kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thick Three Layer Chichi Dango

Chichi dango used to be something humbug to make.  It was traditionally prepared by steaming over hot water then cooled and cut into pieces.  At least that's what I remember from small kid time.  But sometime before I graduated from high school, baked chichi dango was introduced.  Baking was a way to nearly replicate steamed chichi dango with less effort, provided one had patience to wait at least ten hours for the pan to COMPLETELY COOL.

I often make chichi dango for Japanese occasions:  Girls Day (3-3), Boys Day (5-5), New Years Day (1-1).  I also bring it to pot luck gatherings.  I have go-to recipes, which I'm sure most people in Hawaii have.  The most common chichi dango is dyed pink.  These are sold in most supermarkets, and they come individually wrapped in paper.  If you are lucky enough to live in Honolulu, you can get a super cute friend to take you to the factory where its made.  They will hand-pack a box for you.

For special occasions, I like to make layered chichi dango.  I've recently discovered the "thick" style which is double the height of most baked chichi dango creations.  The fun part of layered chichi dango is varying the colors.  The traditional layered colors are green, white and pink, which are said to represent the seasons of winter, spring, and summer (no autumn because metaphorically, a girls life should have no autumn).  No, I didn't make that up.  I read that somewhere.  For looks, I prefer pink, white and yellow (as in the pictures).  I don't think blue chichi dango looks very appetizing, so I suppose a green-white-green or white-green-white combination could be done for Boys Day.

The chichi dango in the pics were colored with gel coloring.  Don't be afraid to be bold with the colors, as they will get somewhat washed out in the batter.  If you have made baked layer-type chichi dango before, you were probably instructed to cover the pan tightly with foil when baking each layer.  When I did that the first time, the chichi dango didn't cook properly, so please follow the directions carefully, covering with foil only after pouring the final layer.

Another mistake some people make is to rush the cooling process.  Please don't.  The best rule to follow is to cool the pan overnight.  If cut too early, the chichi dango will be very soft and will have a tendency to weep faster.

teflon knife










The best thing to use to cut the chichi dango is a teflon knife.  The plastic knife from McDonalds will also work.  Sprinkle potato starch as you are working to keep the chichi dango from sticking to itself.

For Girls Day, I gave the nice ladies in the office a little container of chichi dango.  They do so much for us so I wanted to show my appreciation.  I don't think anyone else gave them anything.  Real sad.  Real shame.  The bosses treated the clerical staff in the office to an office professionals day prime rib luncheon buffet, and they did not solicit donations from any of the other drones.  Yay!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of May, and we seem to be hitting the travel season.  D2 leaves tomorrow for a 3-night excursion to Kauai and Oahu with her class (bless you, Mrs. Ferreira, you are the best), and the Rents leave for the far east in a week.  The next "regular" post to this blog will be on May 15.  I am also hitting the road and will be updating as adventures unfold.  Stay tuned. . .   


 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Thick Three Layer Chichi Dango

     2 lbs mochiko
     4 c sugar
     4 c water
     2 cans (13.5 oz each) coconut milk
     food coloring
     potato starch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13" pan.  Combine mochiko, sugar, water, and coconut milk with a whisk.  Remove 4 cups of batter and tint with food coloring (or don't tint if you want an all-white layer).  Bake for 15 minutes.  While first layer is baking, remove 4 cups of batter and set aside.  To remaining batter, add food coloring if desired (or don't add if you want an all-white layer).  Pour over 1st layer and bake 25 minutes.  Add food coloring to batter set aside (or don't add if you want an all-white layer).  Pour over 2nd layer.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove foil immediately.  Cool completely before slicing with plastic or teflon knife.

9 comments:

  1. other recipes call for baking powder and vanilla extract. I'm trying your recipe now. It's in the oven as I type this. Do you have any other recpes online?

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    1. I have many recipes on this blog, so please look through the posts and try other things. I only post recipes I've actually tried making myself. And yes, most other oven chichi dango recipes call for vanilla extract and baking powder, but this one doesn't, and it doesn't suffer (my opinion) from not having them either. I hope you liked it.

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  2. This looks so ono must make this thank for sharing let you know how came out mahalo plenty.

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  3. One of my readers wanted to know how long can this mochi last and how would you keep it? Outside or refrigerated? Thanks!

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    1. This mochi should last a few days at room temperature (if it is completely cooled before cutting). I would not recommend refrigerating it because it will get hard.

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  4. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!! I don't cook or bake that much (a month ago I would've said at all) and I made this for a New Year's party and it turned out better than I (or my wife and family) could've expected!! The instructions were easy to follow and I let it sit for about 8 hours before cutting. My in-law's neighbor has already asked for the recipe and she's an excellent baker!!

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  5. Can I steam it instead of bake it?

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    1. I have seen numerous recipes for steaming, and steaming was the traditional way it was done. I don't know how long to steam it as I've never done it. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out. You might also want to cut the recipe in half, as I don't know of a household steamer that could hold a 9 x 13" pan.

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  6. I have no kitchen skills...literally. I hope to make this for my son's preschool. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

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