Mitarashi Dango みたらし団子

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Mitarashi Dango Recipe |

While we celebrated Cinco de Mayo last weekend, the Japanese celebrated the Children’s Day (formally Boys’ Day) on May 5th.  Even though that was over a week ago, I didn’t have a chance to talk about it till now so let me share what I prepared for the celebration.

Mitarashi Dango |

In Japan, there are several annual celebrations related to children and we decorate our houses with special displays.  On The Doll’s Festival (Girl’s Day) in March, we would display the set of the traditional Emperor and Empress dolls dressed in kimono.  On the Children’s Day, we would display Kabuto (ancient Japanese warrior helmet) and armor.

Kashiwa Mochi

Usually on this day the Japanese eat Kashiwa Mochi (柏餅 picture on left).  It’s a round shape mochi filled with anko (sweet red bean paste) and wrapped with an oak leaf.  I tried to find oak leaves at every Japanese supermarket in my area so that I can make Kashiwa Mochi but had no luck.  So in the end, I just bought the premade Kashiwa Mochi from the store and I decided to make a different wagashi (Japanese sweets) to share with you.

This sweet is called Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子).  It’s a type of dango (sweet dumplings) skewered onto sticks.  Usually 3-5 dangos (traditionally 5) are covered with a sweet soy sauce glaze.  Mitarashi Dango was originated from the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in Kyoto.  The ingredients are similar to Strawberry Daifuku (Strawberry Mochi) but much easier to make so I hope you give it a try!

Mitarashi Dango |

If you like anko (sweet red bean paste), you can put your homemade anko on top of dango to enjoy.

Anko Dango |

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Mitarashi Dango
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes 24 Mitarashi Dango
  • 3½ oz (100g) Joshinko (Rice Flour)*
  • 3½ oz (100g) Shiratamako/mochiko (Sweet Rice /Glutinous Rice Flour)*
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150ml) warm water
  • 24 Bamboo skewers
Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar (adjust sweetness to your liking)
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. water for dissolving corn starch
  1. Combine Shiratamako, Joshinko, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Stir in warm water a little bit a time and knead slowly until the dough becomes smooth. The texture is like squeezing an "ear lobe" (that’s how we describe the tenderness for this type of mochi in Japanese).
  3. Divide into 2 equal pieces until you have 8 balls. Then divide each one into 3 equal sized balls. You will end up with 24 pieces.
  4. Gently place dango in the large pot of boiling water.
  5. Dango will stay on the bottom first but they will start floating on the surface. Then cook dango for 1 minute. Remove from pot and transfer into ice water.
  6. Drain well and put three pieces into a bamboo skewer.
  7. On the stove top, place the skewered dango on the grill on direct heat over medium high for 4 minute and rotate slowly to char (or you can heat a pan and brush with a little oil and grill on it).
  8. For sauce, combine sugar, soy sauce, mirin and water in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil.
  9. Once it boils, add the corn starch and water mixture to the sauce and make sure it dissolves well. After the sauce thickens, turn off the heat.
  10. Place dango on a plate. Using a brush, coat with sweet soy sauce on dango. Serve dango with green tea.
* Shiratamako is from sweet rice/glutinous Japanese short grain rice and Joshinko is from regular short grain Japanese rice. These flours give different texture. When you make dango with only shiratamako, the texture tends to be too soft. Therefore we usually add Joshinko to make the right dango texture. Of course you can make dango with shiratamako only. It's just the personal preference.

3 ways to keep Dango:

1) After you form into round dango (Step #3), you put them in a single layer in air tight container. Freeze up to a month. When you use them, boil the frozen dango without defrosting.

2) After cooling down (Step #5), pat dry and pack into air tight container without sticking to each other. Freeze up to a month. When you use them, microwave till they are at room temperature.

3) To keep just for few hours, you can save them in ice water, or in water kept in refrigerator.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
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  1. I love this!! I used to buy this at Takashimaya supermarket until the japanese store there stop selling it! I love the ones with the red bean paste smeared on it..i always buy 2 sticks, one the usual one and another the green tea version. :) So delicious! Now looking at your photos makes me crave for some. I think i just have to make myself some using your recipe! :) Thanks for sharing! If i want to make green tea version, i just add some green tea into the paste right?

  2. What on earth am i talking..i think i m too excited looking at your Anko Danko! Sorry, what i meant is if i want to make the green tea version, i just add some green tea powder into the dough right? LOL!

    • Haha, no worries! I understand what you meant. Yes, add 1-2 tsp. green tea powder in the mixture of Shiratamako, Joshinko, and sugar. Mix and then start adding warm water. Enjoy!

  3. CC

    yum yum yum! These look amazing, Nami! But I’ve got to tell myself to STOP looking at food blogs when I’m hungry! haha..

  4. oo this looks like a version of our “sweet glutinous rice balls”!! I love how you grill it and add the sauce or with red bean! I want to try this!!

