Dango Jiru, Recipe Test 2

Japanese Dango Dumpling

This is the second recipe that Pat, over at The Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook, sent me to test. If testing new recipes sounds like fun to you let her know.

This recipe is “Grandma Mivoshi’s Dango Jiru.” It’s a Japanese-Hawaiian soup with lots of greens, Spam ™, and dumplings. “Dango” refers to the dumplings, which in Japan are usually made with rice flour, but in this Hawaiian variation, the dumplings are made with all-purpose flour.

Dango Dough

Dango Dough

Dango Dough

I used my King Arthur Flour dough whisk to mix the flour and water to make the dumpling dough. It’s a great tool that’s surprisingly effective for mixing batters and dough, easy to use, and easy to clean. If you look closely at my pictures you’ll see evidence of a minor household emergency Dango Doughthat distracted Dango Noodlesme while the dough was resting: The beautiful round smooth ball of dough dried out and developed a pebbly texture on the surface. I went ahead and rolled the dough to 1/4″ thickness and cut the noodles. The dumplings were fine once they were cooked.

mustard greens

The recipe called for mustard cabbage, and after a quick Google I found that it’s sometimes called “gai choy.” There was a note on the site that a good sub would be mustard greens, so I grabbed a small bunch.

gai-choyThen I noticed this interesting looking vegetable that looked just like the picture online—right there in my regular grocery store! It’s pretty, don’t you think?


The recipe also calls for mizuna, but hey, this is winter and not much is growing here. I did find it, at great price for a very small package. Then I noticed that it was labeled “Arugula / Rocket” and there was another green labeled “Arugula / Roquette” in a much more generous bunch. I bought both. And some watercress.

greens for Dango JiruIt looked like a mountain of greens by the time I’d prepped them all!

spamOther vegetables for the soup are carrot, and onion. This is the first time I’ve bought Spam™ in more than 30 years! I opted for the “low salt” version. I suppose with all the rabbit food, this is still a relatively healthy meal. I cut the meat into 192 cubes; that’s three layers of 8 x 8 squares!

dango jiru Japanese Dumpling SoupThe soup is very easy to cook once the prep work is done. The dumplings cook right in the broth so the liquid thickens a bit. I served it with a garnish of green onion slices, and Chinese mustard paste and soy sauce for dipping. No, we did not eat all of that mustard, but it’s hard to make a smaller amount.

Japanese Dango Dumpling

So, how was it? It was good. I made the whole recipe (serves 4 to 6) and because there are only two of us, there is a lot left over. I don’t know if it will re-heat well. I took some to work with me and nuked it, and the greens just got overcooked. The dumplings were better, though.

Edited to add that I made another Dango Jiru.

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5 thoughts on “Dango Jiru, Recipe Test 2

  1. Pingback: Grandma Miyoshi’s Dango jiru « The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

  2. Delicious! I love your photos too, very illustrative of the process. Gai choi is really delicious and I love its distinct flavour. I don’t think I’ve eaten Spam since I was a child, when we were served spam fritters for school dinner!

    Helen Yuet Ling

  3. Pingback: Dango Jiro (Dumpling Soup in Japan) « Tess’s Japanese Kitchen

  4. Hi Helen,
    I’m glad you liked the post about “dango jiru.” Check out my latest post about what I found out about wheat flour dumplings in Japan (22 march 2008 post). The spam here did not taste as awful as I remembered from childhood. I likely won’t make this recipe again with spam, but I was happy to find other “dango jiru” recipes.

  5. Pingback: Tenobe-Dango-Jiru « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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