Dango are small dumplings made of rice flour, served skewered on a bamboo stick, extremely popular everywhere in Japan. There are, of course, region-specific versions made from various types of flour (potato or millet flour) and with various ingredients like azuki bean paste, black sesame or green tea.
One of the most common versions is Mitarashi dango, coated in a sweet syrup made from soy sauce. Originally made at a tea house from Kyoto called Kamo Mitarashi, located near the Shimogamo Shrine, the name is said to come from the similarity between the dumplings and the bubbles made by the purifying water (mitarashi) from the shrine’s entrance. There’s also a story that originally the Mitarashi dango was served skewered in groups of 5, the top one representing the head, the next two the arms and the last two the legs…
Anyway, they’re delicious! But, although the Mitarashi dango is commonly sold in konbini, I prefer buying them from specialized dango shops - these are less sweet and much tastier than the ones from konbini…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: