Thursday, December 29, 2011

最近、私の大好きのは。。。

I don't really like to eat Japanese mochi before I came here this time because they are hard and chewy with no filling inside.However, ever since trying one stick of hot dango here, I have began my search for the softest-easily-pull-apart dango, and it must be no other than the みたらし団子 (sweet soy sauce dango)

So what on earth is みたらし団子?
it is a dango that is glazed or should I say "dunk" in a thick sweet and salty sauce that is made of shoyu, japanese sugar 三温糖, and then thickened with chestnut starch. The reason I prefer this version to others like red bean, white bean, grean bean, or sesame is because it is the least sweet of all. And between this and the yaki dango 焼き団子, I would recommend this みたらし because it is not as dry as the yaki version (although the yaki version is relatively less sweet of course)

So far 2 shops have served the better dangos out of thousands of wagashi shops here and they are really popular with the locals, judging from the rate they are sold out.

追分だんご本舗 
This shop is based in Shinjuku and has a variety of dangos. This one is its all time best seller.
(3 balls for 157Yen)

 ふるや古賀音庵 
A shop since 1936. Though its best seller is its sesame powder flavour, I prefer this to the first one as this is softer and the robust flavour of the shoyu is much accented.
Furthermore, this one is more value for $$ because it costs around the same but has 4 balls to a stick and loaded with more sauce=)

Besides the dangos, there is the warabi mochi. わらび餅. This one is from 山梨県's famous 桔梗屋, a shop since Meiji era and can only be found in that place. I haven't spot any branch shop yet in Tokyo

桔梗信玄餅:
『手づくりの味』を大切に守り続けてきた。餅づくりはもちろん、黒蜜もとろりとした独特のコクと風味、味わいがあり、一味違った舌触りは桔梗屋ならではのものです。開発当初から変わらない風呂敷は女性の手によってひとつひとつ心を込めて結ばれています。
I had quite high expectation of this but I was surprised that this was slightly hard and chewier. There are others that are much more wobbly than this and it's definitely not due to the cold temperature. But the mochi still retains the smoky smell of black sugar + kinako (soy bean) powder and thus the taste is good.

For the website :

Last but not least, this is something related to the new year here!
花びら餅(葩餅)
Flower mochi?

はなびら餅とは、京都でお正月にだけいただく伝統の御菓子の一つで、柔らかいお餅に京都のお雑煮に見立てた白味噌のあんをごぼうと共に求肥で包んであるお菓子です
It's selling hot everywhere right now but I am not really sure what is the meaning attached to this new year food. It is filled with white miso paste and a vegetable--the burdock root! 
What an interesting combination for a wagashi.

Although it was white miso, the entire thing is still very sweet, but fortunately less sweeter than red bean or chestnut paste. The addition of the burdock root is rather odd as it does not really match with the entire wagashi. Nonetheless, it is something definitely worth trying while the new year is here! The skin is especially soft( but still sweet) and dusted with powder.







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