Today I bring to the table The Mochi Diaries Chapter 5 â€“ Ninja Kusa Dango è‰é¤…
I picked up this box on a recent trip to theÂ Iga Ueno Ninja Festival (ä¼Šè³€ä¸Šé‡Ž NINJA ãƒ•ã‚§ã‚¹ã‚¿Â )Â a 5 week event that is run by the city of Iga ä¼Šè³€å¸‚ in Mie prefecture ä¸‰é‡çœŒ from April 1st to May 6th each year.Â When a couple of friends suggested hiring a car and driving down for the weekend I was more than excited, and keen to get my ninja on! To anyone that has not been, the trip comes with my highest recommendation!
Anyhow on to the review: As aÂ foreword,Â this mochi doesn’t actually have anything to do with ninja.Â In fact,Â rather than mochi, todayâ€™s review is about kusa dango è‰å›£å (grass dango). Dango, whilst being almost identical to mochi, is aÂ separateÂ type of wagashi. Generally speaking the difference is that mochi is made by poundingÂ glutinousÂ rice into a dough whereas dango is made by adding water to mochiko é¤…ç²‰ (glutinousÂ rice flour) and boiling or grilling the resulting dough.
Unlike anyÂ mochiÂ é¤… orÂ dangoÂ å›£å that I have featured thus far, as opposed to the usualÂ mochiÂ outer layer filled with a sweet centre (usuallyÂ azukiÂ ã‚ãšã) thisÂ kusaÂ dangoÂ lies on a bed ofÂ ankoÂ é¤¡ã“ (sweetened red bean paste). Instead ofÂ just popping them in your mouth, a small spoon is provided to scoop the dango up with a little anko on the side.
Last summer, I became somewhat addicted to kakigori (shaved ice) and decided to get myself a machine to make it at home. Using the kusa dango, I thought Iâ€™d try out the very traditional ujikintoki kakigori flavor which is typically topped with sweetened red bean paste, dango, and often capped with condensed milk. It was a great way to consume these little treats.
If you see these guys floating around pick up a box and try making your own!
Daniel â€˜Tacoâ€™ Taccone