    • Hi Fern! I can’t guarantee as I have never used Chinese type before… I assume it’s similar. But Joshinko (rice flour) is made of “uruchi-mai”, which is Japanese-style rice and it’s different from Chinese rice. So if I compare them precisely, I think it’s not the same… If you try with Chinese rice flour, let me know. I hope it will work out! :-)

  5. And I learn so much from you as well, Nami! Never heard of Boy’s Day (or Children’s Day) or either of these beautiful sweets! I know you don’t share desserts that often, but when you do, they are incredible! xo

  6. Kimmi

    I absolutely love Japanese sweets, and you really make the process look easy and the product delectable!! Can’t wait to get into a kitchen and try out the recipe~~

  7. Yuuuummm! I love these dango! Texture is good, taste is wonderful too! First time I ate them, I was very surprised to find that the sticky sweet sauce was made of soy sauce. Incredible! Here in Sendai we have the mochi dango covered in zunda paste :)

  8. val

    oh, that explains the long lines! Was wondering why people were patiently waiting for their turn to buy the Mochi 😀

  9. This is a new recipe to me. And it looks wonderful! Really great information in this post, and the pictures are incredible. Really good stuff here – thanks.

  10. donna mikasa

    I didn’t know these dango were cooked in water–I thought they were just grilled after being steamed. I love the char broiled mark and taste. Hoping to try these after seeing your wonderful tutorial! Thanks, Nami!

    • Hi Donna! Yes there is another way to make which is to steam first. However it’s so difficult and hard to handle the sticky mochi, and for home use (small amount), this method I showed is more common and widely used I think. :-).

  11. Eri

    Oh everytime I’m visitng I feel like a whole new world is in front of my eyes! Loved the post Nami, it’s so interesting to learn things about Japan, and the dessert looks delish!

  12. We also have a children’s in Mexico. I love all the Japanese traditions you spoke about. These definitely look easier than Mochi, so no excuse not to try them. I love your tea set and the photos are beautiful:)

  13. Nami, I love everything that has mochiko…love the texture and the flavors of these treat…savory and sweet…yum!
    Thanks for this recipe and hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day…and a great week ahead :)

  14. Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook)

    i’ve never had anything like this before but i would love to try! sounds simply delicious!

  15. Your pictures are stunning Nami!! Thank you for sharing this very special dessert!! I also am so intrigued by the sweet soy sauce. Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!!

  16. That is a neat holiday that you have a children day. Very interesting sweets that really doesn’t seem to difficult to make. I bet your kids love having Japanese holiday’s along with American celebrations.

  17. Squeezing an earlobe… haha – I love that comparison Nami :)

    Thanks for the little back story to the day. When I heard about children having a “day” in Japan I used to think that was awesome. When I was younger I would complain to my mother that there’s a mother’s day and a father’s day but no childrens’ day. Her reply was always “every day is childrens’ day” – LOL 😀

    Love the look of the dango – never heard of them before really but they sound great!

  18. Looks sooo good! My daughter loves mochi – I have to show her your post, especially since it’s easier to make, Maybe she’ll make me some for a belated Mother’s Day, since she wasn’t able to be here 😉

  19. Nami this is fabulous. I bought some red bean paste recently. I love how pretty this is. Thanks for sharing more about your culture as well. I did not know anything about Children’s Day so this was a great read.

  20. Eha

    Someone has already used the word ‘elegant’ for this dessert recipe. May I concur!! To use soy sauce for such an offering seems so strange that this non-sweets eater just HAS to try for herself :) !

  21. Yum yum! These look delightful and your presentation is gorgeous! I would love to try the anko dango! Your blog always makes me hungry, Nami! :)

  22. Hi Nami! This recipe looks so great! Reminds me a bit of the sesame rice flour balls my Mom and I made together, and who doesn’t love sweet rice snacks!

    It’s so adorable there are separate holidays for boy and girls, I remember back at Taiwan where was a Children’s holiday April 4th), parents would take the kids to the zoo, movies, etc, we always looked forward to that holiday. Hope your children love the celebration you put together as much as I did!

  23. Yanni

    These look delicious and so delicately made! I love glutinous rice and the Japanese does such a great job with it in their cuisine. Wish we had more Japanese restaurants/grocery stores here in Australia :(, I remember seeing a lot more of them when I was in the US recently.

  24. LOL… just the other day my daughter was making a comment… “there is Father’s Day, Mother’s Day… why there is no Children’s day?”… Now I can tell her that there is one… and in Japan 😀
    My kids would love this… it has their fave ingredients glutinous rice flour 😀

    Beautiful photos Nami… my tummy is growling

  25. Nami, not only have we posted skewers the same day, not only are they both Japanese (well mine partly…) but they look so similar! If someone told me these were konnyaku balls glazed with teriyaki I would think they were maybe rounder, maybe whiter, but I would certainly believe! They look absolutely delicious and intriguing for someone who has never had teriyaki glaze in a sweet dish. I think I must start making sweets with sweet rice flour.

