Mochi / Shiratama Dango (白玉だんご)

You might know one of the famous very Japanese food ‘Mochi (Rice Cake)‘. We traditionally eat it during New Year’s days (we celebrate for 3 days). ‘Mochi’ is made from sweet glutinous Rice by soaking, steaming & pounding it.


Traditional ‘Mochi-Tsuki’ (Rice cake pounding)

It has become very rare to see the traditional ‘Mochi-tsuki‘ (Rice cake pounding) these days. It’s only seen in some kind of festival. Instead we have an electric Mochi maker for home use and people can make Mochi easily, however, it is still fiddly to go through the process for making small amount of sweets at home.

But there is another type of ‘Mochi’. It’s so much easier to make particularly for a very small amount. It is ‘Shiratama- Dango’.

<Mochi / Shiratama Dango> 


Shiratama Dango‘ is also called just ‘Shiratama‘. ‘Dango‘ means something rolled into a round shape.


  • Shiratama-ko (Glutinous Rice Powder) 100g
  • Water    about 90 ml

* Using ‘Shiratama-ko‘ is the most recommendable, however, I occasionally use finely powdered Glutinous Rice Flour from local ethnic shops. It works fine too.


Place Shiratama-ko in a bowl and start adding water. Do not add all the amount of water all at once, keep some aside and adjust the hardness of dough.

*In case you add too much water it is also recommendable to leave some Shiratama-ko/Rice flour aside

Shiratamako          Mixing well

Make soft dough. We say the texture should be as soft as an earlobe. Kneed it well and make into small balls. Start boiling water in a cooking pan on a medium heat.

Divide small amount and make some balls. When the water starts boiling roll each ball on your palm again to make a round shape and drop it into the boiling water.

Mixed well          make balls

Keep boiling on a medium heat until the Rice balls start floating to the surface. When all the Rice balls are floating lower the heat but keep boiling for a minute or two.

Prepare cold water in a bowl. Scoop up the Rice balls and chill it in the cold water.

Cooking shiratama          Cooling in cald water

Now you have ‘Shiratanma Dango’.

maving to water copy

‘Shiratama’ in white, yellow (Mango) & green (Matcha)

Shiratama can be used for many types of Japanese dessert.

If you mix fruit juice with Shiratama-ko instead of water you can make coloured Shiratama. In this photo I added Mango puree to make yellow Shiratama.

Or if you add some Matcha Green Tea powder in Shiratama-ko you can get green ones.

*If you want to keep Shiratama soft longer, add some Sugar. It will stop Shiratama from becoming hard.



2 thoughts on “Mochi / Shiratama Dango (白玉だんご)

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