One of the many questions people ask is, “What does dango taste like?” It’s actually a Japanese sweet. In Japanese, Dango is a mochi-like confection with a chewy texture and a sweet paste filling. Its name, “dan go,” is a phonetic rendition of the word cake. The variety I tried was plain, but you can also find it sweetened or flavored.
Although the dango itself doesn’t have a distinctive flavor, it’s sometimes sweetened. It has a slightly springy texture and a flavor similar to rice. When eaten fresh, it is best when it’s hot, and it gets chewier when cold. This can be a challenge for those unfamiliar with this fantastic Japanese food. If you’re curious about its flavor, read on.
What is Dango?
Dango is one of the most well-known wagashi (Japanese sweets) ever created. Dango is round dumplings served on a bamboo skewer made of glutinous rice flour (mochiko). Every skewer usually has three to five dango balls on it. They’re frequently topped with red bean paste (Anko) or other ingredients like a sweet soy sauce syrup. Dango is soft and chewy, and they are well-deserving of their reputation as a Japanese snack. The best thing about dango is that it’s a great portable street snack thanks to its pierced lollipop-like stick!
The origins of dango, like so much Japanese candy and confectionery, could date back centuries. According to legend, nuts were ground into a fine meal, mixed with rice porridge, and formed into dango balls as far back as two thousand years ago. Dango is a healthy DIY version of a popsicle that hunter-gatherers used to make in prehistoric times!
What Does Dango Taste Like?
The flavor of plain dango balls is similar to that of sweet rice. It may appear mundane, but the texture of this Japanese dessert is what sets it apart. Tender, chewy, soft but firm, and toothsome. Some dango has a sweetened black sesame paste, sweet soy sauce, or Anko as a topping (sweet red bean paste).
While the rice in dango is usually sticky, it’s not a sticky rice ball. It has a smooth texture and is made of kelp. When it comes to its appearance, dango is similar to mochi, but it’s much thinner and less sticky. The Japanese have adopted this sweet to the way they eat, so it’s no wonder the dango is served in Shimokitazawa, which is the most popular place to eat it.
What are the Different Types of Dango?
Mitarashi dango is a skewered rice cake covered in a sweet, sticky soy sauce glaze, a famous Japanese snack. They’re traditionally made with five-round cakes, as they were when they were first served at Kyoto’s Kamo Mitarashi Tea House.
The name mitarashi comes from their resemblance to the water bubbles found in the water basins at Shinto shrine entrances. They are now widely available in convenience stores and specialized dango shops.
Kibi dango are simple Japanese sweets with a deep cultural significance. They are made from a sticky dough containing rice and millet flour, then shaped into large round balls. They were first given as gifts at the Kibitsuhiko jinja shrine in Okayama, and their story is intertwined with that of Okayama.
In the mid-nineteenth century, local merchants began selling kibi dango as simple everyday sweets a few decades later. When Okayama became a popular tourist destination in the late 1800s, the sweets were promoted as genuine local souvenirs. Kibi dango were transformed from their original form, which included a square-shaped wrapper and a red bean filling, into round balls with no fillings.
Goma dango, or sesame seed balls, are a Japanese sweet treat known as dango. The inside of these small rice flour balls is filled with sweet red beans (Anko), while the outside is crisp due to the deep-frying process – first at low temperatures, then at high temperatures near the end.
The procedure is quite involved, and it’s important not to burn the sesame seeds while the dough is cooking. The sweet bean paste is piping hot on the inside when freshly prepared, so be careful not to burn your tongue. The sweet and salty Goma dango is a popular summer delicacy at street fairs and restaurants in August.
Bocchan dango is a colorful variation of the famous Japanese dango sweets. It consists of three balls on a skewer, each colored differently – red, made with red bean paste; yellow, made with eggs; and green, made with green tea.
Because the sweet treat appears in Natsume Soseki’s 1906 novel Botchan, this dango variety is often associated with Matsuyama. The eponymous hero of the novel is a Tokyo academic assigned to a school in Matsuyama, and he finds great solace in the dessert that bears his name.
The chewy ikinari dango is a Japanese steamed confectionery made with a thick slice of yellow sweet potato, a layer of red bean paste, and wrapped in mochi dough. It is typically served warm. These sweet treats translate to “sudden dumplings,” referring to the quick and straightforward preparation method using only three traditional ingredients.
They are traditionally served on many special occasions in Kumamoto Prefecture, but these confectionery products are also enjoyed as a sweet everyday treat.
What is the Difference Between Mochi, Dango, and Daifuku?
Mochi is a glutinous rice-based Japanese rice cake. It’s pounded into a sticky ball after being ground, steamed, and pounded. As a result, it’s highly chewy and colorless (i.e., white). Color, on the other hand, can be added to it. Also, mochi isn’t naturally sweet, so dango and daifuku exist: they’re sweetened mochi that can be eaten as snacks or desserts.
The main distinction between mochi and dango is that mochi is made from rice, whereas dango is made from rice flour (mochiko). Both, however, are typically white and lack a distinct flavor.
Because dango is often served as 3-4 tiny round balls skewered on a stick, the best way to distinguish it from mochi is to look at it. A sauce is frequently poured over the dango, and Anko is spread on top. Apart from that, dango and mochi have very similar appearances and are easily confused.
On the other hand, Daifuku is easier to tell apart from dango and mochi. It’s similar to the above desserts in that it can come in various colors, but it’s different in that it’s filled. Daifuku is stuffed with mochi, and Anko is the most common filling, but other fillings may also appear.
Is Dango Considered Street Food?
These sweet and gooey rice flour dumplings are one of Japan’s most adaptable street foods. They’re small and come on a skewer in groups of three to four. Different types of dango have different coatings.
Yomogi dango is eaten in a variety of ways. Place the dango floating in a bowl of cold water. Drain the cold water and toss the cooked dango with azuki bean paste and kinako soybean powder in a small serving bowl.
How is Dango Made?
Dango is made from glutinous rice flour known as mochiko. Mochigome is short-grain Japanese rice, and it has a sticky, chewy texture. Because it has such a thick texture, dango is often described as having a “sticky” texture. Traditionally, mochigome was used to make dango, but today, it is made with a mixture of mochigome and regular short-grain rice.
When cooking dango, the rice flour should be shiratamako, glutinous Japanese rice. Joshinko is regular short-grain rice. Its texture is similar to mochi, which is made from steamed rice. However, the dango is cooked, unlike mochi. The texture is essential since the dango is very delicate but can be very tough.
How to Eat Dango?
The dango should be eaten fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for three days. If they aren’t eaten immediately, you can reheat them in the microwave in 30 seconds increments. When dango is frozen, it has a firm texture and may be hardened. If you’d like to eat it later, you can always thaw it in the refrigerator.
While the plain dango may not taste like much, it is slightly sweet and has a rice-like texture. Its springy texture gives it a chewy texture, and it’s best eaten hot since the rice becomes chewier once it cools. But the basic taste of dango is not bad, and the dango will make you feel satisfied, so it’s worth a try.
As far as flavor goes, dango is the key to a delicious snack. The sweet soy sauce makes it especially tasty. You can eat dango any time of the day. And it’s best when it’s fresh. If you don’t eat it right away, you can freeze it. It will keep for 3 to four days, so don’t worry about storing it in the fridge.
Dango is a Japanese sweet that is best eaten with green tea. This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast or a snack on the go! If you’re craving dango, just remember that it is made of rice flour and can be heated in the microwave or boiling. It’s best to eat, and you’ll. You’ll love it! The best part is that you can reheat it in any way you like.