  26. This actually looks pretty simple. After my total failures with mochi I am afraid of Mochiko flour. But maybe I can try this recipe as a second attempt. Thanks for sharing and giving me new hope, Nami :-)

  27. this is yummy! reminds me of how we chinese make tang yuan, though that is done purely with glutinous rice flour, so I think the texture will be different. A favourite snack shop in SIngapore sells these little skewers, dusted with roasted sesame seed powder, matcha powder etc. I think that may be korean in nautre though. Funny how all our cuisines overlap! This oen with the sweet glaze looks delish, sticky and savoury and sweet, reminds me of teriyaki!

  28. This looks delightful! If it’s even remotely like strawberry mochi I will live it! Now I just need to try the red bean paste variety. :)

  29. おはようございます



  30. Nami, these are beautiful and such a simple ingredient list. I think the only ingredient missing in my pantry is rice flour (and I should be able to find that locally). With your excellent pictures, I pretty sure I could make these…

  31. Ira Rodrigues

    What a great snack, it must filling to just having only 2 skewers.
    I really like the ingredients for the sauce. Looking at your mochi balls really want me to make them, so pretty!

  32. Hi Nami,
    Every time I visit your blog, I get hungry. You really make such yummy food and take some of the best photographs ever.
    This dessert reminds me of cake pops. Japanese version of cake pops and they look so phenomenal. Would love to have one now.

  33. You know Nami, your food and passion always inspire me… You know that right…
    Everytime I visit your blog I learn a new recipe, I am sure this is the only blog I can say this for…
    Now this dish is such a beautiful deliciousness… I am really craving this even though I have never tried this before!!

  34. Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts

    I really love the chinese style glutinous rice balls that’s somewhat the same but not grilled. I don’t know how you do it, but everything your hand touches become so pretty! Too pretty to eat in fact!!

  35. I have been wanting to make these for an eternity but I wasn’t able to find the one type of flour until now…. Once again your pictures are absolutely amazing and make my mouth water…. 😀

  36. How fun it is for the children to celebrate the special day! I remember eating lots of sweets & junkie food in school on Children’s Day. Nothing traditional or interesting practices though. Must be a bummer that you cannot find oak leaf there. I know I’ll miss lots of ingredients when I move back. Hmmm..I love the look of the dango treats. They are really beautifully made. I am a fan of sweet and salty savory snacks, so I’d absolutely give the sweet soy sauce one a try! Beautiful pictures, Nami!

  37. Like other commenters, these remind me of Chinese sweet rice balls. But I’m so much more intrigued by these with the use of mirin and soy sauce. Does the soy sauce make them salty at all?

  38. I love glutinous rice! My friend is totally in love with it, maybe I should make some and surprise him. :) Every time I see dango though it reminds me of high school Japanese class when we watched the dango san kyodai video…:P

  39. These look mouthwatering Nami. I have the remotest idea about this dish, but your presentation makes me think twice. They look YUMMY! Love the pictures and your beautiful japanese plates..especially the tea pot is something I would love to own *wink*
    Take care!

  40. なみさん、こんにちわ。



  41. Oh wow Nami!! These look absolutely delicious!! Are they kinda like mochi then? What a wonderful recipe with perfect, lucid instructions! Your desserts are so much better than any I’ve made!! :) And I really really looooove your photography!!! Don’t know how you do it but it’s simply PERFECT!

  42. I am enchanted that there are so many days set aside to celebrate young ones! These delicacies would please all – the children and the adults!

  43. Catalina @ Cake with Love

    Hi my friend, I have nominated you for the One lovely blog award! Stop by my blog to see the rules :) Have a good day!

  44. Looks delicious…great pictures too. Nami I get to know so much about Japanese cuisine…thanks to you. I love your post…there is so much of information:)

  45. Girls day .. boys day !! Such cute festivals :) Once again, i never heard of this but love the presentation and guess what i have the same plate but it’s black in color 😀 Bought it from a Japanese store.

  46. I’ve actually had the ones wrapped in oak leaves. They are so beautiful to behold. Never had the ones on the stick like these. But they look fabulous! 😉

  47. Hi Nami, The dumpling looks like indian sweet Ras gulla which made with (Paneer) cheese but those made with rice looks super cute……….

