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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