- Tried & Tasted -

Monday, 18 April 2016

Hanami Dango ("Flower Viewing" Japanese Dumpling)

This recipe was inspired by an outing made with my friends to view the cherry blossoms (Sakura) at The Gardens by the Bay, a few weeks ago. The cherry blossoms were so beautiful. I also found out that the cherry blossoms season in Japan is ending soon too. By making these hanami dango, I hope that it will prolong the season for a little longer.

Japanese will make dango to eat year round but Hanami (Hana = flower, mi = viewing) Dango is traditionally made during Sakura (cherry blossoms) viewing season and enjoyed with a cup of green tea. 

As I did more research online about this dumpling, I realized that I might have placed the 3 colored dumplings in the wrong order when I skewered them. The order that I have seen online is the pink dumpling at the top, followed by the white followed by the green. 

I chose to skewer mine according to how I wanted to taste the dumpling, starting from the mildest tasting (white dumpling) to the beetroot flavour (pink dumpling) then subsequently to the strongest tasting, green tea flavour (green dumpling). 

The dumplings are chewy but not too sweet and when eaten slightly chilled, it is really refreshing. 

Hanami Dango
(makes 8 sticks of 3 colored dumpling)
100g glutinous rice flour
100g silken tofu
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp beetroot powder (can be replaced by red food coloring)
1/4 tsp green tea powder (can be replaced by green food coloring)

Pot of boiling water
Bowl of ice cold water
8 wooden skewers

Steps to Dango:
  • Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, silken tofu and sugar. Mix till a uniform, smooth dough is formed.
  • Step 2: Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. In one portion of the dough, knead in the beetroot powder until the powder is uniformly distributed and a pink dough is formed. 
  • In the second portion of the dough, knead in the green tea powder until a uniform green dough is formed.
  • Step 3: Divide the white dough into 8 equal portions. Do the same for the beetroot dough and the green tea dough.
  • Step 4: In a medium size pot, boil some water. When water comes to a boil, gently place the dumpling into the water and let it boil till the dumpling floats to the surface of the water (indication that the dumpling is cooked).
  • Step 5: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings into ice cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Step 6: After 5 minutes, using the slotted spoon transfer the dumplings onto a platter and gently skewer them, starting with the green tea flavor, followed by the original flavor and lastly the beetroot flavor.
It is best eaten on the day you make them. But it can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up a day but you need to heat it up in the microwave for 20 seconds on high before enjoying it.  

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  1. I gotta try these. First time desserts taste so amazing, thanks a lot

    1. Hi Keith, give it a try and please do tell me how yours turned out. ;)

  2. Hahah, this is kind of random but there's an emoji on the iPhone keyboard that resembles this dessert EXACTLY!! With the same colors and everything!! Never knew what it was supposed to be, but now I know ;) I want to try!

    1. Hahaha...That's a funny one. Joleen, if you are familiar to Chinese desserts, this is just like tang yuan (汤圆) on skewers. Give it a try and tell me how yours turns out. Have a great day!