  48. Wow! This dish sounds incredibly delicious. Very interesting and something I’m yet to try. I love how you centered the holiday around your kids! Glad to know you guys had a great time :)

  49. Madelyn

    Hey Nami, I just made these for tea. Delicious! And so proud that my mom who has an incredibly sensitive palate actually ate some! I wish I had a grill though. The char wasn’t there, so the taste was different, but still good :)

  50. I’ve have the exact same Mitarashi Dango at mitsuwa in NJ a few times. I somewhat had an idea of how the glazing sauce was made but now with your step by step recipe I can make it with confidence. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

  51. Oh what fun! Your sweet treats look so good. They must be better when made yourself! I think it is great they celebrate kids days in Japan. I remember growing up wondering why we do havd kids day. We were always told that kids day is everyday and mothers and fathers need a little extra attention once in a while! :)

  52. Ohh yum these look great :) I’ve always loved the stickiness of Dangos and hahaha i remember watching Sailormoon as a kid and she was called something Dango because of the shape of the two balls on her head 😀 did i tell you I learnt Japanese for5 years Nami? But i was never good at it and hahaha i don’t remember much anymore hehe will try these recipes soon as I just made friends with a girl who’s both lactose and gluten intolerant and these seem pretty allergy freek :)

  53. I am so excited that I found your website! I lived in Japan for 4 1/2 years (Osaka and Kanagawa-ken) and miss so many things — especially Japanese food. Your blog is the first place I have found recipes for foods I often cooked while I lived there or enjoyed in Japanese homes. Ichigo daifuku is my favorite dessert and was so excited to see the recipe here. I bought all the ingredients today and can’t wait to try making them. And I look foward to getting your cookbook too. Your pictures of Osaka … 懐かしいです! — from a very happy follower in California!

    • Hi Lolandra! When I was in school (maybe it was elementary or middle school), we had home & economics and made Shiratama Dango in class. That time I remember we used only glutinous rice flour. So it should work. I did a little bit research and it looks like it’s better with both included. :-)

  54. Lolandra

    Hi, sorry, it’s me again. I read about tofu dango. So are tofu dango and mitarashi dango similar? im confused with all the different types of dango.

    • It’s similar style and only difference is that Tofu Dango includes Tofu as a part of ingredients (Tofu can’t be the only ingredient). Some people say it’s hard to know if Tofu is included as long as ratio is not overpowering. It’s an option to use less flour. :-)

  55. Laura

    Hi Nami! Do you think these dango will stay good if I freeze them and cook them whenever I like? I’m not sure if these will dry out in the freezer or remain rock hard if I pop them immediately into water or over heat.

    • Hi Laura! That’s a good question…and I’m not sure as I’ve never tried it. I assume the quality will never be as perfect as fresh one, but if you put in airtight package, it might work? I wonder if it’s better if you cook and pack, just like how we cook rice first and freeze. I am not sure what’s the best way and I’m sorry I’m not helpful here…

      Is there any reason you have to freeze it? The reason I asked is that it’s pretty fast to make these, so I highly recommend you make fresh one when you need it. :-)

      • Laura

        I think it’s more of not having to eat everything at one go. I’m the only one who likes chewy mochi stuff and even I can’t eat more than 4 balls/1 stick at a go. I do recall making chinese rice dumplings (so that’s only glutinous rice powder), and putting them uncooked into the fridge. That did dry them out and they cracked slightly around the edges. They did cook as per normal once they were dropped into the boiling water, but the cracked edges are not as perfect as I’ll like them to be, so I’m still looking for a way to prepare and store them in the fridge properly (like those we buy from the frozen aisle in the supermarket) :)

        • Hi Laura – I see. I have eaten prepared/cooked mochi that was frozen from the store, but never had uncooked frozen mochi before. It will be a great experiment, and I should try freezing a couple to see. Let me know if you try first and see how it comes out. Hopefully it’s good as fresh one, so we don’t have to overeat mochi so much. 😉

    • You can freeze them right away in an air tight container after step 5. You can reheat by steaming it or microwave it. I’d do that if you want to keep it more than half day.

      If you are going to use it within 6 hours, then you can keep them in clean water (step5).

      Hope this helps! :)

  56. Oooh yum! I just fell in love with mitarashi dango on a trip to Japan. I have to admit that the sweet soy sauce was a bit of an acquired taste for me – but now I find it soo addictive. I’ve never even seen this kind of mochi in Australia before so I am so glad to find the recipe for it, thank you for sharing Nami! :)

  57. Angelica

    May 5th id NOT Mexico’s independence day. It is the battle of Puebla when Mexico defeated the French. Not Independence. Mexico’s independence is on SEPTEMBER 16

  58. Patty

    I usually buy these at the Japanese grocery store already made. I didn’t know they were so easy to make. I’ll have to look for the flours next time I’m at the Asian market near me. :)

  59. Sankalita

    Hey Nami! Thanks a lot….. In the country where i live, i.e. India, i really don’t recognize the Joshinko, and Shiratamako/mochiko thus, i had to experiment…… my dangos were not perfect…. as the first time…… i made mistake choosing wrong combination of rice flour, and my dangos ended up having a slight smell, 😛 second time i tried experiment again, and today i tried it for the third time, and it ended pretty well, they were soft, with a delicious smell, and the sauce too, ended up tasting well, though i couldn’t find mirin and substituted sugar, like u said…for this recipe….! Arigatou Gozaimasu!! ^_^

    • Hi Sankalita! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! I’m glad your experiment worked and happy to hear you enjoyed it! Arigato for your kind comment! :)

  60. Raymond

    For step 5, do you remove the dango from the pot after 1 minute or 1 minute after the dango is starting to float?

