Tri-color Dango Recipe: Japanese Traditional Springtime Dessert

Tri-color Dango Recipe

Some people might refer to the golf-sized round rice cakes on skewers as mochis. Although they have almost similar ingredients and appearance, these round sweet delicacies are known as dangos. This Japanese dessert is commonly enjoyed with green tea, as it balances the sweetness of the dangos (dumpling balls). 

Like mochi, Japan has a variety of dangos for different events and seasons. 

The Tri-color Dango (or Hanami/Sanshoku Dango in Japanese) represents Japan’s springtime. During hanami (sakura viewing), people would enjoy this dango while watching the sakura petals fall from the blossoming trees. 

The three different dango colors represent different aspects of springtime. Pink refers to the sakura flowers blooming on the trees; white represents the melted snow; green symbolizes vitality and new life. With this Tri-color Dango recipe, you can make this colorful dango for your guests. This can also be a treat for children above 4 years old.

Tri-Color Dango Recipe

Prep Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

10 mins


15 mins



Ingredients and tools

  • 1.58 oz of glutinous rice flour

  • 1.58 oz of silken tofu

  • 1 teaspoon of matcha powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of pink coloring

  • A pot of water for boiling

  • A bowl of cold water for cooling

  • 3 wooden skewers

  • ½ floz of white sugar


  • Mix the rice flour, silken tofu, and sugar in a large bowl until it forms a dough.
  • Divide the dough into three parts for different colors.
  • Add matcha powder into one of the doughs and knead until the dough turns green.
  • Add in pink coloring into the second dough and knead until the dough turns light pink.
  • Roll each dough part into three golf-sized balls.
  • Boil some water in a pot before adding in the dangos to cook.
  • Once the dangos raise to the surface, quickly scoop them out of the water and place in a bowl of cold water.
  • Place three dangos onto a skewer. Starting with one green dango at the bottom, one white dango in the middle, and one light pink dango on top.
  • Repeat the same dango placement for the other two skewers.


  • If your dough is a little dry, add in drops of water to moisten the mixture. 
  • The color of the dangos will intensify once cooked, so do not go overboard with your coloring unless you prefer strong colors. 


Image Credit: Bokksu

One aspect of enjoying a Japanese dessert is the aesthetics. First, stack your dango skewers on top of a dark color monotone plate. You can place them in a neat row or a small hill formation.  

You can brew Japanese green tea to enjoy with this Tri-color Dango recipe. Your tea choices can be sencha, matcha, or genmaicha. Pour your tea into a small Japanese cylinder tea cup and place it on the north-west position of your dango plate. 

Check out LokaEats for more food recipes and recommendations.



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