Local Japanese-Hawaiian Chi Chi Dango

A sweet, soft, and chewy Japanese treat with cute colors that range from pink, white, and green.

I remember my elementary school days chasing each other playing tag, Chinese jump rope, dodgeball, etc. Good ol’ days! I also remember a particular day when the school would also celebrate Girl’s Day (Hina-Matsuri) on March 3rd. They would display vast collections of beautiful Japanese dolls on a red tiered  display… oh and eating sweet pretty colored confectionary, chi chi dango! 

Chi chi dango vs. mochi

It is a very common question to ask, “what is the difference between dango and mochi?” It is quite simple. Dango is using the mochiko flour while mochi is made from rice that has been grounded, steamed, and pounded into a sticky ball. Mochi or dango are very similar in taste. They are sticky and tasteless in its base form. In this chi chi dango recipe, sugar, coconut milk, and coloring has been added to give it a pastel-like color.

Tips

When you are ready to pour the batter into the pan, generously grease it! Spray on grease works wonders but if you are warry of the product, good ‘ol shortening can work too! Dab some of the shortening onto a paper towel and rub it onto the pan.

Before popping the chi chi dango into the oven, cover the pan with foil to prevent it from cracking on the top. I forgot to do that in my video…so learn from my mistakes hehe!

Chi chi dango is very sticky. That is why you see the outer parts of the treat dusted in potato starch (if you can’t find potato starch, you can substitute it for corn starch). Cutting into the dango is another story! Don’t use your regular metal knife. Use a plastic knife! For some reason the, the dango will not stick to the plastic knife as much as your regular kitchen knife.

Video Tutorial

Check out this video to help you gain more insight on how to make Chi Chi Dango. Also, subscribe to my YouTube to help support me so I can continue making more of these contents. Mahalo!

Chi Chi Dango

A sweet, soft, and chewy Japanese treat with cute colors that range from pink, white, and green.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Hawaiian, Japanese
Servings 40 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 3 1/2 cups mochiko flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red and green food coloring (optional)
  • potato starch can substitute for cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Mix together the dry ingredients by sifting it in a large bowl; mochiko flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Combine water and coconut milk. If the coconut milk is lumpy, try to break it down by thoroughly mixing it. Then add in the vanilla extract.
  • Combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix it well.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Tri colored mochi:

  • Evenly divide the batter into three separate bowls. In one bowl, add a few drops of red food coloring. If it isn't bright enough, add a couple more drops. Repeat the same process for the green color. Leave one bowl untouched to have a white layer.
  • Generously grease a 9×13 inch pan. Pour in the green batter and make sure it has evenly spread in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add in the white layer. Cover with foil and bake again for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add in the pink layer. Cover with foil and bake again for 30 minutes.

One colored mochi:

  • Add a few drops of food coloring of your choice. Generously grease a 9×13 inch pan. Pour in the batter and make sure it has evenly spread in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool down completely. Sprinkle potato starch on working surface. Remove the mochi from pan and using a plastic knife, cut the mochi into bite sized pieces. Roll pieces in potato starch and dust off any excess. Serve and enjoy!
Keyword bake, celebrate, chewy, chi chi dango, Girl’s Day, mochi, mochiko, soft, sweet, tri color

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Sonomura Ruby

5 stars
I just made a pan of soft, delicately pink chichi mochi for Girls Day. It looks beautiful, the texture is perfect and the taste is awesome. Best of all, it is quick and so easy to make.

K C

How does the cook time change if I cut the recipe in half?

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