(Writing thank you cards for his grand parents in Japanese. He spent more than an hour practicing. Some characters are quite complicated!)
After receiving good results on A-levels last week, I have been wondering how we should celebrate this happy moment of my son’s life.
If his grand parents were here, we would have a big get together. We would absolutely love that.
But unfortunately, all our relatives are in Japan and what is more, my husband was away on his business trip, again, in Japan.
I tried my best and made his favorite sweets; choux puffs filled with homemade custard and whipped cream.
I also made ‘Mitarashi dango’, Japanese treat made with rice flour.
My family loves Mochi and dango. They are both Japanese traditional rice cakes made from rice flour. Our absolute favorite is Mitarashi dango. It is rather humble snack, but I made some for this occasion. I get cravings for them sometimes.
Mitarashi dango is a type of dumpling skewered onto sticks in groups of 3–5 (traditionally 5) and covered with a sweet soy sauce glaze. It is characterized by its glassy glaze and burnt fragrance.
In the past, I have tried to make some at home following a recipe I found on internet. The instruction said to cook the flour and water mixture in a microwave, so I did. Disaster! Thick, sticky mixture got stuck to the bowl and I didn’t know what to do with it. I managed to roll some of it into balls, wetting hands time to time, but it was such a nightmare. I struggled to clean the bowl afterwards, too, and decided not to try it ever again!
But recently, I found another recipe in a Japanese cooking magazine. The instruction said to add Tofu to rice flour, knead, and make them into balls. Then, you boil them in hot water. This sounded much easier and promising.
So, here I go again.
Recipe makes about 20
100g rice flour, ‘shiratama-ko’
1tbsp Mirin, sweet rice wine
1Tbsp soy sayce
2tsp corn flour dissolved in the same amount of water
1. In a bowl, mix rice flour and tofu and and knead. Add water to achieve earlobe softness. Roll it into small balls of about 1 inch.
2. in a small sauce pan, add ingredients for sauce and heat it until it thickens. Set it aside.
3. Boil water in a large pan and cook dumplings until they come up to the surface. Cook further 2 minutes or so. It is just like cooking Gnocchi.
4. Drain water.
5. Place the dumplings on a plate and pour sauce over them.
Traditionally, the dango are skewered and sometimes grilled, but I was too afraid to mess them up. Maybe next time.
Mitarashi dango made with only rice flour hardens whey they are cooled, but these ones with tofu do not. It was another reason I wanted to try.
My husband just came back from Japan with loads of souvenirs!
Rice cakes, Matcha chocolates and cooking ingredients!
He got a mini rice cooker for my son, too. My son didn’t want a toaster or a kettle for Uni, he wanted a rice cooker. Fair enough.