Dango recipes you can make at home

Dango is a traditional and popular Japanese sweet dumpling. It has a spongy, chewy texture like mochi but is made from rice flour rather than steamed rice. There are many variations of this sweet treat to try like the traditional mitarashi dango or the refreshing matcha zenzai. Each as delicious as the other, you will want to taste them all, especially since they are all easy to make! The only tricky part may be finding the ingredients.

To make it easier for you, we’ve teamed up with the amazing Kokoro Care Packages to give away their “COOKING: “Amai” Care Package to one lucky Chopstick Chronicles reader! This box contains artisanal and locally sourced Japanese ingredients, including mochiko (rice flour) and matcha powder, so you’re ready to make delicious dango at home. The package also includes a detailed English brochure with recipes so you can make even more delicious Japanese desserts. Read below to find out how to participate!

1. Yomogi Dango

Yomogi dango served in a Japanese pottery bowl with adzuki bean paste and kinako powder with iced coffee

Yomogi (Japanese mugwort) is a common ingredient used to produce a unique flavor and pleasing color. This dango goes particularly well with azuki (red bean) and kinako (soya) powder. Yomogi is currently in season in Japan but not easy to find fresh elsewhere. Luckily, if you don’t have a yomogi or it’s not readily available, the Kokoro Amai Care Kit comes with yomogi powder!

2. Shiratama Dango

pink and white shiratama dango served in a small round bowl

Shiratama dango is a pretty sweet treat served with condensed milk and made from glutinous rice flour. It is perfect to eat in the spring to celebrate the sakura season and the Girls’ Day festival but can be enjoyed anytime!

3. Mitarashi Dango

three mitarashi dango on skewers and curly mitarashi sauce

Mitarashi dango is one of the most common and well-known ways to serve dango. The soft, bouncy rice balls are grilled and then coated in a sweet soy sauce glaze, creating the most delicious grilled sweet flavor. It’s a popular snack in Japan and is sold widely in supermarkets, convenience stores, and street food markets, but it’s just as easy to make at home.

4. Hanami Dango

6 hanami dango on skewers on a round plate

With the spring season in full bloom (for those in the northern hemisphere), now is the perfect time to enjoy Hanami dango! It is called “hanami”, which means looking at cherry blossoms, because it is often eaten while looking at sakura blossoms in Japan. Hanami dango, also known as sanshoku (3-color) dango, are soft and bouncy and always served on a skewer. Although they are perfect for spring, they are also sold and enjoyed all year round.

5. Matcha Zenzai

Matcha zenzai served in a small Japanese pottery bowl with a wooden spoon

Matcha zenzai is a variation of the traditional Japanese sweet red bean soup known as ‘zenzai’. This refreshing chilled candy has the perfect balance of flavors and textures and makes the perfect snack or dessert!

6. Anmitsu

Kuromitsu syrup is poured over Anmitsu in a small bowl

Here is another cold and refreshing dessert: Anmitsu! This traditional Japanese candy is made of jelly, fruit, adzuki bean paste and dango covered in a flavorful syrup. This is perfect to take advantage of as the warm weather is upon us.

7. Anmitsu Yokan

A piece of Anmitsu yokan on a round plate with a wooden folk

This frozen treat is a hybrid of two classic Japanese sweets: Anmitsu and Yokan. It consists of an agar-based red bean base (which you will find in the Kokoro Care Kit!) topped with fruit and dango.

Kokoro Treatment Packages

amai kokoro package image of japanese sweets

The Baking: “Amai” Care Package from Kokoro Care Packages is packed with authentic, local Japanese products that allow you to create delicious Japanese treats like dango. It also includes a product brochure and 15 full-color recipes to make it easy to make delicious treats at home.

So to be the lucky winner of this package, all you need to do is:

  • follow Chopstick Chronicles on Facebook
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  • subscribe to the Chopstick Chronicles newsletter

Kokoro Care Packages is also offering a discount code to all Chopstick Chronicles readers! Enter code CHOPSTICKCHRONICLESBAKING for 10% off any product or package on the site. This code is valid for one use per customer and expires on May 31.