Do you know the Japanese confectionery
Kibi dango (黍団子, きびだんご, “millet dumpling”) ?
Well if you have ever visited Asakusa in Tokyo and walked through the great Kaminarion Gate and up Nakamise Dori leading up to the famous Sensoji Temple, its likely you have visited or walked past the Kibi dango stall.
Kibi Dango are small Japanese dumpling made from the meal or flour of the kibi (millet) grain. Originating from Kibi Province the former name of Okayama Prefecture.
The treat was used by folktale-hero Momotarō (the Peach Boy) to recruit his army to defeat demons in the commonly known version of the tale. In another story they were first offered at Kibitsu Shrine in honour of the ogre slaying deity Kibitsuhiko some believe to be the true identity of the character Momotaro.
What you will notice is they are smaller than the dango you maybe used to . Four come on a stick and you buy them in groups of five covered in golden nutty aromatic kinako soybean flour.
They are so easy to make.
Here’s how I make them.
As I said before they are made with millet flour, however I add Shiratama flour to mine otherwise I find them a little gritty in texture.
This is enough for one Kibi Dango stall serving.
1/3 cup of millet flour
1 teaspoon of potato starch
1- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Shiratama flour depending
kinako soybean flour mixed with coconut palm sugar or brown sugar and a pinch of salt
Add the millet flour and potato starch to a bowl and mix then add four tablespoons of boiling water and mix then gradually add your Shiratama flour add one tablespoon and keep mixing into a dough if it’s too wet add a little more. Work into two long sausage shapes and cut 20 equal size pieces then roll into balls. Add four balls to x5 bamboo Dango skewers.
Place them in a sieve.
Boil a big pan of boiling water. Do not cook them until you are ready to eat them as they need to be served warm.
Lower the sieve into the boiling water and when the skewers float they are ready.
Lift the sieve let them drain a few seconds and then add them to your bowl with kinako sugar.
Twist them in the kinako and eat straight away.
A delicious street food snack that is a taste of Japan. Why not have them with a warm amazake on a chilly day like they serve in Autumn.
Just on another note you can get a really good view of Nakamise Dori by visiting the asakusa culture tourist information centre, opposite and going to their roof top viewing deck .