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Shiba Inu Mitarashi Dango

Yay for three day weekends "as a fourth year", since everyone in medical school probably doesn't have this day off 😁. Even though I've been going out to eat and cooking up a storm, this weekend is also the last weekend to put in our residency spots for the match! Gah! I've probably explained the match system a gazillion time to my friends and family, but NO it isn't like a job offer and NO you can't pick and choose where you end up. Instead, you only get that ONE SPOT that you rank highest (if the hospital ranks you high too) and everyone finds out on the SAME day and SAME time.
It is definitely a strange system and sometimes I do wish it was like applying to college, where you can get "offers". But alas, our fate is pretty much dependent on some algorithm that matches each person to a residency spot so that no spots are left unfilled. So my life is in a limbo, since I have no idea if I want to go to the East or West coast. I'm still living out of boxes and our apartment still looks like a homeless shelter. Although, no excuse because it's been looking like that for the last 4 years haha. Totally not out of laziness... 😌
To keep this weekend nice and lighthearted for me and my roommate, I made a traditional Japanese snack called Dango (chewy rice cake mochi like balls) in the shape of Shiba Inus! How doge is that? Mitarashi is the sweetened soy sauce that is brushed onto the dango, which gives and salty sweet flavor. It is also enjoyed with sweet red bean or kinako!

Shiba Inu Mitarashi Dango

makes 24 dumplings

1.5 cup rice flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup glutinous rice flour (or mochiko flour)
2 tsps sugar
3/4 cup warm water

Sweet Soy sauce
3 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp corn starch (optional)

bamboo skewers
black sesame seeds for eyes
sushi nori
  1. Mix together the all the dry dango ingredients and then add hot/warm water. Using a spoong, mix until it forms a soft dough and then use your hands to knead together. The dough will feel soft and a bit dry to touch
  2. Divide dough in half again and again until you end up with 8 pieces and divide each into 3 so you end up with 24 pieces in total. Shape using your hands into a dog face and butt
  3. Prepare ice water bath and set aside. Bring large pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt to water. Gently add dango a few at a time. After a few minutes, the dango will float to the surface and let it boil for another 3-4 minutes before scooping them out with a slotted spoon. Place immediately into ice water to help retain chewiness
  4. Place dango pairs onto the skewers and set on a plate
  5. To make the sauce, combine all soy sauce ingredients (except corn starch) into a small pot and bring to simmer. Keep stirring to not let it burn. If needed add corn starch to thicken
  6. Pour or brush sauce over dango and serve warm
  7. To decorate, use black sesame seeds for eyes. I cut nori into thin strips to make the star butt-hole (pardon my French) and circles for the nose


  1. This is super cute and I'm making it right now. Are you certain that it's 3/4 cup of hot water? Mine made a soupy texture instead of dough so I'm having to rescue it with more rice flour.

    1. Sorry I actually got the flour measurements mixed up, because I reduced the amount when I made it again! Fixing now!

  2. Once again, I am searching for a potsticker recipe. Do you have one?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't. Although, I do make kimchi dumplings on this site but they are soup based.

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