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) 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.
So where do you see this type of mochi?
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.
Watch How to Make Shiratama Dango
Learn how to make Shiratama Dango, a popular type of mochi that are added to Japanese desserts – wagashi.
Recipes with Shiratama Dango
Zenzai / Oshiruko (Red Bean Soup) – Use Shiratama Dango instead of Kiri Mochi
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If you're using Mochiko:
- ⅓ cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour)
- 2 ½ Tbsp water
- ½ tsp sugar
If you're using 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 mochiko, sugar and 2 Tbsp water in a large bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Using your hand, press the mochiko mixture and form it into a ball. Slowly add the rest of ½ Tbsp. water while forming into a ball. When you still can’t form into a ball and there are more crumbs left, wet your hand a little bit (instead of pouring extra water into the bowl) and try again to form into a ball.
- Use the mochiko ball to pick up crumbs in the bowl like this. We say the texture of the dough should be like “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 shiratama dango starts to float, pick them up and soak in ice water to let them cool.
- Serve 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.