Ichigo-dama, strawberry pearls

Strawberry dangos. A little Japanese dessert with a pink twist.

These dango are balls of sticky rice. They are made from a product called “shiratama-ko”.

It’s not just rice flour, it is pre-cooked, instant… You need to get that product exactly for this recipe.

How to :
Juice a little amount of strawberry. Measure the amount you need to wet the shiratama-ko (according to package instructions). Pound with a pestle (or the back of a knife), then kneed a little to obtain a smooth paste with the texture of your ear lobe. Form balls with wet hands.
I count 10 g of shiratamako per dango ball.

Boil them, when they float, catch them and refresh in iced water. That’s it.

If you want to make some white and round ones :.

Serve with more strawberries, and tsubuan azuki bean jam (here azuki beans, sweetened with lakanto sweetener).

More sweets like that ?

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

Kimi-an dango, Japanese sweets like pearls of gold

On a skewer a boiled quail eggs and 2 boiled egg yolks… There is also this sweet version.

Anko, azuki bean sweet paste is very known. This is a variation. It’s kimi-an (yolk paste). It can be used in many type of wagashi.

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


1/2 cup (drained) of boiled white beans (not salted)
1 egg yolk, beaten
sugar or sweetener, as you like
1 tbs brandy
vanilla essence

-Paste the beans in a mortar (or a bowl with a fork) till you get a very smooth cream. If you want it to be perfect, pass it through a sieve, that’s the only way to be sure all the small skins are pasted.
-Mix in the yolk and the sugar.
-Pass 20 seconds in microwave (500 watts), mix well. Repeat 1 or 2 times till eggs are cooked and texture is quite dry.
-Add the flavorings. Let it cool.

Then simply form balls with dry hands. Join them with a skewer at the good size… or too long as here.

The white ones are mochi dangos (click on text) :


Wagashi saga. Full edition.

DSC01074-002mikan daifuku

The Japanese are sweet lovers. Now, all sorts of Western and Asian sweets can be found in big cities, and there are many talented bakers.

Wagashi means “Japanese sweets”, and it refers to the snack, usually sweet, served with tea. Eating desserts is not the custom. You eat lunch at 11~12 , then at 3 pm, you have a sweet with tea.

murasaki hanamame

The bulk of wagashi are made on a base of 2 ingredients : rice and azuki beans. And the artisans carve hundreds of refined designs -inspired by nature and seasonal events. So you may have the impression that they all taste the same and are only decorative. Actually, even in traditional shops, there exist many other flavors, sesame, roast soy beans, sweet potato, nuts, yuzu, chestnut, ume plum, cherry blossom, matcha, dry fruits, cassia cinnamon…
I have no ambition to compete in refinement of making with the famous shops. I have them on occasions, not too often as the quality ones are not cheap. Making my snacks is mostly a hobby and a way to avoid the supermarket range ones.
My home-made wagashi don’t always follow the traditional recipes, but I try to indicate when I adapt. Usually, I want mines to be less sweetened.


Sweet pastes
There are several sweet pastes called “an”.
“anko” the most common is made of red azuki beans. Other beans are used too, white for “shiro an”, and also red, yellow, black…
“kimi-an” is yellow and egg flavored. “kuri-an” is made with chestnut. Etc

Cooking azuki beans

Making anko (brown filling) from the beans. Tsubuan and koshian. Easy recipe.

Making kimi-an (yellow filling, with egg)

Rice, rice flour, processed rice flours

Making o-hagi, the basic wagashi (from rice)

Making daifuku mochi from mochiko (from mochi flour)

Making kashiwa-mochi (from joshinko rice flour)

Other flours

kuzu, kudzu :
warabi (bracken) :
warabi mochi
agar agar :

Home-made wagashi



Gold and Chestnut : kuri kinton

Kuri, the sweet (2nd style of kuri kinton)

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha

Polka-dot kabocha yokan

Making o-hagi

Mizu-yokan and nashi

After-Eight Daifuku Mochi

Choco-coco hari-nezumi



Azuki filled “sweet potato”


Ichigo daifuku mochi

Zenzai with yaki-mochi

Ginger kuzu-yu


choco-chip matcha-an daifuku

Tokoroten cherry…

Kimi-an dango, Japanese sweets like pearls of gold

Tamago-chan, cute egg wagashi



Lemon snow-flake mochi

Mochinnamon bun

Cubes of refreshment : heart-heaven in black sweetness


Okinawan mochi

warabi mochi (classic recipe)

ichigo-dama (strawberry pearls)


Setsubun (start of Spring festival)

Casual tea.

About wagashi and mochi from the shop… (Summer)

Yatsuhashi for sakura season (from the shop)

Assorted Spring wagashi (from the shop)

Kashiwa-mochi for Children Day, May 5th (from the shop)

okaki mochi

noshi mochi

Other dessert compilations :

Crazy and Healthy Sweets (compilation)

French desserts – Dessert francais (compilation)

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.