Dango recipe

Today was the day of dango. We had all the ingredients to make it in our cupboards from a previous dango experiment although I might have thrown away the piece of paper with the various recipes we tried and blind tasted…

We remembered the website that we used previously and it was only once all the dry ingredients were put together with the water that we realised we were following the recipe for the dango which previously scored the lowest and actually needed a recipe with silken tofu. I wanted to start again however James decided it was better to correct our mistake by improvising so in went some tofu and then extra glutinous rice flour. In the end, our recipe ended up being:

For the dango:

  • 100g rice flour
  • 100g + 60g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp katakuriko
  • 100g silken tofu
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 150ml warm water
  • 7 bamboo skewers

For the green tea sauce:

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 30g sugar
  • 30ml water

If you’re familiar with dango then you’ll notice that we have substituted some of the ingredients from proper Japanese recipes as Japanese flour is quite expensive and the flour from a Chinese supermarket is about a quarter of the price (from our previous experiment we found that the Japanese flour did produce a slightly better dango however the small increase in enjoyment wasn’t worth the large price increase).

The rice flour should be joshinko, the glutinous rice flour should be shiratamako, and we included the katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) as we understand the shiratamako is a mixture of mochiko (a type of glutinous rice flour) and potato starch.

On top of that, the traditional sauce is mitarashi (a combination of sweet and salty which I’m not too keen on) but we tried one with green tea sauce on the Philosopher’s walk (in Kyoto) and it was the best dango ever so we’ve tried to recreate it ourselves.

The ingredients for dango, it should include silken tofu which we only realised once we started making it. The matcha was from our travels and we will be sad when it runs out.
The ingredients for dango, the picture should include silken tofu however we only realised after we started making it. The matcha was from our travels and we will be sad when it runs out.

The process for this non-authentic dango is simple:

  1. Mix all the dango ingredients together in a large bowl
  2. Knead until you get the consistency of your earlobe
  3. Roll into balls, we made medium sized balls which were 25g each
  4. Put the dango into a bath of boiling water and wait for them to float for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a cold water bath
  5. Grill them at 150 degrees celsius for 5 minutes, turn them over and grill the other side for another 5 minutes and then take out of the oven
  6.  Whilst the grilling is going on, make the green tea sauce by mixing all the ingredients together and heating on a low heat on the job until its a nice thick sauce consistency (don’t leave it on a too high heat for too long otherwise it caramalises and you’ll have to try and save it by adding hot water…)
  7. Drizzle the green tea sauce on top and it’s ready to eat
Dango making in action, notice that James is using the claw action to mix everything together as he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.
Dango making in action, notice that James is using the claw action to mix everything together as he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.
Dango ready for its bath, James particularly enjoyed using the slotted spoon which is essential for this process.
Dango ready for its bath, James particularly enjoyed using the slotted spoon which is essential for this process.
The finished product with green tea sauce.
The finished product with green tea sauce.

We will make this again and next time we’ll omit the rice flour and water, we’ll get the sauce to the right consistency and may adjust the grill technique to hopefully get an even better dango.

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Matcha cookies

Delicious cookies, with a matcha twist.
Delicious cookies, with a matcha twist.

I am always on the lookout for a good cookie recipe and although it doesn’t compare to my favorite super chocolate brownie cookies, it has always been tasty. I am a big fan of crisp crunchy outsides with a chewy (but not doughy) centre.

I like cookies and I like matcha … why not both?

Ingredients

  • 350g sifted plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 225g butter

  • 175g caster sugar

  • 175g soft brown sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 350g dark/white chocolate, sliced into little cubes

  • 2 tsp matcha powder

I normally prefer dark chocolate but if you want to really taste the matcha you can go with something less overpowering like white chocolate (make sure you get something decent).

How to bake this deliciousness:

  1. Whack that oven up to 180 C (375 F for you non metric lovers)
  2. Cream the butter and both sugar together, keep at it until it becomes smooth it is hard work but worth the effort. Drizzle the vanilla extract and mix in the eggs.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, matcha and salt into another bowl.
  4. Fold the flour mixture gently into the creamed butter.
  5. Mix in the tiny cubes of chocolate.
  6. Spoon out the stiff sticky mixture onto some clingfilm and roll it up into a delicious sausage shape, aim for a diameter of about 5cm. The cookies will spread to about twice the this size.
  7. Put the cookie sausages into the fridge.
  8. Resist the urge to take them out for minimum one hour!
  9. Slice them into little disks of about 1cm thickness and put onto baking paper on a tray into the oven.
  10. Wait 11 mins, do not be tempted by the delicious smells coming from the oven.
  11. When the edge of the cookie starts to brown whip them out onto a cooling rack, you don’t want all your hard work to go soggy.
  12. Enjoy!
Plonk them on a cooling rack straight away to keep them crispy.
Plonk them on a cooling rack straight away to keep them crispy.