Wagashi saga 1, mochiko : Sweet Potato dango

Let’s make the classic Japanese sweet dango (small rice balls). They can be served in different ways, on skewers or not, roasted or not, flavored/colored, with syrup, with anko (bean jam)…

I am going to present the different ingredients for wagashi (Japanese sweets).


It’s a white powder sold in Japanese grocery stores. You often see it as ingredient for making wagashi (Japanese sweets).

Is mochiko = rice flour ? In Japan, no (I can’t tell about exported products), not in the sense of milled rice grains. The standard rice flour is called “komeko”. You can’t substitute.

Wikipedia explanation of “mochiko

My translation :
Shiratamako (白玉粉), also called kanzarashi (寒晒し), mochiko もち粉 or kanshinjiko (観心寺粉) is a powder made from mochi-gome (white polished Japanese sticky rice).

Mochi-gome rice is rinsed, soaked one night, drained, and grinded while adding water. This “milk” is then dehydrated by pressure technique or sun-drying. It is used as an ingredient to make different wagashi (Japanese sweets), in particular shiratama-dango (white small balls). The texture of balls made with that ingredient is finer.

It is a very ancient Japanese processed product. It is made for dangos, not ideal for mochi (but that works). I think there are slight differences between the different named powders that results in nuances in taste and texture.

Today let’s have the dango balls with “Sweet Potato an”. This is not classic, not my invention either. Sweet potatoes are often called satsuma imo, “Sweet Potato” (= “suiito poteito”) the English term is the name of a sweet potato, buttered and vanilla flavored cake.

Here are the new sweet potatoes :

Steam one. Mash it (with the skin). Add a little butter and vanilla extract.

Dango recipe :

Measure 5g of shiratamako, or of mochiko per dango. So 30 g for a set of 6 of 2 cm diameter.
Prepare a glass of water. Progressively add water to the powder, just enough to form a paste. Kneed till you can get a ball that has the texture of your earlobe. Cut and form the balls by rolling them in your hand.

Drop the balls in boiling water. Boil 2 minutes. Tranfer in a cup of iced water to refresh.

Serve with the potato paste, and iced matcha.

6 dango + paste
Cal : 188.5 F4.2g C34.3g P2.2g

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.

10 thoughts on “Wagashi saga 1, mochiko : Sweet Potato dango

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