    Thank you!!

  61. Karina

    Hi =] thanks for the recipe! But I was wondering if I can use mochi gome rice instead of the flours cuz I couldnt find them here.. =/ Thank you!

  62. Hi Nami,

    I was wondering what I could substitute mirin with for this recipe? I love your recipes but I always have to omit sake/mirin as I’m Muslim. I hope I’m not missing out too much in terms of flavor.

    Appreciate the help! :)

    • HI Yanee! You can omit mirin for this recipe. Use soy sauce and sugar to make the sauce. :)

      You can omit sake/mirin. Mirin is used to sweeten, so you may want to replace with sugar. If sake is used for steaming, replace with water to steam. For sauce, you can either omit or add water instead.

      Hope that helps! :)

  63. heny

    hallo nami,thanks for the recipe..i’ve been looking for the dango recipe since i can’t find it in my living i would like to make it myself :)
    i’ve tried your recipe, but i’m using chinese rice flour, i can’t find any japanese rice flour here. before i grilled the dango,it tastes fine. but after i grilled it,then glaze it with the sauce,the dango had floury taste. do you might know why it taste like that? other than the taste everything is great. i’d like to make it again sometime.thank you.^^

    • Hi Heny! Hmmm… hard to say why it tastes more floury taste after grilled. The outside of dango gets tighter after grilled but not sure if that’s what you mean. However, the adding char on dango is optional, and you don’t have to if you like the texture before grilling dango. Thank you so much for trying this recipe and giving me great feedback! :)

      • heny

        thank you nami for your reply.when i grilled it, the skin turn whiter, is that what you mean by gets tighter? i forgot to take the picture of it. is it possible the heat is too low when i grilled it or maybe i was not draining it well? i’ll try making it again, maybe two version this time haha. i’m still curious about the taste. :)

        • Hi Heny! “Tighter” as in texture…maybe more firm? Sorry I’m not very good with explaining. xD Dango is already cooked, so all you need is to give nice char (taste and look). :)

  64. Avah

    Hi Naming i’m catering for an event this coming wkend and was wondering if I could make the dango ahead of time and freeze them

  65. Avah

    Sorry, just finished reading thru all the comments so wud try freezing dem after steps 5 as you recommended and wud also try grilling, freezing and reheating a couple as well. Wud let u know how it turns out. I’m also using ur azuki paste ice cream recipe for the event so wish me luck! Matcha is pretty expensive where I am $371. per pack so can’t try that flavour ice cream unfortunately

    • Hi Avah! I’m very sorry for my late response (I’m in Japan now and spend less time in front of computer). Hope they turned out well. Too bad matcha is expensive there. Even in Japan, matcha (real matcha) is not cheap either. I only use good quality matcha for special occasion. :) Hope dango went well. It’s the best if you make it when you eat… mochi or rice tastes best when you just make. Texture is not the same…but I know sometimes you don’t have the best option on certain circumstance. Thank you for trying the recipe!

  66. emie

    we have something like that in the philippines but we dredge it in shredded coconut and white sugar..will try it with the sweet soy sauce,it sounds interesting

  67. Lesley

    So.. is it possible to just make this with mochiko? I remember trying once, but it didn’t work out. My dough never formed.

    • Hi Lesley! Yes, you can. Usually dango is made of shiratamako than mochiko for fine texture but I have seen many recipes with just mochiko only. Try adjusting the amount of water. :) Hope that helps…

  68. Sara

    Hi Nami!
    I absolutely love your recipes!
    I was just wondering, how long do these keep for?
    I was hopefully to make them the day before to take to a friends house, will they still be alright?

    • Hi Sara! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so happy to hear you enjoy my recipes.

      You can put the dango in water and keep in the fridge for a few hours, but if you use it next day, I recommend you to freeze them to keep freshness. I updated the recipe so please read the note section. Thanks for your question!

  69. I had no idea dango was so easy to make! My Mom was from Sendai and I remember the “dango oji-chan” would come by with his cart with fresh shoyu dango!!! I have been buying the frozen kind whenever I can find them. I’m sure these are much better! Going to make as soon as I get the ingredients!!! Will leave a follow up comment after I try :)

    • Hi Karen! There is a frozen kind? That’s pretty convenient. :) When you make yours homemade, you can freeze them too (I wrote about it in Note section). Hope you enjoy homemade dango! :)

  70. One of my favorite dessert in Japan! I love the soy sauce flavor and especially when it’s freshly made while warm, with a cup of green tea. Never thought I can make it at home and it looks quite easy! Thank you for sharing! :)

  71. Iya

    Hello, Nami! Your recipe looks so delicious, the problem is, I can’t find any Joshinko to buy. Can I replace them with the usual wheat flour?

