Kabocha Dango with Mitarashi Glaze (Japanese Pumpkin Recipe)

5 from 11 votes
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This Kabocha Dango is my favorite recipe for a quick veggie snack. If you’re searching for a way to use Japanese pumpkin, try this chewy, starchy, and delicious treat!

Looking for kabocha recipes? Try my Fried Kabocha, Kabocha Miso Soup, and Kabocha Tempura!

Kabocha Dango(Japanese Pumpkin Recipe)

I’ll walk you through the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. I hope you enjoy it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe 

  • Kabocha dango is a simple recipe that anyone can make without fail.
  • It’s the simplest way to enjoy starchy kabocha for a snack, breakfast, or anytime treat!
  • With the easy mitarashi glaze, the flavor is enhanced even further!

Kabocha Dango

This kabocha dango offers a unique twist on traditional dango – it doesn’t require rice flour or skewers, yet it has that chewy texture that we love. Making it is a breeze – just mix cooked kabocha with starch and pan-fry. Also, Kabocha dango is a local delicacy from Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. Being a native of Hokkaido, it’s a beloved childhood snack for me!

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Kabocha Dango:

Kabocha dango ingredients.
  • Kabocha: Kabocha’s harvest time is summer, but fall is the best season after going through drying and aging, and the taste becomes richer and sweeter. Pick the one with bright orange and filled with pulp and seeds. If you are unsure how to cut it, check out this recipe, “How to cut a Kabocha squash.”
  • Potato starch adds a nice, chewy texture. You can substitute it with corn starch.
  • Soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and potato starch for mitarashi glaze.

How To Make Kabocha Dango: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make kabocha dango.

Step 1

Set a steamer basket in a pot and water and steam kabocha squash.

How to make kabocha dango.

Step 2

Mash steamed kabocha and mix in potato starch to make the dough.

How to make kabocha dango.

Step 3

Make a round shape with the kabocha dough, and pan-fry over medium heat.

How to make kabocha dango.

Step 4

Put mitarashi glaze ingredients in a small pot and stir until thickened.

Kabocha Dango(Japanese Pumpkin Recipe)

Here you go! Enjoy these yummy dango while hot! We love it as is, but adding the glaze will make it a more special treat!

Recipe Tips

  • You can also boil or microwave kabocha instead of steaming.
  • Kabocha skin is edible and I include kabocha skin in this recipe, but feel free to remove it if you prefer.
  • If the pumpkin has too much moisture and the dough won’t come together, try adding potato starch one tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency of the dough.
  • When cooking in a frying pan, pressing the kabocha a little with a spatula will cook the entire surface, making it more fragrant and delicious.

Storage

It will last up to five days in the fridge and one month in the freezer. Freeze them before cooking and pan-fry them without thawing them when eating.

Variations

  • Anko (red bean paste): Stuff a small ball of anko in and pan fry.
  • Oshiruko (red bean soup): Put pan fried kabocha dango in a oshiruko.
  • Sesame seed: Coat sesame seeds on kabocha dango and pan fry.
  • Cheese: Stuff a small piece of cheese in and pan fry.
  • Soup: Besides dessert, kabocha dango is also delicious in soup, such as Japanese miso soup, clear soup, tomato soup, and cream stew. Jus put them in a soup a few minutes before the soup is cooked.

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Kabocha Dango(Japanese Pumpkin Recipe)

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Kabocha dango(Japanese pumpkin snack)

Kabocha Dango with Mitarashi Glaze (Japanese Pumpkin Recipe)

5 from 11 votes
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Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 17 minutes
Servings: 15 pieces
Author: Juri Austin
This Kabocha Dango is my favorite recipe for a quick veggie snack. If you're searching for a way to use Japanese pumpkin, try this chewy, starchy, and delicious treat!

