Traditional Japanese Mitarashi and Anko Mochi Dumplings

Traditional Japanese Mitarashi and Anko Mochi Dumplings

These are actually mitarashi dango (skewered mochi dumplings with a sweet-salty mitarashi sauce), but when my second daughter was little, she kept on calling them, "tarashimi dango" no matter how many times we corrected her, so we still call them, "tarashimi dango" in our house now. The name is silly, but these are authentic dango (mochi dumplings) made with shiratama-ko and joshin-ko rice flours.

Ingredients: about 15 to 20 skewers

300 g
100 g
about 1 tablespoon
330-350 g
1/2 teaspoon
For the mitarashi dango:
100 g
Soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus
1 heaping tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon
100 ml
For the anko (sweet azuki bean paste) dumplings:
Koshi-an (smooth sweet azuki bean paste)
to taste


1. Put shiratama-ko, mizuame and 100 ml of water in a bowl and mix with your hands, until the mizuame is blended in well.
2. Add the joshin-ko and 200 ml of water and mix well. Add a further 30-50 ml of water while checking the texture of the dough. It should be about the same texture as your earlobes.
3. Line the steamer already filled with boiling water with kitchen parchment paper. Rip up the dough into small pieces and steam over low heat. In about 25 minutes, the dough will become translucent as shown in the bottom photo. Split a piece in the middle - if it's cooked through, it's done.
4. Transfer the dough into a wet bowl, and form into one mass using a spatula or a pestle. Knead the dough strong, wetting your hands with cold water to cool. The dough is really hot at the beginning, so be careful!
5. When the dough is smooth and mochi-like as shown here, it's perfect.
6. Take 1/3 of the dough, add the matcha dissolved in water and knead it in until it's uniformly incorporated (my family prefers the dumplings with mitarashi sauce more than with anko, so we make less of the matcha version).
7. Soak the bamboo skewers in water. Form the dough into a long sausage as shown here...
8. Twist of pieces of the dough with your thumb and forefinger. When all the dough is ripped up like this, form them into smooth balls with moistened hands.
9. Skew 3 of these balls on each skewer. The skewers in the top photo were made by my second daughter, who's in the 2nd grade. They're a bit misshapen but she really worked hard.
10. Make the mitarashi sauce. Put all the mitarashi sauce ingredients into a small pan and mix well. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat on to medium and stir the sauce continuously. When it comes to a boil, thickens and becomes clear, the sauce is done. If it boils a lot, the sauce will become cloudy with air bubbles, so once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down.
11. I grilled the white dumplings using the grilling function of my oven. Coat with the mitarashi sauce while they're still hot.
12. Coat the matcha dumplings without grilling with about 1 tablespoon koshi-an and they're done.

Story Behind this Recipe

I used to be really into making wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) at one time when I was younger. I was especially passionate about mitarashi dango, so this recipe brings together everything I learned then.