Japanese Sweets: How To Make Mitarashi Dango

Mitarashi Dango: dango balls coated in sweet soy sauce glaze

Mitarashi Dango: dango balls coated in sweet soy sauce glaze

How’s your week so far? It’s Mrs. Wada back on duty again. Here’s my another challenge in making Japanese sweets. This time I’m going to share a simple and easy to make Japanese sweets called mitarashi dango. There are many variations of dango sweets in Japan. For mitarashi dango, it’s basically a dango on stick grilled and coated with thick sweet and soy sauce glaze.

I think this is one of the Japanese sweets that you can easily find in supermarkets and often I see this in tourist spots also.

Mitarashi Dango Ingredients

For the dango

  • 100 grams of glutinous rice flour
  • 100 ml of water

For the glaze

  • 50 ml of water
  • 2 1/2 tsps of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps of sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 tsps of potato starch flour (or you can use cornstarch flour)

Directions:

Steps for making dango balls.

  1. Add water to the glutinous rice flour little by little.
  2. Knead until it’s smooth and soft (as soft as your ear, as usually describe in Japanese recipes :D).
  3. Divide the dough equally into 6 pieces (or in a bite-size) and shape it into balls.
  4. Boil water in a pot and drop the balls into it one by one.
  5. When it floats, scoop out and transfer into a bowl of iced water.
  6. Drain off the water from the dango balls and skewer it into a stick.
  7. Then roast it in a grill or a toaster, for aroma and a little crispy texture outside. I used fish grill this time. Set it aside.

Steps for the sauce

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients and heat up in a pot.
  2. Keep on mixing until it thickens.
  3. Pour into dango balls and it’s ready to eat!

Honey and kinako-coated dango balls

For another variation of dango, you can use honey and kinako (roasted whole soy bean powder) or anko paste as topping.

https://the-wadas.com/anko-recipe/

 

Midarashi Dango of Takayama City, Gifu

During our visit in Takayama, we had midarashi dango. Yes, that’s right. They call it miDArashi dango there. What’s the difference? Well, unlike the usual mitarashi dango, it’s not sweet. It’s dipped into soy sauce and although it’s roasted very well, it remains soft and mochi-mochi.

One of the Three Best Onsens in Japan: Gero Onsen

http://www.takayama-gh.com/tabaru/article/zinya_dango/

If you got some glutinous rice flour at home or just wanted to try some Japanese sweets, how about give this one a try and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading and have a nice week!


Traditional Gassho-Zukuri in Shirakawa-go

Gassho-style house entrance ticket in Shirakawa-go

Hello, it’s Mr. Wada back on duty. I will show you around Shirakawa-go in Gifu.

Traditional Gassho-Zukuri in Shirakawa-go

Ren and I sneaked out from the guest house early morning. It’s freezing… We walked down towards the central to pick the car we reserved for the day. This day we are going to Shirakawa-go.

Takayama City - early morning scenery

Driving Down To Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go is a 60-minute ride from Takayama City, accessible by car and public bus. It snowed a little few days back so there was still some left in Shirakawa-go, which is good for this scenery.

Highway From Takayama City to Shirakawa-go

Road towards Shirakawa-go

Transportation Costs:

Car rental 6,500 yen
Highway Toll-fee 2,000 yen
Gas 800 yen
Parking in Shirakawa-go 500 yen
Total 9,800 yen

 

Exploring Shirakawa-go

Gasshou-zukuri

Shirakawa-go is known for its traditional houses called Gasshou-zukuri. It is also a sister city of Alberobello in Italy which is an amazing town as well.

Traditional houses near the parking area in Shirakawa-go

Crossing the bridge to the Gasshou-Zukuri area.

 

This one (cafe) looks nice. We wanted to enter but missed...!

 

Onsen in Shirakawa-go

It was still very early, so none of the stores were open yet and more importantly…freezing! We decided to stop by at Shirakawa-go no Yu, the only onsen place in the area. Hey, morning bath isn’t bad on a cold day like this!

Shirakawa-go no Yu: onsen in Shirakawa-go

 

Lunch Time at Gasshou-zukuri House

Alrighty. We got warmed up very well and damn, I’m already hungry. We went into this place to grab something.

Ochuudo Cafe (落人) at Shirakawa-go

Ochuudo Cafe (落人) in Shirakawa-goCurry lunch meal at Ochuudo Cafe (落人) in Shirakawa-go

 

Having zenzai infront of irori at Ochuudo Cafe (落人) in Shirakawa-go

 

Zenzai in cups with mochi

Zenzai is all-you-can eat. Have yourself from the pot as much as you like.

The staff will ask you to pick youself a cup from their collections. Look around you, there are plenty of them down, up and even hanging!

 

Mrs. Wada taking her second cup of Zanzai.

Zenzai eat-all-you-can at Ochuudo Cafe (落人)

Tea cups collection at Ochuudo Cafe (落人)

 

Tea time at irori place

The restaurant was a bit busy though. We had to wait a little bit to get the seat at the irori. We had a nice meal and rested long enough, now we are ready to explore more!

 

Welcome to the Wadas!

There are several houses of Gasshou-zukuri that accept visitors and we saw this sign.

The Wadas Gasshou-zukuri in Shirakawa-go

It says….what? The Wadas? I am not certain if this is possibly related to my family though, felt we should go in. A 300 yen of entrance fee is required.

The Wada's House: Entrance

The Wada's House: Inside and Exhibits

 

shirakawa-go_wadas_03

 

The Wada's House in Shirakawa-go: Inside the attic

 

As can you see, it is well-maintained. Hard to believe it is like…200 years old? Upstairs was quite cold without heater but we can see more of how this house is like. Residents raise silkworms here.

Inside the attic of a gasshou-zukuri house

 

Closer look at gasshou-zukuri attic

 

Beautiful Scenery of Shirakawa-go

We walked up to the top to see the scenery of Shirakawa-go. Not much snow was left…

shirakawa-go_steep

 

It would’ve been better with more snow but it still looks good, don’t you think?

Shirakawa-go scenery from the observatory

shirakawa-go_light

It’s a small village after all but beautiful.

Note:
Some houses are available for accommodation here in Shirakawa-go. If you wish to stay over at one of them, you should book as soon as you plan on visiting (During this time all places were full already before a month).

Let’s call it a day.

See you around!



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