    • Hi Iya! Thank you! To be honest, I’m not sure and don’t feel comfortable answering as I do not know. I have made with only shiratamako (glutinous rice flour) before and they come out okay. I like combining both for texture. I’m sorry I cannot answer to your question regarding wheat flour…. Hope you can find out the answer. :)

  72. Pockyman

    Hmm how come when I make it the dango doesn’t come out chewy ? What am I doing wrong ? I used rice flour and the mochiko sweet rice flour for this recipe, would that be the issue?

    • Hi Pockyman! Recently I actually tried using mochiko for the first time, and realized the texture is so different from Shiratamako. The texture wasn’t bouncy and it was more floury. I highly recommend you to use Shiratamako. :)

    • Hi Rei! Nope, not necessary at all. I like the little burnt/charred taste to it as that’s how it’s sold at the dango stand. :) You can eat it after cooked (in boiling water). :)

          • Rei

            Hi Nami! I finally got to make the dangos, but they came out with a floury taste(I didn’t grill it, I just boiled it). Any idea why?
            And also there are like little bits of… flour(?), it’s like a crispy thing. Is that supposed to be there?

            • Hi Rei! Did you use Shiratamako and Joshinko? The combination is the BEST, but you can make dango with Shiratamko only… however I’ve tried with mochiko and the result was very floury and it wasn’t right texture. If you mix thoroughly, I don’t know why it has crispy thing (bits of flour?) in there… Hope I can help you! Let me know. :)

              • Rei

                I did use both Shiratamako and Joshinko, I made a few trips to the local Japanese-selling store just to get Joshinko, also explaining why it took me so long to make it (sweats).

                May I ask what the texture is supposed to be like?

                • Hi Rei! Glad to hear you found both flours! Dango is soft and chewy like mochi, but not quite as sticky. The texture generally tends to be a little more ‘bouncy’. I wonder if you felt “floury” because of bouncy texture. Mochi can be pulled and extend while dango is more like a chewy and bouncy ball. Does this explanation help?

                  • Rei

                    Ah, my dangos turned out pretty hard. I guess I did something wrong in the process…

                    Thanks for always answering my questions~

                    • Rei, try adding a little more water. Sugar also helps to keep it soft on the following day. Hope this helps! :)

  73. Rebecca

    Delicious! My little sister and I just made a bunch- our first time, too! We omitted mirin and shiratamako (we only had regular blended rice flour) and just added extra rice flour and sugar. They turned out really great! I’ll be sure to make these more often! Thanks!

  74. Fino

    Hello Nami, in Brazil we do not find easily shiratamako (occasionally in imported stores). Then replaces it with sweet fermented cassava (a traditional product used to make tapioca – a kind of “pancake / crepe” quite common in the country). Certainly the taste must have changed from the original, but managed to keep a good cross-cultural aspect.


    • Hi Fino! I’m glad you could make this dish with substitute! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! Love the cross-cultural aspect too! :)

  75. Kayleigh

    Hello, I was just wondering if I could substitute the rice flours for anything? There isn’t an Asian market near where I live and as I am only 12, I cannot drive. They don’t sell it at Asda or Tesco’s either and I really wish to try Dango. Is there anything I can use as a replacement?

    • Hi Kayleigh! Do you think you can find Mochiko? Shiratama dango and mochiko are close enough. Can you find Sweet Rice Flour (or it’s called Glutinous Rice Flour) in Asian store? I’ve never used rice flour and not sure if it’s bouncy mochi-like texture if you use rice flour. Please note that using different ingredients will change the flavor and texture of the dango…

      • Kayleigh

        I don’t think so. I’ve looked but no where local will sell it. Is there an everday flour I can replace it with instead, like self raising flour or bread flour? Because I cannot get a hold of the Mochiko anywhere.
        Thank you very much

  76. Emily

    This recipe is delicious! I keep coming back to this page to make this over and over again. I love how it’s crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside and the sauce is the perfect blend of sweet stickiness. Thanks so much Nami!

    • Hi Emily! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been making this recipe, and thank you for stopping by to let me know. I’m glad you enjoy these mitarashi dango. I agree, the texture is very nice and I love the sauce too! :)

  77. Jkmik

    Thank you for the recipe. I love dango and used to eat them when I lived in Japan many years ago as a child. I just came back from a trip to Japan and had some dango. My younger brother loves them too and I’m excited to try it and make some for him. Bet he hasn’t had it years.

  78. weiyun

    I love this recipe ! and will be attempting to try it out. I understand some people add in silken tofu to their dango.. are you able to advise how this can change the texture of the dango ?

