Like [mochi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/mochi-recipe), *dango* are a type of *[wagashi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/wagashi-guide)*—or Japanese sweets—made from *shiratamako*, a glutinous rice flour also known as “sweet rice flour.” *Shiratamako* is what gives *dango* its chewy texture, but unlike mochi, *dango* is not made with 100 percent *shiratamako*. *Dango* also includes regular rice flour (*joshinko*), which results in a lighter stretch.\n\nJapanese *dango* are often filled with *anko* ([red bean paste](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/red-bean-paste-guide)) or flavored with matcha powder. Plain *dango* have a lightly sweet rice flavor, which makes them a great blank slate for many different toppings or glazes. \nThe Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in Kyoto, Japan, is believed to be the first place where *dango* was served. The Shimogamo shrine is located nearby, which is where Kyoto hosts its annual Mitarashi festival. In one of the ceremonies, a plate of Mitarashi *dango* is presented as a good-will offering to the deities. This popular dessert is available at Asian convenience stores and grocery stores but remains closely associated with Kyoto.\nMitarashi *dango* are rice dumplings served on a skewer and topped with a sweet [soy sauce](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/soy-sauce-explained) glaze. Mitarashi *dango* are made with a mix of glutinous rice flour and *joshinko* (short-grain white rice flour), for a stiffer texture than mochi. The dumpling skewers are grilled before the soy sauce glaze is added to give them a charred flavor.\nThese grilled rice dumplings coated in soy sauce are one of Japan's favorite desserts.