Recipe & Photos by Ann Seo
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Dango:
ð 1 ¼ cup sweet rice flour (sold in grocery stores and online)
ð 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
ð ½ cup of boiling hot water
ð ¼ teaspoon of salt
ð 2 tablespoons of white sugar
ð ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Ingredients for the Maple Ginger glaze:
ð 1 cup of water
ð ¼ Maple syrup
ð 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
ð 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark works)
ð 1 teaspoon of potato starch (corn works too)
ð 1 slice of ginger that has been bruised
ð 2 dashes of pumpkin pie spice
ð Bamboo skewers
Yields roughly 20 dangos
Gather the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Then add the pumpkin puree and hot water and mix with a spatula or large spoon. The mixture will eventually form into pea size balls and that’s when you want to get in with your hands and knead the dough. You’ll know you’re on the right path if the texture of the dough is smooth and oddly enough, feels like an earlobe. Cover the dough with a damp towel so that it doesn’t dry out and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes, which is enough time for you to boil your water.
The next step is to cook your dangos. Turn on the heat to boil a large pot of water. Once you’re close to a boiling point, that’s when you’ll want to start forming the dangos. Grab a piece of the dough and start rolling it using your palms. We are looking for 1 ½ - 2 inches size spheres. Roll until you’re happy with the size and shape then place on a plate (I used a baking sheet) and continue to form more. The recipe yields roughly 20 dangos.
Once you’ve assembled the dangos, use a ladle to carefully place them in the boiling water. Roughly 5 minutes later, they will resurface to the top. This is a sign from the dangos informing you that they’re almost done so let them cook for two more minutes and transfer to cold water. Let them sit for 1 minute and finally, place them on a paper towel to dry. Repeat this step for the rest of the dangos!
For the Maple Ginger glaze, all you need to do is mix all the ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat. Continuously stir and you’ll notice the glaze slowly thickening. In due course, the glaze with start to bubble, which is what we want, and once this happens, let it bubble for about 15 more seconds, stirring at the same time, then turn off the stove. The glaze should be able to coat a spoon nicely and shouldn’t be too runny.
Now its time to skewer the dangos! This step is absolutely necessary to have the full dango experience. Take your bamboo skewers and poke through the middle of each dango. The amount of dangos on each skewer is to your preference, but I went with three. Place the dangos on a plate and top them with the glaze.
Optional: if you want to go the extra mile, you can always caramelize them. Place the dangos in a light oiled pan and wait till each side caramelizes. Then drizzle on the glaze.