Sanshoku or “three-color” dango is usually served at teatime with a cup of hot Japanese green tea. I remember seeing these in stores while travelling in Japan and thinking how pretty the three colors — pink, white, and green — looked together. Sanshoku dango can also be called hanami dango when it is served during the spring cherry blossom season because pink, white, and green represent spring colors.
If you don’t want to use food coloring, you can substitute ¼ teaspoon food-grade beet powder to make the pink dango. You’ll need ten small wooden skewers.
Yield: 10 Skewers
© 2023 Kaori Becker / Storey · Reproduced with permission. · Excerpted from Mochi Magic by (c) Kaori Becker. Photography by (c) Nordeck Photography. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
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Combine the mochiko, tofu, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mash and mix the ingredients together until thoroughly blended. The mixture should look and feel like smooth, soft playdough. If it is cracking, add 1 teaspoon of water and mix again. If it looks too wet, add 1 to 2 teaspoons or more of mochiko.
Divide the mixture equally into three different bowls. In one bowl, mix the matcha with the dough. In another bowl, mix the red food coloring with the dough. Leave the final dough uncolored. Mix each colored dough very thoroughly by mashing together with your hands until the color is consistent throughout each dough.
Working with one dough at a time, pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Form more odango balls until all of the dough is gone.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside for your ice bath. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add the odango. Cook until they rise to the surface, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the balls from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once they rise, cook for 2 minutes longer. Do not exceed 4 minutes total boiling time, even if they do not all rise.
Remove the dango balls with a strainer or slotted spoon and transfer to the ice bath for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the dango well. Skewer three balls on each stick in the following order: green, white, then pink.