Ikinari Dango (Japan)

Kitakyushu- Ikinari DangoGiven Name: いきなり団子
Alias:  Ikinari Dango*, Imokoi*
Place(s) of Origin: Kumamoto, Japan
Place Consumed: Kitakyushu, Japan
Common Features: Glutinous rice, sweet potato, red beans
Background: I get a kick out of wandering about the depachika* of Japan, collecting food samples, particularly from those workers displeased with handing them out to youngish foreigners like myself, the kind that’s not “expected” to buy things above US$2/¥202.  Unbeknownst to said employees, I make lots of small purchases, not just to try lots of new foods but also because it’s too easy to spend money in Japan.  The lowest denomination of their bills is ¥1000, coins, ¥500.  Five bucks in one coin is cruel.
That being said, one such small purchase was the wagashi* known as  ikinari dango.
Verdict: Sweet potato and anko* combined to make a conveniently portable treat?  Good call!  Both were mashed but a few chunks of each were left to add more texture.  The glutinous shield held everything together, so you didn’t have to worry about the mush falling out.  Not extremely sweet, and you can clearly taste both the sweet potato and red beans.  I reckon a hot cup of green tea would be its friend.
Recipe: Ikinari Dango

*(Japanese) ikinari: all of a suddendango: sweet dumpling {not a term of endearment}, or something round; imokoi: imo= potato, koi=love {the term for ikinari dango in Kawagoe, a city by Tokyo}; depachika= department store basement food halls; wagashi: Japanese sweets/confections often served with tea; anko: red beans


About buildingmybento

Bread, olive oil Waking up in Nakagin Sure does sound like me
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