Japanese Dango and Sweet potato mochi cakes (红薯饼)

Everybody has there favourtie texture of food. Some people like crunchy, some like creamy, some like sticky, but my favourite texture of food is Q. What is Q?  Q is extremely sticky, gooey, squishy, smooth, chewy, reminding me of a baby's face or a sleeping puppy. There is only one ingredient in the world that I know of that gives maximum Q, and that is sweet glutinious rice flour. Anything made with this amazing ingredient will achieve a sticky, gooey, squishy goodness that I absolutely love. Sticky rice, lotus leaf parcels, mochi, dango, rice cakes and tang yuan, I love them all!

This time, I made japanese dango, which is a soft mochi-like dumpling made with sweet sticky rice flour and silken tofu. I also made sweet potato mochi pancakes, a child hood favourite that I always ate whenever I went back to China to visit relatives. Because it is not easy to find in NZ, every time I ate alot because I couldn't have it for a few years after I returned.  These pancakes can also be made with pumpkin or purple sweet potato for a slightly different taste.

For my Japanese dango, I adapted this recipe from cooking with dog, my favourite youtube channel.
I made my dango with three toppings, the first is black sesame, secound is roasted soybean flour and the third is lightly caramelised with honey and sesame seeds. The third dango topping is very similar to a Chinese street food found in my grandmother's town, which is grilled and brushed with sugar syrup and toasted sesame seeds. I tried this when I was around 9 or 10 and the memory has stuck for along time ever since. The soft, sticky mochi contrasted with the crispy, caramelised outer layer, paired with nutty toasted sesame seeds and sweet honey is absolutely delicious.

Photo Process For Japanese Dango:

Recipe for Japanese Dango:

Shiratamako 100g - Sweet Rice Flour (3½ oz)  (Or glutinous rice flour, must be sticky rice flour though!)
Silken Tofu Soft 100g (3½ oz) A sprinkle of Water 

 Soybean Flour Topping: 2 tbsp Kinako - Soybean Flour 1 tbsp Sugar 

Black sesame seed topping:2 tbsp ground roasted black Sesame Seeds 1 tbsp Sugar 

You will also need: Mini skewers 

Combine sticky rice flour and tofu in a medium sized bowl. Our aim is to created a smooth and squishy dough that is firm enough to be rolled into little balls and be boiled. Adjust moisture/dryness as nesacerry. This may mean you may have to add more sticky rice flour if the dough is too wet and more water/tofu if the dough is too dry.

Knead dough a few times to make a smooth round ball. Roll ball into a log and pinch pieces of dango dough off the log and roll into little balls.  To make rolling easier, dust your hands with rice flour to prevent them from sticking to the dough. While you are rolling the dough into balls, bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water.

Time to cook! Drop your dango into the pot of water. Once dango floats to the top, cook for 1-2 minutes more, then scoop your dango out and let them cool in ice water bowl. Meanwhile, prepare your toppings.

Mix sugar with soybean flour , mix sugar with black sesame seed  and place each mixture on a plate. Get your honey, sesame seeds and oil ready for crispy, caramelised dango.

Once dango is relatively cool, drain well, and skewer dango onto skewers. I skewed three on each skewer.

Now, roll dango in black sesame/roasted soybean flour. For crispy carmelized dango, heat a little vegetable oil/coconut oil on medium high heat, place your dango and crisp up for 1 minute on each side. Remove, drizzle with honey and top with roasted sesame seeds.

Recipe for Sweet potato Mochi pancake (So simple yet so good!)

1 Large sweet potato
Enough sticky rice flour (glutinious rice flour) to make a soft but firm dough. Start with 1/4 cup at a time.
Black sesame seeds

Steam sweet potato in rice cooker or steamer. Alternatively you can roast sweet potato wrapped in foil and poked with holes in a 200 C oven. You may need to adjust moisture level of dough by adding more a little water.

Let sweet potato cool, scoop out insides, mash, then combine with sticky rice flour, 1/4 cup at a time.
I do not give an exact amount because this really depends on humidity, mositure content of sweet potato and type of glutinious flour brand you use. Once a firm but soft dough is formed, pinch pieces and roll into balls, and flatten to make little pancakes.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil, let sweet potato pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drizzle with honey and top with black sesame seeds. Serve with some tea. Don't be afriad of a simpe recipe, it is actually very delicious, sweet, sticky, caramelised on the outside, Q on the inside.....

(I enjoyed these sweet potato mochi pancakes with sticky red azuki bean rice and spinach salad)


About me

Hi I'm Cindy.