Updated: Jul 25, 2021
Dango is a really common street food desert that you can find all throughout Japan! What makes these so delicious is its almost mochi like texture coated in either a sweet or salty soy based sauce. I played around with the sauce at first making a sweet soy base but I found it to be a bit strange with matcha. I ended up making a similar sauce using matcha instead of the soy and making it rich and silky by adding almond milk. The dough is incredibly simple to make and I highly recommend trying this recipe if you have a sweet tooth and like a bit of texture. Dango, let's get to it!
To serve 4-6
250g glutinous rice flour
240g soft tofu
50g white sugar
20ml warm water
2.5 tbsp matcha powder
2.5 tbsp matcha
50ml almond milk
Let's start by making up the mochi like dough, we want to use a glutinous rice flour as this will be best to achieve a super bouncy soft dango. In a large bowl add 250g glutinous rice flour, 2.5 tbsp matcha powder, 50g sugar and 240g of soft tofu. Use a pair of chopsticks or a spatula and mix well to break down the soft tofu and incorporate it into the rice flour. The tofu should slightly hydrate the flour giving a crumble like texture.
2. At this stage the dough should have become more manageable to bring together by hand. To bring the dough together gradually add 20ml of warm water and continue to kneed until a smooth dough is formed. The dough should have a playdoe like consistency and be fairly soft. If the dough doesn't come together then add a little more warm water.
3. Next, divide the dough by tearing off balls of dough approximately 27g each in size. Now to shape, lightly dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into tidy smooth balls. Repeat until all the dough is shaped then place all the shaped dough to one side for now. To cook place a deep pan of water onto a high heat and bring up to the boil. When boiling add the balls of dough and boil until they start to rise to the top of the pan. As they rise cook for a further 2 1/2 minutes then when cool carefully drain and chill in ice cold water.
4. When the dango is cool place onto kitchen paper and briefly drain off any excess water. Now to skewer, Place 3 or 4 dango onto each skewer then when ready place all to one side for now.
5. Just before we cook the dango its time to make up the glaze, in a pan add 220ml water, 75g sugar, 2.5 tbsp matcha powder and 20g cornflour. Mix well with a whisk until all the cornflour is incorporated into the liquid then place onto a high heat and bring to a boil. When boiling cook out the glaze until it starts to thicken whisking constantly. When thickened turn the heat down to low and gradually whisk in 50ml of almond milk. When the glaze is ready the consistency should be able to coat the back of a spoon easily. Remove the glaze from the heat and allow to slightly cool.
6. Back to the dango, for a little texture place the skewers into a dry pan then place onto a high heat. Sear the dango for 2 minutes each side until they become slightly charred and warm. When ready dip the dango into the glaze and coat until all nicely glazed.
7. To serve toast a handful of peanuts then grind until broken down in a pestle and mortar. Add the crushed peanuts into the centre of the plate and place the glazed dango over the top. Finish the dessert with some toasted sesame seed and nourish! Hope you like this quick, simple and delicious recipe!
Traditionally the glaze for dango is usually soy based however I found that soy and matcha doesn't really work. If you want to try the soy glaze then simply replace the matcha in the glaze with soy and take away the matcha from the dango dough. As for the dango itself you could create a filling for the centre by using red bean, mung bean or even ganache if you want to take them to another level. Have fun with this one!