Experiences - Asia

Must-eat in Japan: O-Dango

The Japanese are full of surprises. From their cultural traditions to their futuristic engineering, they always come out with something different.

Same goes for their cuisine. Their platter is laden with dishes of all varieties: spicy, sweet, savoury, or sour; you name it, and you get it. There are several dishes worthy of praise in Japanese cuisine. Let’s see how flavourful and enticing O-Dango can be.

ODango dumpling

Image Courtesy: carrie used under the Creative Commons Licence

O-Dango is a sweet dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour). Mochi by itself has no flavour, so it is either grilled, or painted with teriyaki sauce, and served hot. Sometimes, it is served cold with some kind of sweet paste on top. Red bean paste is quite popular in Japanese cuisine, and it is often used in the preparation of O-Dango.

This dish is very often served with different types of tea, and usually, three to four O-Dango are often served on a skewer.

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it. Anko, for instance, is often served with the dish. It is a sweetened red bean paste. Popular in East Asia, Goma (sesame seeds) and Kinako (toasted soy flour) are also plated alongside O-Dango.

It can usually be found served by roadside stalls, bazaars and open air markets. O-Dango is not a dish to be missed out on. So make sure you dig into some when you’re travelling through Japan!

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