otsukimi dango

"Blog Matsuri" is literally a festival, where bloggers (of mostly japan-related sites) meet to share their view on a certain given topic. This month it's hosted by Ashley of surviving in JAPAN (without much japanese). (If you're interested in surviving life in Japan, you really should take a look. It's about more than "don't stick your chopsticks upright into your rice bowl". Who does that anyway?) I'm relatively new on these paths of the www and there's a number of nice blogs I didn't know before --- but since it's such a persuading topic, I couldn't resist. So, hello!

食欲の秋 --- fall is the season for eating

The event I thought to write about takes place a bit earlier in fall. But maybe it's an option for next year?

It's about tsukimi, the Japanese moon-viewing festival "on the 15th of the eighth month" of the lunar calendar, which now falls in September or early October. Or rather it's about tsukimi dango, the little rice dumplings which are eaten along with other seasonal food during these night. The moon is often especially bright in fall and moon-viewing has a long tradition. Dango are also offered to the moon, displaying them beside decorations made from susuki grass. This is to honour the harvest.

Tsukimi dango, or dango in general, can be quite sophisticated wagashi, as well as very simple treats. Here now is the possibly purest variant, a common one, too. The hitch for Westeners may be finding joushinko rice flour, if possible the real one, because it's the only ingredient apart from water.

How to make them

While heating water in a steamer pot, take a small bowl of joushinko, little by little add warm water and knead well. It is said that the dough is right when it is soft as an earlobe. Then form little dumplings and place them into the steamer (Wrap the lid with a teatowel or cloth, so that no condensate drops onto your dango.). Steam with high heat for about 20 minutes. Let them cool down before eating.

You may enjoy the dango with

* anko (azuki bean paste),
* kinako (flour from roasted soybeans, mix it with sugar and a very little bit of salt),
* sweet salty mitarashi sauce (basically water, sugar, soy sauce, maybe mirin and starch),
* a mixture of soy sauce and brown sugar,
* crushed black sesame seeds (roast them before and mix with sugar afterwards),
* or, or, or...



Bungoya hat gesagt…

Hello, I came to your website from Blog Matsuri.
Nice tsukimi dango. Anko and kinako look so great with dango.

tamara hat gesagt…

Hi, thanks for passing by and writing a comment! You have really fantastic sweets in Japan.