How to Make Mitarashi Dango


Sweet, yet savory, mitarashi dango is a traditional Japanese dumpling that is boiled and grilled. These rice flour dumplings are served on bamboo skewers with a warm, sweetened soy sauce. In Japan this snack is served at tea houses, temples and as street food. Correct preparation requires the use of two specific types of Japanese rice flours, which give the dumplings a smooth, light texture. The flours can be found at Asian grocers or specialty shops or in the gluten-free section of supermarkets. The texture of the sweet and sour sauce gets thicker the longer it cooks.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup jyoshinko non-glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup mochiko glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • Wooden mixing spoon or spatula
  • 10 to 14 bamboo skewers
  • Large plastic container
  • Medium sauce pot of salted water
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cooling rack
  • Kitchen sifter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Preheated charcoal or gas grill
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Japanese mirin sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • Small saucepan
  • Small bowl
  • Small kitchen spoon
  • Serving tray
  • Soak the bamboo skewers in a large container of cold water and set aside. Sift both flours and 1 tbsp. cornstarch together into a mixing bowl. Make a depression in the middle of the flour mixture and add about 3/4 cup of hot water to the bowl.

  • Stir the mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon, adding more water if necessary, until a soft, non-sticky, dough forms. Turn the dough onto a smooth, clean work surface and knead it until it's smooth.

  • Set a large bowl of cold water near the stove. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll about 30 1 1/2 inch balls. Drop six to eight balls at a time into a pot of boiling salted water, keeping them separated with a slotted spoon.

  • Boil the dumplings for three to four minutes until they float to the surface. Scoop the balls out of the pot with a slotted spoon and drop them immediately into the cold water.

  • Cool the dumplings in the cold water for about two minutes, then remove them to a rack to dry. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all the dumplings are finished.

  • Thread three to five dumplings on a soaked bamboo skewer and twist some aluminum foil onto the ends to prevent burning. Grill the skewered dumplings, turning them often until they're lightly browned. Lay the grilled, skewered dumplings on a serving platter to cool.

  • Stir 1 tbsp. cornstarch in 1/2 cup of cold water with a small spoon or whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set a small saucepan over medium heat and add the cornstarch/water mixture, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. mirin sauce and 1 tsp. rice vinegar.

  • Stir the sauce with a small spoon until the mixture thickens. Spoon the warm sauce over the grilled, skewered dumplings on a large serving tray or individual plates.

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