Kibi Dango – History, Recipe and Various types

Have you ever ever heard of Wagashi (和菓子)? It’s used to call traditional Japanese confections resembling Dorayaki, mochi, dango, etc. Today, we would love to introduce Kibi Dango – popular Japanese sweet which has a really interesting folktale “Momotaro” behind its origin. Perhaps some people have known this story, but do you realize what Kibi Dango is and what’s the connection between this sweet and the story “Momotaro”? Let’s discover these interesting facts in this text!

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What’s Kibi Dango?

Kibi Dango (also often known as millet dumpling) is a form of wagashi made using the kibi (millet) grain, characterised by its round shape and springy texture. This can be a famous confectionery of Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. Millet dumplings have an analogous taste and look with mochi but these confections are traditionally made with millet flour, not sweet rice flour. Beside the traditional Kibi Dango, there are also kibi dango produced from kinako (roasted soybean flour) and anko (red bean paste).

Kibi (黍) means “millet” in Japanese. That is one in every of the five major grains in Japan including rice, wheat, beans, millet (awa and kibi). It is commonly used to boild to make Kayu (porridge) or made into rice cakes or dumplings. Kibi Dango is probably the most famous use of kibi in Japan.

History of Kibi Dango

The origin of Kibi Dango

Kibi Dango are dumplings produced from millet, but that will not be the one reason for the name. Millet dumplings are said to have originated at the tip of the Edo period, once they were made by arranging gyuhi as sweets for tea ceremonies. Rumor has it that Asajiro Takeda first made it as a confectionery for a tea ceremony on the teahouse on the grounds of Kibitsu Shrine. It got here to be called millet dumplings by crossing Kibi no Kuni with the raw material millet. Originally, kibi dango was sweet flavored with gyuhi pimple, and gyuhi seems to have been the primary ingredient, not millet as today. In actual fact, many of the current millet dumplings use glutinous rice flour because the primary ingredient moderately than millet. 

One other theory holds that the origin of kibi dango originated from the bountiful millet harvest through the Edo period. At the moment, the harvest was so good thata lot of millet was harvested. Because of this, it was made into confectionery and eaten. Millet was cultivated in Kibi Province, so it was named Kibi Dango. By the best way, the Kingdom of Kibi (Kibi no Kuni) is now Okayama Prefecture. That’s the explanation why Kibi Dango becomes famous food of Okayama.

Kibi Dango in nineteenth century

Kibi Dango (きびだんご)

Within the latter half of the Edo period, Hanzo Takeda, a wagashi craftsman at a store called Hiroseya within the castle town of Bizen Okayama , improved Kibi Dango of Kibitsu Shrine (square-shaped wrapper and a red bean filling) and turned it into the protype of the present Kibi Dango (round balls contain no fillings). After that, Sanensai Igi (Tadasumi Igi), a chief retainer of the Okayama clan and a tea master, suggested to Hanzo that he should make Japanese sweets suitable for tea ceremonies. Further improvements were made to bring it closer to its present form, and it was finally named “Kibi Dango.

It wasn’t until the Meiji period that millet dumplings became widely often known as Okayama’s famous sweets. In 1891, the Sanyo Railway opened and Okayama Station opened. Because of this, kibi dango began to be sold at street vendors on the station, and have become popular.

Momotaro and the reference to these confectioneries

The folklore Momotaro

Momotaro (or “Peach Boy”) is a preferred Japanese folklore. There are also various books, movies, animated shows and other media have featured this legendary hero. The story could be summarized as follows:

Momotarō was born from an enormous peach, which was found floating down a river by an old, childless woman who was washing clothes there. The lady and her husband discovered the kid once they tried to open the peach to eat it. The kid explained that he had been bestowed by the Gods to be their son. The couple named him Momotarō, from momo (peach) and tarō (eldest son within the family). When he was just five years old, he was in a position to cut an enormous tree with just an old knife.
When he matured into adolescence, Momotaro left his parents to fight a band of Oni (demons) who marauded over their land, by in search of them out within the distant island where they dwelled (a spot called Onigashima or “Demon Island”). Throughout the journey, Momotaro met and befriended a talking dog, monkey and pheasant, who agreed to assist him in his quest in exchange for a portion of his rations (kibi dango or “millet dumplings”). On the island, Momotaro and his animal friends penetrated the demons’ fort and beat the band of demons into surrendering. Momotarō and his recent friends returned home with the demons’ plundered treasure and the demon chief as a captive. (Source: Wikipedia)