Equipment

  • Medium saucepan
  • Steamer basket
  • Frying pan 22cm (8.6 inches)

Ingredients

  • ¼ Kabocha, 250g
  • 2 Tbsp Potato starch
  • 1 Tbsp Oil for cooking

Mitarashi Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tsp Potato starch
  • 3 Tbsp Water

Instructions

  • Steam kabocha: Cut kabocha into small pieces and steam them in a pot for about 10mins
  • Make a dough: Transfer the kabocha to a bowl, add potato starch, and mash to make a dough.
  • Make a round shape: Grab a piece of dough, roll it, and press it with your palm to form a shape.
  • Pan-fry: Heat a frying pan over medium heat, pour some oil, place the kabocha dango and pan fry for 2 minutes for each side
  • Mitarashi glaze: Add sugar, soy sauce, and mirin to a pot over medium heat, bring it to a boil,  add a mixture of water and potato starch, and cook until thickened

Video

Notes

  • Storage: It will last for three days in the fridge and one month in the freezer.
  • Portion: This will make 15 pieces of dango, 5 cm (2 inches) round in shape. 
  • You can also boil or microwave kabocha instead of steaming.
  • When cooking in a frying pan, pressing the kabocha a little with a spatula will cook the entire surface, making it more fragrant and delicious.
  • You can eat the kabocha skin, but you can remove it if you don’t like it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.1g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: japanese pumpkin recipe, kabocha recipe, vegan
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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16 Comments

  1. this is such a great idea for kabocha squash! The simple ingredient list and easy preparation was great. The taste is so yummy. I took your suggestion to add cheese and I think I like it better that way (is there anything cheese doesn’t improve?). Thank you for the out-of-the-box use for kabocha!

  2. Hi! This is my first time seeing this interesting recipe, and would love to try it! However, I cannot eat starches. Do you think the potato starch can be replaced with something like coconut flour or a nut flour as a binder to hold the patties together? Without the starch, the texture will probably not be chewy and be more like a flat pancake?

    1. Hi Sharon, Thanks for your comment! I haven’t tried but regular flour should work ok (less chewy though) so coconut flour or nut flour might be ok too. I hope it helps!

  3. Hi. I would like to make this, but I don’t have Mirin. Is that required for the sauce? Is there something non-alcoholic as a substitute? Thank you.

    1. Hi Chava, thanks for your question! Mirin adds sweetness so you can add more sugar (1/2-1 Tbsp) instead or you can just omit it. I hope you will like the recipe!

  4. I tried to make this recipe tonight but messed it up! The dough ended up really stretchy and mochi-like. I think I oversteamed the pumpkin so it was too wet and added too much potato starch. Very annoying as in the recipe they look delicious!

    1. Hi Bron, Thanks for trying kabocha dango recipe! I’m sorry it didn’t come out good…I understand cos that happens to me many times too. This recipe is pretty simple so taste and texture is pretty depend on kabocha itself. Some kabocha contains more water and it’s so wet when it’s cooked. In that case, please add potato starch gradually. So I suggest try to pick a starchy kabocha when you go to a store. If the seeds are full and stringy pulp is tightly packed(if you buy cut kabocha), it is a sign that it’s aged good and starchy and sweet. I hope you will have a good result next time!

      1. 5 stars
        Flavor is great and the sauce is a wonderful recipe to have as well! So simple and so delicious. _/\_

        Same happened to me, with an aged kabocha that was olive green and orange with dry pulp. My mistake though was to use a pressure cooker instead of a steamer. Maybe letting the squash sit in the water, plus the pressure, added too much moisture.

        My solution was to spread it on an oiled baking sheet, 350°F oven for 20 minutes to dry out before then frying it in squares. Still a bit mochi-like inside, but better!

  5. 5 stars
    I have written a children’s vegetable cookbook and have never heard of pumpkin Dango. Can you tell me where the name comes from and if this dish is served with anything else? I definitely will try it! I ailso have a children’s cooking column in Grandparents Day Magazine-4waystoyummy. Thank you very much!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Children’s vegetable cookbook sounds great! Pumpkin dango(sweet dumpling) is local food from hokkaido(north island of japan) where is main produce area of pumpkin. It’s perfect snack for kids and our children love it. We usually eat as it is but sometime i cook it in miso soup or red been soup which is good too. Hope you like it!

    2. You so much for this recipe! Does the steamed kabocha need to be cooled before adding starch? Thank you!

      1. Hi Luka, thanks for your comment! No need to cool it down. It’s easier to add potato starch while kabocha is hot. I hope you enjoy the recipe!