Thankfully, the "Ah-ha" moment came when I was reading Iron Chef Shellie's post on s’mores. If Americans have s’mores during campfires, what do Japanese have during hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnics? They have dango. Dango is a traditional Japanese sweet dumpling snack made of sweet rice flour. There are several different varieties of dango, but mitarashi dango (soy sauce flavored) is my absolute favorite.
Now that I am back in Singapore, I get to use my mom’s Japanese cookbooks again. I found this recipe in one of her cookbooks, and made these sweet dumplings for the first time. I simply loved them; they was so easy to make and they tasted like the ones that I would usually get in Japan. Unlike other recipes, this recipe called for the use of silken tofu, thus making it more nutritious. Would I make it again? Of course! In fact, I think everyone should try it too!
|Mom's 'prized' possessions|
200g shiratamako flour* (Use sweet /glutinous rice flour + 3 tbsp potato starch if you do not have this )
200 – 250g silken tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari Sauce**)
1 tbsp mirin
100 ml water
1 tbsp potato starch
- Combine shiratamako flour and silken tofu in a bowl. As the water content of different brands of silken tofu may vary, it will be better to add in only 200g of tofu at the start. If you are using sweet/glutinous rice flour, make sure that the potato starch is mixed in evenly before adding the tofu.
- Mix the mixture using your hands until you get a soft dough. This may sound weird, but according to the cookbook, the dough should be slightly softer than your earlobe when you pinch it. If you find that your dough is a little hard, you may add a little more tofu.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces, and roll them into balls. It is okay if the balls are not perfectly round.
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add in the dumplings. You may want to do that in batches if your pot is not big enough. When a dumpling is cooked, it will float to the top. Remove the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon.
- While the dumplings are being cooked, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Make sure that the potato starch is well mixed in. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
- Thread the dumplings using wooden skewers, and drizzle sauce over them. Enjoy!
Cook's Note*Shiratamako flour is a type of Japanese glutinous rice flour, and is different from mochiko/sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour. If you do not have shiratamako, you may substitute it with mochiko/sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour + 3 tbsp of potato starch. I was out of shiratamako flour, so I ended up using sweet rice flour + potato starch, and it worked out perfectly.