    I personally like your recipe more. But may i know what kind of sugar will you advise us to go for? Brown sugar ? White sugar? is coarse sugar or fine sugar preferred? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Weiyun! Thank you so much. When you add tofu, the dango texture is softer than usual dango. Each tofu brand has different moisture in the tofu, so it’s best to add tofu slowly and check the texture. Tofu should be more than shiratamako.

      For blogging I use white granulated sugar because that’s the most common sugar anyone in the world can get. I have other sugar kinds of sugar at home too, but it’s hard for everyone to follow my recipe without having the same ingredient. Therefore I use granulated sugar for my recipes. Feel free to adapt as you like. :)

  79. Ludovica

    Hello! I have to say, I absolutely love your blog. I’m interested in the recipes (but will work my way through the whole way through it in time) and they’re amazing! I just tried this one and it was delicious! I just had a tiny problem when mixing flours and water, the water turned out to be too much and I had to add a bit extra flour, but it turned out delicious! I particularly liked the suggestions on how to store the dumplings, they were very useful. Take care!

  80. Oleander

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe! I had gotten these at a stall near a temple when I was visiting Japan. A person I met in the tour group I was in and myself got separated from the others in the group, and before I could buy more (they were so good!), we were sent running with the tour guide before we missed our ride! I didn’t even know the name of these! I can’t wait to try them out!

    Thank you again for sharing! ^-^

  81. Oleander

    I just made these. I had to make a few adjustments because I only had mochiko flour, and I’m vegan/gluten-free, etc. so I had to tweak the sauce a bit. Even with those changes, it was still so amazingly good! It tastes so much like the way they tasted when I had these in Japan!

    For those who are curious, for the dough, I mixed things together a lot like the recipe did for the shiratama dango (the mochiko version). For the sauce, I used Bragg’s amino acids and some raw, organic agave syrup — it had a nice deep flavor and was less thick than the sauce you made, but I didn’t personally mind. Searing the mitarashi dango on the flames of my stove really helped to bring out the flavor, also!

    When I finally tasted them (I was waiting for the homemade miso soup I was making to heat up), they were so good that I wished I had made more (I only made enough for two skewers). I will definitely be making these again (perhaps tonight! ^-^) and will definitely share with my family! Delicious, delicious, delicious!

    If I get a chance to get the other rice flour, I’d love to try it that way, too!

    Thank you so much for sharing! These made me so happy! ^-^

    • Hi Oleander! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! And thanks for sharing how you adapted it so other readers can use your version. Thank y ou so much for writing your kind feedback. :)

  82. kaz

    hey! Nami< i live in Australia (perth) and would like to know where i could get my hands on some joshinko rice flour and some shiratamako/mochico ? thanks Nami


    • kaz

      soz about the (<) and can u plzz reply to my question soon cause i really want to make some dangos cause i dont think they sell them her in australia ^-^

    • Hi Kaz! I’m sorry, but I really don’t know where to get Joshinko or Mochiko in Australia… I know that there are Japanese supermarkets (my readers told me), so I recommend going there. They must have joshinko. :)

        • kaz

          hi! nami and oleander i found out that they sell glutinous rice flour at a shop call colse but the product is from thailand do guys think that it will be ok to use ? ^~^

          • Hi Kaz! I’m terribly sorry for my late response. I have too many questions to answer this past weekend and didn’t see yours till now. Okay, as Oleander said below, the ingredient for the glutinous rice is different between Japanese brand and Thai (or Vietnamese or Chinese) brand.

            Japanese brand uses ONLY Japanese short grain glutinous rice to make the glutinous rice flour, while other Asian variations use long grain glutinous rice. They taste different and the textures are different.

            IF you had never had dango or any mochi desserts in Japan, you might not notice the difference. However, for someone like me who only eat Japanese dango/mochi desserts, I’d know if it’s made of other kind of glutinous rice.

            If you live outside of Japan and tried some type of mochi / dango that are not made of Japanese ingredients, and consider that’s Japanese dessert all the time, I think the taste will be fine (as that’s all you know as “mochi / dango”.). Oleander mentioned the same and I agree. You might not be as picky as me for example. :)

            So it’s up to you if you want to use other variations of glutinous rice flour if that’s the only kind available to you. Hope that helps!

  83. kaz

    hi i found a local store near me that sells rice flour (i didnt know because i dont really go there. and i found out on the internet lol) but they sell a variety of rice flour here are the names of ones they have :rice flour gluten free , ground rice flour, premium rice brown flour. so which one should get or should i get none of them anyways im going to keep searching cause i really like going to the store myself and getting the ingredients.

    • Oleander

      Here’s a link for a recipe for Thai rice balls, so you can look at the wrapper in the picture and see if you can find that or something similar at your local store: — It says “glutinous rice flour” on it, but the recipe is quite a bit different, so bear that in mind.

