Kinako dango (rice dumplings with sweet roasted soy flour)
Kinako dango was my ultimate favorite dessert as a kid. Chewy dumplings made with rice flour, very similar to mochi and dusted with a sweet and salty roasted soy flour.. SO GOOD. I remember standing next to my mother as she added the doughy balls to a pot of boiling water, eagerly waiting for them to rise up and float, signaling they were ready to eat. My love for this dish is just as much about the taste as it is about the the texture: sticky, chewy and fluffy balls oozing a little sweetness bite after bite, leaving you wanting more.. Now that’s what I call good eating!
It’s one of the easiest things to make since there is no real recipe for this dish. I wanted to write a post about it because it had such a big impact on me as a kid. The Japanese food I had during my summers spent there as a child greatly changed and expanded my palate. I discovered at a young age that food was so much more than just burgers and fries (not that there’s anything wrong with that greasy goodness!) Suddenly I found myself craving dried shredded squid, maki rolls, oden, pickled plums and.. a dessert made with soybean flour? Na uh! Ya huh.. It may have been a long time since I sat on tatami floors during those hot Japanese summers, but I’m still seriously addicted to kinako dango.
The good news is kinako dango makes a healthy snack or dessert. Though slightly high in calories, it’s low in fat and high in protein and B vitamins.
The ingredients are also easy to find in Asian supermarkets. You may have trouble reading
Japanese characters though most of the packages do display pictures of desserts that can be made with rice flour. As for kinako, it looks like beach sand and will be located next to the dango flour.
If you want your kids to participate in the kitchen, have them help you with shaping the dough! I used to have a blast creating moon crescents, hearts and other oddly shaped designs. Kinako tastes a little like peanut butter so you can play around with the flavor as well and add your own twist to the mixture. If you come up with something delicious, do share it with me as I’d love to hear about it!
If you have leftovers, put the kinako and dango balls in a tupperware, covered. The next day, zap them in the microwave for 45 seconds and the texture will return to being fluffy and chewy.
- 1 cup dango powder
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp cold water
- 1/2 cup kinako
- 2 heaped tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- - Bring a pot of water to boil.
- - In a mixing bowl add dango powder and water. Mix well until well combined.
- - Grab a little dough and shape into a ball (bite size). Lay it on a plate and repeat until all the dough has been used.
- - Set aside a bowl of cold water.
- - Add dango balls to boiling water and boil until they rise to the top.
- - Drain the dango balls and add to cold water. Leave for 5 minutes and drain.
- - In another mixing bowl, add kinako, sugar and salt and mix well.
- - Put a half of the kinako mixture in a serving bowl, add dango balls and top with leftover kinako.
- - Serve.
- Serves 2-3 people
- For leftovers: Cover in a tupperware and refrigerate. Zap covered in microwave for 45 seconds before eating.