Dango – Dessert Days #7

Dango, dango, dango, dango, dango daikazoku~

That was strange… I was sure I scheduled this blog to post on April 2. Yet when I came to check on the blog, there it was, posted March 26! Let’s all pretend that never happened, shall we?

You probably recognize these little dumplings from various anime shows. These colourful ones are called hanami dango, because they are the same colours as freshly bloomed flowers. (Hana = flower)

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I remember an old episode of Pokemon, where they were eating “muskrat meatballs.” Those were actually dango. And by the way, the “donuts” were actually onigiri. (Rice balls) Regardless, I’ve since been partial to meat stuff on sticks. Chicken satay with peanut sauce, GET IN MAH BELLEH. Perhaps one day, I will make a ball-on-stick themed dinner.

We’re going to try making mitarashi dango. That’s just plain dango with sweet soy sauce. I used runnyrunny999’s recipe.

IMG_20160325_154410872 (1)First, let’s make the dough for the dumplings. I’m using glutinous rice flour. It smells and tastes like rice. I added a teaspoon of sugar, since I hear dango is rather tasteless on its own.

Eww, they weren’t kidding when they said “glutinous,” this stuff is sticky like crazy! It’s important to follow Runny’s advice about wetting your hands and surfaces with water. He described the texture as being, “like an earlobe.” Touch your earlobe; your dough should feel exactly like that. My earlobes feels like there are holes in them. Oh wait, there are.

Since this is just a test, we won’t use colouring right away. We’ll just make plain dumplings.

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Nine dumplings and one loner

This was a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated. The flour is very sticky, and takes a long time to come together. Warning: only start using your hands once you’re 100% sure there isn’t much left stuck to the bowl.

I got lazy and instead of steaming the dough, I formed the balls (made about 10) and dropped them into boiling water. This process was similar to bubble tea tapioca prep: once they float, leave them in for a bit, and then scoop ’em out. Cooked dango will feel denser than uncooked dango, and they will be slimy and squishy to the touch.

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At first, I was doubtful that this would work. When I put one (the loner) onto a skewer, it drooped almost immediately, and the texture felt like squishy, sticky pudding. It turns out that if you leave them to cool a little longer, they solidify and keep their shape much better. Also, they became sticky to the touch, so I patted them dry and dusted them with a little more rice flour. The mitarashi sauce was just a matter of tossing everything in a saucepan, so I won’t add pictures here.

Final result:

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Not bad, but could’ve been better. I patted them with a little extra rice flour, to keep them from sticking to the plate.

Guess what happened yesterday? SHOONIE’S BIRTHDAY! She is grown up big. :3 Since last weekend was Easter, I made a fresh batch of hanami dango, this time using tofu instead of water.

This dough was a lot easier to work with, and wasn’t as sticky compared to the flour + water dough. And hello, it actually formed a solid dough!

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Divide your dango into equal thirds. Colour one third pink, and another third green. Most recipes suggest using matcha to colour the green mochi. Runny used carrot and spinach. (Not exactly what I think of when I hear, “sweets.” Except maybe the carrot, because carrot cake is awesome) I’m going to cheat here, and just use food colouring. (0’x’o) You can probably tell that I miscalculated the amounts a little bit. I ended up with a lot of pink dumplings, and not enough white.

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Anyway, boil the dumplings as you did before, let them cool, and you’re done! If your colours aren’t uniform, don’t worry: they brighten and even out during cooking.

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I wasn’t sure if Shoonie would like the mitarashi sauce, so I also packed chocolate sauce for dipping.

Stick ’em onto skewers, and you’re done! Serve dango as dessert, with various other delicacies. They go especially well with green apple jolly rancher jello!

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Happy (Belated) Easter!

Final verdict: *squeaky voice* oishiiiiii~ I love the way it squishes and squashes!

Plain dango doesn’t have much flavour. However, the chewy texture reminds me of the mochi ice creams they used to sell at T&T. (Now closed) This gives me a good idea for a summer DIY…

The mitarashi sauce is sweet and salty. It reminds me of the chocolate covered potato chips we bought in PEI. Yummmm~ But I think I added too much sugar. As I’ve said before, if you don’t like the mitarashi sauce, you can also use chocolate sauce. After all, you can’t have Easter without chocolate!

And for a special treat, try eating the dango while it’s still steaming hot! 😀

April fools. *eeeee* Do not eat dango while it’s still steaming hot! It is very soft at this stage, and needs time to harden. It feels gross, like you’re eating a hot ball of flour. ;w;

Storage verdict: dango will keep in the fridge for a maximum of two days. Reheat in the microwave in 5 second bursts, if necessary.

And this ends the dessert days blog. If you’re reading this, happy belated birthday Shoonington, and may your year be filled with shoons and tasty snackies! ❤ *hug*

What did you eat for Easter? Did you prank anyone yesterday? What do you do for your cousins on their birthday? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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