Japanese love to eat pumpkin not only for its nutrition but also to add colour to dishes, especially in the bento. A small cut of pumpkin in bento can really have the brighten up effect and make it looks more appealing. Hence, pumpkin is available on the shelves all year round. This time, I added pumpkin in traditional Japanese sweet called shirotama dango (白玉団子). Shirotama (literally means white ball), original version is white in colour (plain) but green tea (matcha) flavour is also popular.
Dango (dumpling) is often served with sweet red bean paste, brown sugar syrup, and kinako (soy bean powder). It is delicious too, to serve it western way with icecream (eg: parfait). My elder son loves them all, but younger boy votes for western sweet.
- 100 g pumpkin (without peel and seed)
- 100 g glutinous rice flour (I used Japanese type)
- Warm water
- 4-5 tbsp Sweet red bean
- Kinako (optional)
- Green for garnish
- Steam and mash the pumpkin.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together mash pumpkin and glutinous rice flour. Add in warm water slowly to form pliable soft dough.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, divide and shape dough into small balls.
- Drop dumplings into boiling water, once they are floated remove and put them in a bowl of iced water.
- Drain well. Arrange a few dumplings on a serving plate, serve with a heap tablespoon of sweet red bean.
* * * * *Next, sharing few photos of Mount Hiei (比叡山) covering in snow I took during Japanese new year holiday. We went there by public transports, train + bus + cable car. Boys were excited to see such thick snow, it was our main purpose there actually.