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Tsukimi dango moon viewing dumplings thumbnail

Tsukimi Dango (Moon Gazing Dumplings)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 portions (5 each)
  • Diet: Vegan


How to make moon viewing rice dumplings, Tsukimi Dango. (Serves 3)


Tsukimi Dango

  • 100g glutinous rice flour (shiratamako or mochiko)
  • 125g silken tofu (+ 5g incase the mixture is too dry)
  • 1 pinch turmeric or yellow food colouring
  • Mitarashi sauce (recipe below) or smooth red bean paste (optional)

Mitarashi sauce (optional)

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cold water


  1. Whisk the dry shiratamako in a bowl. (If you use mochiko you can sift it instead.)
    shiratamako whisked in a glass bowl
  2. Add the silken tofu to the bowl and knead it with your hands.
    shiratamako and silken tofu in a glass mixing bowl
  3. Knead until it reaches a play dough texture. It should be smooth with no cracks. If it feels a little dry, add more silken tofu 1 tsp at a time. (If you don't have any more tofu then add 1/2 tsp water at a time instead.)
    shiratamako and tofu kneaded together to form a dough in a glass bowl
  4. Measure out 14 balls, approx 14-15g each.
    one dango in a small glass bowl measured on a digital scale (15g)
  5. Optional step: Add yellow food colouring or turmeric to the last piece of dough and knead until the colour is even. 
    dango dough coloured with turmeric
  6. You should have 15 balls in total.
    15 rolled dango on a plastic tray
  7. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Gently add the dango and stir from time to time to stop them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
    dango boiling in a pot
  8. Once they start to float (approx 5-7 minutes later) set a timer for 2 minutes. During these two minutes, prepare a bowl of ice cold water.
    floating dango boiling in a pot
  9. After 2 minutes of floating, transfer the dango to a bowl of ice cold water and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
    cooked dango chilling in a bowl of ice cold water
  10. Line a plate with kitchen paper and place the dango on the paper, leave them to air dry for about 30 minutes.
    chilled dango drying on a sheet of kitchen paper
  11. Make the base of the pyramid by lining up 9 balls in a 3x3 formation.
    9 dango in a 3x3 formation
  12. For the next layer, add 4 balls in a 2x2 formation.
    2nd layer of tsukimi dango, 4 in a 2x2 formation
  13. The top layer has two. If you make a yellow one, it should be on the top at the front of the display.
    top of tsukimi dango pyramid, 1 white dango and 1 yellow dango

Mitarashi sauce (optional)

  1. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and place it on the stove on a low heat. Stir continuously until thick and glossy.
    yellow dango rice dumpling dipped in mitarashi sauce


Best eaten on the day.

If you're making them in advance, freeze in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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