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Mitarashi Dango
Mitarashi dango being prepared

Dango (団子?) is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour), related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.

Dango are eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten in given seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. One variety of dango from Hokkaidō is made from potato flour and baked with shoyu (soy sauce).

Contents

Types of dango

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it. [1]

  • Anko: Commonly known as (sweetened) red bean paste, while ingredients other than azuki are used on rare occasions. An-Dango is the most popular flavor in Japan.
  • Chadango: Green-tea flavored Dango.[1]
  • Bocchan dango: Dango that has three colors. One is colored by red beans, the second by eggs, and the third by green tea.
  • Chichi dango: Slightly-sweet light treats usually eaten as a dessert.
  • Hanami dango: Also has three colors, Hanami dango is traditionally made during Sakura-viewing season. Hence the name Hanami (Hanami means "flower viewing"; hana meaning "flower", and mi meaning "to see").
  • Goma: sesame seeds. It is both sweet and salty.
  • Kinako: A toasted soy flour.
  • Kushi dango: Dango held by a skewer
  • Mitarashi: Covered with a syrup made from shouyu (soy sauce), sugar and starch.
  • Teppanyaki: Dango on a skewer with a tangy teppanyaki taste.
  • Sasa dango: Dango that is produced and eaten primarily in Niigata Prefecture. Sasa dango has two varieties: "Onna Dango" and "Otoko Dango." Onna Dango (literally "Female Dango") is filled with anko, while the otoko dango (literally "Male Dango") is filled with kinpira. The dango is wrapped in leaves of sasa for the purpose of preservation.

Derived terms

A common Japanese proverb “Hana yori dango” (花より団子?, literally, “dumplings rather than flowers”) refers to a preference for practical things rather than aesthetics.

Dango is used internationally amongst go players as a derogatory term for an inefficient, dumpling-like cluster of stones in a go game. It is also the name of a go variant invented in 1991.

A hairstyle consisting of dango-like buns on either side of the head is sometimes known as odango.

In popular culture

  • On Japanese pop artist Tommy Heavenly6's single "Pray", the cover is designed to appear as a box of Dangos
  • one of the minigames in the game Work Time Fun(WTF) for the PSP involves sorting dumplings on the dango sticks.
  • in the Nintendo DS game Rhythm Heaven (or Rhythm Tengoku Gold) one minigame consists of a monk eating bocchan dango in time with the rhythm of the music.
  • In 1999, dango experienced a surge of popularity in Japan following the release of a song entitled "Dango san kyōdai" (three dango brothers). The CD single sold over 2.9 million copies, making it the 4th best selling CD single in Japan during 1968-2006.
  • In the extremely popular Japanese film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo, the family of lead character Kuruma Torajirō (Tora-san) operated a small traditional dango shop in Shibamata, Katsushika, Tokyo.
  • In the anime series Sailor Moon, the protagonist Usagi Tsukino is humorously referred to as odango-atama, "dumpling-head", because of her hairstyle.
  • In the anime series Clannad, dango are the main focus of the ending theme song, titled "Dango Daikazoku" (literally translated as Great Family of Dango or Big Dango Family). The ending video features personification of many types of dango as they act according to the song. In the series (also in the original visual novel), the main heroine Nagisa Furukawa is very fond of the personifications of dango which she finds to be cute, and likes to sing the beginning of "Dango Daikazoku".
  • Hana Yori Dango is also a popular Japanese drama and manga. The title of the series is written 花より男子, which would normally be read hana yori danshi, or 'boys over flowers.' The title forces the reading of 男子 as dango, as a pun on the phrase 花より団子, properly read hana yori dango, meaning 'dumplings over flowers,' or idiomatically substance over style.
  • In the anime series Zenmai Zamurai, the title character and protagonist has a sword with dango skewered onto it.
  • In the anime series Gintama episode 66 is entirely about dango.
  • Allen Walker from D.gray-man is quite fond of mitarashi dango
  • A character in the Naruto anime and manga series is named Mitarashi Anko. She is notoriously fond of dango. Also in the Naruto series, the character Tobi (who is also the evil Madara Uchiha) is fond of dango. While walking through the forest with Deidara, Tobi spots a dango restaurant and immediately asks Deidara to stop there. He is seen eating dango and describing everything about the taste.

See also

  • Wagashi, traditional Japanese confectionery

References

  1. ^ "Wagashi: Chadango and Minazuki". Jun 29th, 2008. http://kyotofoodie.com/wagashi-chadango-minazuki/. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 

Simple English

Dango.]]

Dango (団子?) is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour). It is sticky and filling. It is often served with green tea.

Dango are eaten all the year, but the different types are traditionally eaten in certain seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. One variety of dango from Hokkaidō is made from potato flour and baked with shoyu (soy sauce).

A common Japanese proverb "Hana yori dango" (花より団子? which translates as "dumplings rather than flowers") is related to the custom of hanami, and refers to a preference for practical things rather than aesthetics.

Types of dango

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it.

  • Botchan dango: Dango that is three colors. One is colored by red beans, the second by eggs, and the third by green tea. Botchan dango are often seen in Japanese anime, and are a common dish during hanami.
  • Chichi dango: Slightly-sweet, usually eaten as a dessert.
  • Goma: sesame seeds. It is both sweet and salty.
  • Kinako: A toasted soy flour.
  • Kushi dango: Dangos held by a skewer
  • Mitarashi: A syrup made from shoyu (soy sauce), sugar and starch. Popular with children and women.
  • Nori: dried and seasoned seaweed
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