10 Common Types of Dango (Japanese Rice Dumplings)
When it comes to the foods commonly eaten at Japan’s cherry blossom viewing festivals “Hanami (花見)”, “Dango (団子)” is one of the confections most familiar to us Japanese.
Dango are traditional Japanese cereal dumplings often made from powdered non-glutinous rice, but additionally a variety of cereal powder, such as barley, wheat, millet, buckwheat or soybeans, can also be the main ingredient.
A single Dango has a small round shape, and three to five Dango dumplings are often served together on a skewer.
Types of Dango
As for the variety, there are various types of Dango in Japan. Even among those, here are 10 common types of Dango dumplings that are widely enjoyed in Japan.
Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子)
Mitarashi Dango is one of the most commonly eaten Dango dumplings in Japan. It generally consists of three to five lightly grilled rice dumplings on a wooden stick, which are covered with a sweet soy sauce glaze.
Sanshoku Dango (三色団子)
Sanshoku Dango, literally Dango of three colors is well-known as the rice dumpling for Hanami cherry blossom viewing. Generally, the pink dumpling is colored with a coloring agent of red color called “Shokubeni (食紅)”, while the green dumpling is colored with mugwort extract.
Goma Dango (ごま団子)
Goma Dango, literally Sesame Dango is the rice dumpling coated with a sweet sauce made with sugar and ground black sesame seeds.
Kinako Dango (きなこ団子)
“Kinako (きな粉)” is a traditional Japanese food made by grinding roasted soybeans. Kinako Dango is the one covered with a mixture of Kinako flour and sugar.
Zunda Dango (ずんだ団子)
Image : zundamochi.jp
“Zunda (ずんだ)” is a local specialty of Japan’s Tohoku district which is made by mashing green soybeans or broad beans into a paste. Zunda Dando is the one covered with sweetened Zunda paste.
Shiratama Dango (白玉団子)
We call the dumpling made of Shiratama flour (a kind of glutinous rice flour) “Shiratama Dango”. The Japanese rice dumpling is commonly used as a topping for desserts.
Kibi Dango (きびだんご)
Image : Wikipedia
Kibi Dango, literally Millet Dango is famous as a specialty of Okayama Prefecture. This Dango dumpling is generally made by heating and kneading a mixture of glutinous rice flour, sugar, millet powder, and starch syrup.
Yomogi Dango (よもぎ団子)
The word, “Yomogi (よもぎ)” means “mugwort” in Japanese, so Yomogi Dango is the rice dumpling made with mugwort leaves. It is often served with sweet red bean paste or a mixture of sugar and Kinako flour.
Kurumi Dango (くるみ団子)
Image : rakuten.co.jp
Kurumi Dango, literally Walnut Dango is the rice dumpling covered with a sweet walnut sauce.
Anko Dango (あんこ団子)
“Anko (あんこ)” is the sweetened Azuki red bean paste known as a traditional Japanese food. Anko Dango is the rice dumpling covered with the sweet red bean paste.