Kabosu dango

So I had no idea what kabosu was until the end of 2020, when I was at a Japanese grocery store, and I found a bottle of kabosu juice. Looking at it, I thought it was like the Filipino citrus calamansi, based on the green exterior and bright yellow interior. But researching into it more, I found that it was more intensely sour than calamansi. I was intrigued, so I bought the bottle, and wanted to try using it in Japanese wagashi, or confectionary. One other thing that I was practicing with was making mochi or dango using shiratamako. Shiratamako is a type of glutinous rice flour that is processed differently that the more commonly found mochiko. Essentially, it is ground up dehydrated mochi, which results in a coarser consistency. However, because it was processed this way, it creates super soft and supple mochi dough, whereas mochiko-based mochi can be a little more dense and firm. I was playing around with using both rice flours, plus to kabosu, and that was how I came up with these little dango. I finished them with a little kabosu gelee, just to guarantee that the flavor comes through. They typically make mochi during the New Year anyways, so why not try making these for that? I did use grams to measure this recipe, mostly because with shiratamako being such a coarse, rock-line substance, measuring in tablespoons and cups proved to be a challenge and created inconsistent results. Also, other cool things to note with these, they are 100% gluten-free and vegan! Got to love Japanese wagashi and their dietary restriction-friendly components and ingredients!

Makes 6 dango:
For the dango base:
36g shiratamako
36g mochiko
15g kabosu juice
50g hot water
a pinch of salt
80g white sugar
katakuriko(potato starch)

In a heatproof bowl, mix together the rice flours with the hot water, salt, and kabosu. Steam this for 20 minutes in a bamboo steamer first. In a nonstick pan, place in your sugar first. Pour the steamed dango mixture on top of the sugar, and turn the heat on to low. Start stirring the dango mixture with the sugar until the sugar fully dissolves. Keep stirring the mixture off heat until the mixture begins to lighten in color – you should start seeing smaller air bubbles forming. This is good, as it creates a lighter texture. Line a silpat with the potato starch. Pour the dango mixture onto that and allow it to cool slightly before dividing it into 6 even pieces. Allow them to cool down to just above room temperature before shaping them into circular pieces with indents in the center. The indents will be for piping in your gelee.

For the gelee:
20g kabosu juice
5g agar agar
20g water, in two parts
7g white sugar
1g salt

Combine your ingredients together, sans 10g of water, and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar and agar is fully dissolved, pour the mixture into a heatproof container and set in the refrigerator. Puree the gelee with the remaining water to form a pipe-able gelee. Transfer into a piping bag and pipe into the indents in the dango to finish.

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