Dango vs. Mochi: What’s the Difference?

- Colored mochi (via) -
 - Dango on the grill (via) -
After a weekend of grilling my in laws, I’ve discovered that the only difference between mochi and dango is the way that they are made.  To make mochi, you start with actual glutinous rice that is ground, steamed, and then pounded to make a sticky ball or cake.
Although it looks similar to mochi, dango is made from different types of rice flour (including a sweet glutinous rice flour, of which the base is called mochiko).  Dango is easier to make since it doesn’t require you to pound the dough.  You simply mix the rice flour with hot water to make a dough, separate it into small balls, and boil them in salted water.
Both mochi and dango can be eaten in similar ways – filled with azuki (daifuku), grilled, with a sauce, skewered, etc. – so it’s easy to confuse them with each other especially if you’re not the one making it!
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7 thoughts on “Dango vs. Mochi: What’s the Difference?

  1. Oh wow, I’ve made dango before. I know they’re not even close to the real thing but it made me want and want and want and want the real thing from Japan. I’m envious of you.
    :(

    PS. I love the photos.

    • Impressive! I haven’t been a huge fan of dango enough to want to make it at home yet, but it must have been fun to make! Do you have fresh dango where you live? If not, come visit Japan :)

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