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Mitarashi Dango

What is Mitarashi Dango?

Mitarashi Dango

Mitarashi dango are dumplings coated with a soy-and-sugar syrup, and usually three to five are stuck on a stick.

It is also called "Yaki Dango", "Shoyu Dango", "Amakara Dango" and so on; the name is changed by regions and shops.

Mitarashi dango were originally made at the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House at Shimogamo, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, and apparently these dumplings were made to look like bubbles in the Mitarashi no ike Pond, which is in the precincts of Shimogamo-jinja Shrine. Mitarashi Dango: Generally it refers to a non-sweetened kushi-dango broiled a little and coated with kuzu-an (a paste made from kuzu vine) flavored with sugar and soy-sauce as a finish.

In the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, white kushi-dango is coated with non-sweetened soy-sauce and broied as a finish. So, roughly speaking, there are two types of Mitarashi: one is sweet and one is not sweet but soy sauce taste.

By the way, if Mitarashi dango is not stuck on a stick, it is just dango. Dango is a Japanese traditional sweet and a kind of dumpling made from rice flour (rice flour is kneaded with water or hot water and steamed or boiled to make a dumpling which is called "mochi"; the mochi is cut into pieces which are shaped like small balls which are called "dango").

And it is related to dango, there is a well known story of a time much closer to the present in which "senbei" is derived from an incident in which an old woman named "Osen", who was running a dumpling shop in Soka-juku (present Soka City), the second relay station from Nihonbashi, Edo on the Nikko-kaido Road, started to make and sell a different form of dumpling taking advice she received one day from a samurai who told her, "How about making those dumplings flat and grilling them?" So, Japanese cracker, Senbei is considered it to be derived from dango.

Making Japanese cracker, Senbei