Shiratama Dango 白玉団子

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  • 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 on a wooden board.

    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 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?

    You find shiratama dango in wagashi (和菓子, Japanese confectionery) such as Anmitsu or Zenzai (Oshiruko).

    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 measurement for both mochiko and shiratamako and the methods are the same.

    Watch How to Make Shiratama Dango 白玉団子の作り方

    Learn how to make Shiratama Dango, a popular type of mochi that are added to Japanese desserts – wagashi. 

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    Zenzai / Oshiruko (Red Bean Soup) – Use Shiratama Dango instead of Kiri Mochi

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    How To Make Shiratama Dango | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Shiratama Dango
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    2 mins
    Total Time
    12 mins

    Course: Dessert, How to
    Servings: 16 Shiratama Dango
    If you're using Mochiko:
    If you're using Shiratamako (I prefer this over mochiko):
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Shiratama Dango Ingredients
    2. Combine mochiko, sugar and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.
      Shiratama Dango 1
    3. 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.
      Shiratama Dango 2
    4. Use the mochiko ball to pick up crumbs in the bowl like this. We say the texture of the dough should be like “earlobe”.
      Shiratama Dango 3
    5. Then roll into a nice smooth ball and then form into a log.
      Shiratama Dango 4
    6. 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 thick. You should be able to make about 16 balls.
      Shiratama Dango 5
    7. Use your index finger to make an indentation in the center (this will help cook faster and less doughy in texture after cooking).
      Shiratama Dango 6
    8. Cook the shiratama dango in boiling water, about 2 minutes.
      Shiratama Dango 7
    9. When shiratama dango starts to float, pick them up and soak in ice water to let them cool.
      Shiratama Dango 8
    10. 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.
      Shiratama Dango 9
    Recipe Notes

    If you can find both mochiko and shiratamako, I recommend using shiratamako because mochi made with shiratamako has 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.


    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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