      That said, I’d strongly recommend against using a non-Japanese flour for the first time you make dango. The reason is twofold. First, Japanese recipes (no judgment meant, this is just my experience) are a bit more finicky/delicate than Western recipes in terms of replacing one ingredient for another. I’m a very experienced cook, and I still only come out with good results about half the time if I have to substitute something. Secondly, it’s useful to know how a recipe “should” taste before experimenting with other flours that may not have the same taste, consistency, feel, etc. I had more than one experience like this because I live in the middle of nowhere and it’s rare that I can find an ethnic/international ingredient close to where I live. For example, when I first made agar jelly (for the anmitsu recipe), I used Telephone brand agar powder, because it’s what I found by chance when I was visiting family at the other end of the country. When I used it, I was lucky that the recipe came out fine. However, when I ran out and had to get more, I ordered a different brand. I made the recipe, following it exactly as I had done before, and it came out completely different. The jelly was harder, darker in color, the taste/smell wasn’t as pleasant or light as before. Apparently this powder was stronger than the other brand, but Nami didn’t make the recipe using that powder, so even though I followed the recipe correctly, it didn’t turn out right.

      So with those things in mind, it’s really up to you. If you’re really so anxious to try this that you’ll get any rice flour, even if it’s not Japanese, I’d recommend to consider the experience an experiment and not get your hopes up too high. It may turn out fine, but like I said, switching out ingredients makes a huge difference in the end result, even if you’re following the recipe exactly.

        • Oleander

          You’re welcome! :) I hope they turn out well, however you make them. They really are delicious!

          Just a tip: if they turn out a little grainy or not evenly elastic all the way through, then cook them a bit longer. When I was cooking mine the other day, my brain must have gone into pasta mode because when I saw bits of the dough disconnecting from the rice balls, when boiling, I thought I had overcooked them. It was just just the opposite! The next batch I cooked for longer and they were gooey when I put them on the skewers, but after sticking them right in the flame on my stove, they became dry on the outside, and they charred nicely in little spots. So don’t be too put off by these strange qualities! Once they’re lathered in the sauce, they’re like gooey clouds of heaven! 😉

    • Hi Kaz,

      Okay, if the online shop (the Oleander mentioned above) is not the option, and you can’t find the Japanese ingredients in the Asian shop, I guess you just have to make and see how it is. Like I mentioned above, it might taste fine for you. :) It’ll save a lot of trouble that way.

      Try rice flour and glutinous rice flour both like I did (but that ratio is for Japanese flour though, hopefully same/similar). Glutinous rice flour gives springy texture that you will need.

      Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  84. Skye

    Hey Nami! It’s me agian haha!

    I was wondering of i could make this Dango with just 1 type of the 2 flours? I only have Mochiko flour! And is there an alternative to grill them? A regular grillpan perhaps?

    Lots of love

    • Hi Skye! You can use mochiko flour only, but the texture will be slightly different. :) You can use grill pan too! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

    • Oleander

      Hi, Skye,

      I found an article not too long ago that showed how to make rice cakes with water/flour and then putting them on an iron skillet and toasting them to cook. I think the person who posted that recipe was either Thai or Chinese. I’m not sure if this style is something that’s done in Japan. I’m actually making some of these right now. I did a mochiko flour mixture with water (only the one flour), mixed the dough thoroughly, then rolled it out into a long, thick rope. I cut it into sections of equal length then rolled them into balls and squashed them flat so they are about 3/4 of a centimeter thick, perhaps a little more or less at certain points. I then put them on a hot iron skillet that had nothing on it — no grease, just dry heat. I toasted them at medium-low heat until they browned (or burned…whoops!) on each side. Some of them also puff up when done — though not all of them so don’t use that as a guide. They’re very delicious like this, and a lot quicker to make because there are fewer steps. The toasted flavor is a bit different from charring them slightly on the fire, but I really like them and haven’t made them the other way since because it’s so much easier. I think if you have a food stall and you’re selling food at a festival, having things put on a stick is really nice, but at home, it’s not as quick or easy.

      Perhaps you’ll also enjoy them this way? :)

      If Nami has a version like this that’s Japanese, I hope she shares it with us! I love cooking and eating (especially eating!) these delicious foods, but don’t always have time to go through all the steps.


      • Skye

        Ahh thats sounds super. I will give it a try too =] I will also search around for the stuff i need for the recipy from Nami because i also still want to taste it authentic ^.^ Thanks alot both of you for all the tips and support!

        Lots of Love

  85. Jun

    Thank you for this recipe!!! I’ve always wanted to taste dango so I gave this recipe a shot and I was extremely surprised and pleased. The only thing I messed up on was the sauce as it came out too light but it still tasted great!!! Just wondering if you also have a “Hanami Dango” recipe.

    Anyway many thanks again.

    • Hi Jun! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe and thanks for your kind feedback! Hanami Dango is pretty much same as this dango, but we use food coloring and yomogi (green leaves) to color pink and green. :) I’ll put it on my recipe list to share for the blog. :)