Today is my family's annual Mochi Making Day! Most of the clan get together to make mochi - a pounded rice cake that is eaten on New Year's Day...giving you good luck in the coming year, longevity and all sorts of good things (I'm hoping that I have good luck baking in 2008!) Photos of mochi making to come.
My mom grew up in Okinawa, Japan and they have a local dessert called the "Okinawan Dango" or Sata Andagi. She used to make them when my brother and I were young, but since we've all wised up to fried foods, I haven't seen them in years. This year, I decided to learn how to make them!
The recipe is very simple and the technique very easy. And the taste is full of yum. The dough is dense and cake-like, not like a regular American donut. You do not cover them with powdered sugar or any glaze. Just plain. Just yum. And best eaten hot out of the fryer. Often, you will see Dango Booths at local Japanese church/temple fairs...with a line out the door demanding them. Usually, they are sold three on a stick. (And you know I just love food on a stick.)
In October, my mom went back to Okinawa to visit her 86 year-old mom and siblings. She brought back some famous Okinawan black sugar. I broke up some pieces and added them to the batter. (Next time, I'll add larger pieces so you can see and taste them).
Here is the recipe:
Mix together in large bowl:
3 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 c sugar
1/2 t salt
Beat together in small bowl or measuring glass:
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
Mix the dry and wet batches together by hand (with a wooden spoon or spatula) until dough forms. Do not overmix.
Heat a wok or deep-fryer with vegetable or canola oil. Form dough into small balls with your hands or with an ice cream scoop/cookie dough disher before dropping into the oil. Fry until golden brown. Makes 36 dangos.