditional sweet snacks, this mochi-like confection is fun to eat and tastes good as well.

1. Mitarashi Dango

Mitarashi Dango
Source: Charles Kim

It’s a type of dango skewered into sticks and coated with sweet soy sauce, which is called mitarashi. This caramel colored sauce with a glassy glaze tastes sweet and salty at the same time. It’s believed to be originated from Kyoto in the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House, and is supposedly named after the bubbles of the mitarashi.

2. Tri-Color Sweet Dumplings

Tri-Color Dango
Source: crayonmonkey

Tri-color sweet mochi dumplings are an ideal sweet for the moon viewing festival. This delicious dango treat is made with sweetened rice flour, shiratama, sugar and water, mixed well and molded into colorful bite-size balls skewered into a stick for a finishing touch.

3. Dango with Anko

Anko Dango
Source: Katorisi

Sweet red bean paste known as anko, is sometimes flavored with these amazingly soft rice flour dumplings, to add a particular exotic flavor to this traditional sweet. Anko is mostly savored in Chinese cuisine, Korean cuisine and Japanese confectioneries. This is not only one of the delicious but also the simplest dango to make in Japan.

4. Types of Flour

Sweet Rice Flour
Source: Andrea Nguyen

Dango dumplings can be made with different types of flour like Shiratamako and Mochiko, both of which are made from sweet rice. Mochiko is basically a glutinous rice flour, mostly used for all kinds of mochi-based confectioneries in Japan.  Shiratamako is also a type of glutinous rice flour but with a slightly different texture.

5. Ways to Eat Dango

Source: Katorisi

This sweet dumpling in its basic form doesn’t have much of the flavor alone, but when used with sweet red bean paste, or dipped in Kinako with sugar or Kuromitsu, only adds to this exotic delight. It can be grilled and poured on mitarashi soy sauce, or can be used as toppings on shaved ice for a slightly different dango experience. It can be served with warm red bean soup, to beat the cold nights during the winters. Well, there are a dozen of combinations to savor this delicious desert in all seasons.

Simple yet delicious, the sweet dango dumplings are just perfect for all season, and sky is the limit, when it comes to the different ways of eating them. It’s definitely a people’s favorite in Japan.

Have a good trip and travel! 

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Asia, Japan