Dango, A Traditional Japanese Sweet You must Try!
Dango is a type of rice dumpling.
The basic ingredient is mochi rice flour. There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with the treat.
In fact, it’s hard to really celebrate certains seasons in Japan without eating delicious dango. So, if you want to experience Japan like a local, you can learn all about this yummy sweet right here.
Types of dango sweets
The following dango are regularly eaten in Japan.
“Anko” is commonly known as sweetened red bean paste, though other ingredients are used on rare occasions.
“Chadango” is green-tea flavored Dango.
“Goma dango” is made with sesame seeds. It is both sweet and salty.
“Kibi dango” is made with millet flour. This variety is prominently featured in the tale of Momotaro, a folkloric Japanese hero, who offers a rounded ball (not skewered) to three talking animals in exchange for their aid in fighting demons.
“Kinako” is dusted with toasted soy flour.
“Kushi dango” is a dango held by a skewer.
“Mitarashi dango” is covered with syrup made from shouyu (soy sauce), sugar, and starch.
“Hanami dango” has three colors. Hanami dango is typically made only during sakura-viewing season in early April. Hence the name hanami which means “flower viewing” (hana meaning “flower” and mi meaning “to see”).
Watashi, traditional Japanese sweets
We call all traditional Japanese sweets “Wagashi“.
Wagashi is often served with green tea.
In Japan the word for sweets, “Okashi,” originally referred to fruits and nuts. China learned from India how to produce sugar and began trading it to Japan. The trade increased and sugar became a common seasoning by the end of the Muromachi period (1337-1537).
Influenced by the introduction of tea and China’s confectionery and dim sum, the creation of wagashi took off during the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan.
If you are interested in Wagashi, why don’t you try experience making dango in Japan?
We can arrange a private Wagashi making class for you during your stay in Japan. Contact us today!