Dango is an amazing Japanese wagashi usually sold during festivals. Just like ice cream mochi, there are many variations of Dango and one of the yummiest is Matcha Dango. In Japan, green tea is extremely popular so it makes sense to create a green-tea flavored Dango. Matcha Dango is a sweet treat unique to Japan that is very popular amongst the populace and anyone who’s ever given them a taste!
There are other Matcha variations like Matcha mochi and the same goes for Dango. But with the two combined together, you get a soft tasting glutinous rice dumpling that is rich in flavor. They taste amazingly good and in this article, you can learn how to make them at home.
Dango is already quite popular on its own. They are dumplings made with glutinous rice flour, uruchi rice flour and water. Dango is a type of “wagashi,” that is often served alongside green tea. Over the years, multiple variants have popped up all over Japan some of them include, anko Dango, kinako Dango and of course, Matcha Dango. Sometimes, it is compared to mochi but they are different because Dango is not as chewy as mochi and it is skewered unlike mochi.
If you want to learn everything about Dango, read our complete Dango article here.
Matcha has been popular in Japan since the 1600s, and it forms the foundation upon which the majority of Japan’s tea ceremonies were formed. Matcha is processed green tea made by crushing the leaves of the tea to get the finest and smoothest powder. Although it was initially used only in traditional tea ceremonies, it soon evolved into an ingredient in sweets and desserts because of its unique bitter taste.
In this article, we cover tea in Japan and why it is so important.
Essentially, the Japanese had taken two of their favorite things, Dango and Matcha, then decided to combine them into one. The gentle bitter taste of the Matcha goes surprisingly well with Dango’s chewy texture. Matcha Dango is characterized by its green color. This is because of the Matcha green tea powder mixed with it.
There are multiple places where you could find Dango being sold, as well as stores that offer Matcha green tea in Japan. Outside Japan, it is not so easy to find.
You don’t really need many ingredients to make Matcha Dango. You just need; glutinous rice, Matcha powder, katakuriko (potato starch), sugar and water. Remember that the addition of Matcha powder to the mix is what really sets Matcha Dango apart from the plain old Dango.
Here’s a step-by-step process;
If you want to sweeten the Matcha Dango a little more, then you could add a drizzle of honey just before you serve them or eat them.
You can also make Dango the regular way and mix in some Matcha with your glaze to get that taste of Matcha.
Dango and Mochi are so similar in the eyes of an outsider that it is completely understandable to have the two of them mixed up. It is a rather common mistake, but there are very easy ways to differentiate between the two;
Both Matcha Dango and Mochi are made with glutinous rice flour. Their key differences lie in texture, shape, and the way they’re each served.
Matcha Dango is a small dumpling made with mochiko, a specific type of glutinous rice flour, and Matcha green tea leaves. It is often served as a set of three or four on each skewer. It has a sticky texture and is quite chewy, with a green color.
Mochi is also made with glutinous rice flour. It has a sweet sticky taste, which might seem similar to Dango, but Mochi is filled with sweet red bean paste. The fillings in Mochi often make it come out bigger than Dango.
Matcha has been popular for many years in Japan for multiple reasons. It has a soothing and unique taste. The ingredients used to make Matcha Dango have certain health benefits associated with them. First, there’s Matcha green tea powder;
When it comes to Japanese confectionery, dumplings are the real deal. They’re uniquely shaped, and they taste great. Most of the time, they’re far more healthy than some western alternatives, like Matcha Dango. If you’re in Tokyo and you’re craving something unique and healthy, then there’s no need to fear. You’re in the city with the most delicious Dango on the planet.
Here at ZenPop Japan, we have monthly snack packs filled with amazing Wagashi from Japan (yes, that may include Dangos).
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem and edited by us.