Tofu Dango, As Seen in Anime!




We've all seen these in anime! Dangos are chewy rice balls on skewers. They can be sweet or savory, and prepped with a variety of ingredients. Some use a combination of short grain rice flour & sticky rice flour, some use hot water & kneading, all to achieve a good balance of texture. They should be soft but hold shape, chewy but not too sticky, bouncy and slightly al dente.

A shortcut to making these with minimum experience and effort is to use equal weight silken tofu and mochiko. It won't quite be the stuff you get at a Kyoto tea house, but will yield a pleasant, balanced result, without hand-kneading a steaming hot dough and trying not to get burned.

The dangos themselves are not strongly flavored. They rely on sauces & toppings for flavor. Sort of like fresh homemade pasta - taste great even with the simplest seasoning, but if you don't put anything at all on it, it won't be nearly as enjoyable on its own (think unsalted pasta). If you have access to Asian grocery, try the traditional toppings below; if not, the more accessible, non traditional ones are enjoyable too. Dangos are versatile. Just make sure you add something to it.


Ingredients:

100g silken tofu
100g mochiko
1/2 tsp strawberry jam
1/4 tsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp water

brown sugar syrup:
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp corn starch

traditional toppings:
roasted soy powder (sweetened)
ground black sesame (sweetened)
red bean paste

non-traditional-but-easily-accessible toppings:
strawberry or raspberry jam
crushed peanuts (sweetened) 
crushed oreo


Instruction:

Hand mix the tofu and mochiko together until you have a dough. Roll the dough out to into a log and divide it in thirds.

Mix 1/4 tsp of matcha with 1/4 tsp of water; knead into 1/3 of the dough, until the color is blended in.

Repeat the same for the red dough. Knead 1/2 tsp jam into the other 1/3 of the dough. Feel free to adjust based on how fruity you like yours. If the
dough gets to wet to work with, just add some more rice flour.

Roll each dough into a log, and divide each log into 6 parts. roll each into a round ball. Add to boiling water. Cook for 2~3 minutes, until they float to the top.

Once they float, take them out of hot water, and dunk them into cold water. This will help with the texture, and wash off surface starch so they'll be easier to assemble. Push one of each color onto a skewer.

To make the sauce, add to a microwave safe bowl, brown sugar, cold water, corn starch. Mix together, and microwave for 20~30 second, watch closely and stop the microwave as soon as it starts bubbling up. This will heat up very fast. In less than half a minute, you should have a thick sauce that coats the back of a spoon.
Dip the dango in brown sugar syrup, coat it in roasted soy bean powder, or whatever crumble topping you choose to use, and dig in!

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