If you enjoy wagashi (Japanese confectionery) and wish to make them at home, this post shows you how to make Shiratama Dango that are found in many Japanese sweets. Chewy & gooey in texture, this type of mochi uses glutinous rice flour made from shiratamako or mochiko.
Shiratama Dango (白玉団子) or Japanese mochi balls is a type of mochi and we use glutinous rice flour to make it. This glutinous rice flour is made from mochigome (もち米/糯米) and it’s different from other types of glutinous rice flour because mochigome is Japanese short-grain rice (other kinds may use long grain rice, etc).
There are two types of glutinous rice flour you can use: shiratamako (白玉粉) or mochiko (餅粉) (or combine both). I recommend using shiratamako because mochi made with shiratamako has a very smooth, more refined, and elastic bouncy texture. And it also tastes better in my opinion. Also, shiratamako is much easier to use compared to mochiko. You can read a little bit more details on these glutinous rice flour on shiratamako page.
How To Use Shiratama Dango
Here’s how to make Shiratama Dango. A lot of readers told me it’s much easier to find mochiko in grocery stores, so I’m using mochiko in this video. However, the recipe below includes measurements for both mochiko and shiratamako and the methods are the same.
Recipes with Shiratama Dango
For Dango with Mochiko
- ⅓ cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour)
- 2½ Tbsp water
- ½ tsp sugar
For Dango with Shiratamako (I prefer this over mochiko)
- ⅓ cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour)
- 3 Tbsp water
- ½ tsp sugar
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Combine ⅓ cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour), ½ tsp sugar, and 2½ Tbsp water in a large bowl. (If using shiratamako, combine ⅓ cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour), ½ tsp sugar, and 3 Tbsp water.) Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Use the mochiko ball to pick up crumbs in the bowl like this. We say the texture of the dough should be like an “earlobe.”
- Then, roll into a nice smooth ball and then form into a log.
- Pinch off dough from the log and roll each one into a ¾-inch (2-cm) ball and then flatten it into a thick disc, about a scant ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick. You should be able to make about 16 balls.
- Use your index finger to make an indentation in the center (this will help cook faster and less doughy in texture after cooking).
- Cook the Shiratama Dango in boiling water, about 2 minutes.
- When the dango start to float, pick them up and soak in ice water to let them cool.
- Serve the Shiratama Dango in your dessert.
- Shiratama Dango are soft and chewy within 30 minutes after they are made. If you are not using them right away, keep them in water and store in the refrigerator. Shiratama Dango will become hard, so you need to re-cook them in boiling water to soften before serving.