The connection between Momotaro and Kibi Dango

Within the early Showa period, in his hometown of Okayama, a story was born that linked the story of Momotaro with the legend of Kibitsu Shrine. After the war, as a part of tourism PR, it began to be marketed because the hometown of Momotaro based on the legend of Kibitsuhiko and Ura of Kibitsu Shrine. Subsequently, with regards to Momotaro, people immediately consider Okayama while kibi dango becomes a staple of Okayama’s famous sweets and Okayama souvenirs nationwide. Because of this, Kibi Dango at the moment are sold as the mixture of Kibi Dango from Kibitsu Shrine and Momotaro’s millet dumplings.

Find out how to make Kibi Dango?

Ingredients

Ingredients (for 4 skewers)
Glutinous millet 50g
Water 100ml
Joshinko (rice flour) 50g
Boiled water 60ml
Caster sugar 10g
Salt a pinch
Topping
Soybean flour 3 tbsp
Caster sugar 10g

Find out how to make?

Preparing the glutinous millet

  • Firstly, soak the glutinous millet in water and drain it every half-hour.
  • Next, add glutinous millet and water in a heat-resistant bowl, cover with plastic wrap and warmth in a 600W microwave for five minutes. Steam for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a mortar and grind with a pestle until sticky.

Preparing the Joshinko

  • In a heat-resistant bowl, add joshinko powder and hot water.
  • Next mix with a heat-resistant spatula, cover with plastic wrap and warmth in a 600W microwave oven for 1 minute.
  • Mix with a heat-resistant spatula, wrap the mixture with plastic wrap again.
  • Heat in a 600W microwave for 1 minute. Add to mortar of glutinous millet and blend while crushing with a pestle. After that, add sugar and salt.

Rolling

Roll into 12 bite-sized balls. Then put the topping ingredients in tray and canopy the balls with it.

Serving

Finally, add 3 pieces of kibi dango to every skewer and serve on a plate.

Various forms of Kibi Dango to try

Momotorao (shoyu flavor) – Nakayama Shoyodo (中山昇陽堂)

It’s a creative Kibi Dango made by kneading the soy sauce of Tora Shoyu into the millet dumpling kind of Nakayama Shoyodo. The name is predicated “Momotaro” and “Torao” of Tora Shoyu. The faint soy sauce flavor stimulates your appetite and makes you ought to eat it many times. To purchase these sweets, you possibly can easily order through web sites and email, there’s shipping service and various payment method including online payment or money. Let’s go buy some souvenirs for your mates and family!

Address (primary office): 2-8 Daiguomote-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Phone number: +81 120-195-071; +81 86-233-6616
Opening hours: [Weekdays] 9:00 – 17:00 (close on Wednesday and Sunday)
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.shoyodo.jp/

KIBI DANGO (salted chocolate flavor) – Nakayama Shoyodo (中山昇陽堂)

One other products of Nakayama Shoyodo. This time is chocolate with almond accents wrapped in salt-flavored gyuhi. It’s a mix of Japanese and Western flavors, chocolate along with millet dumplings. If you ought to try something aside from traditional one, buy this one and provides your personal comment.

Address (primary office): 2-8 Daiguomote-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Phone number: +81 120-195-071; +81 86-233-6616
Opening hours: [Weekdays] 9:00 – 17:00 (close on Wednesday and Sunday)
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.shoyodo.jp/

Ganso Kibi Dango (Sea salt flavor) – Koeido

“Sea salt millet dumplings” use natural sea salt “Umisei” from Izu Oshima. The “sea semen”, which is from seawater using a conventional Japanese method, comprises enough minerals obligatory for the human body. It’s not too sweet and refreshing, so it’s so delicious that you just just can’t help but eating it.

Address (Head office): 60 Fujiwara, Naka-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Phone number: +81 86-271-0001
Store: Chunagon Predominant Store, Fujiwara Store Sun Station, Okayama Store, Okayama Takashimaya Store, Kurashiki Store, Kurashiki 2, Tenmaya Okayama Store, CAFE Tokidoki KOEIDO
Website: https://koeido.co.jp/

Mukashi Kibi Dango – Koeido

Koeido use specially cultivated rice grown within the Takamatsu district of Okayama City, which is legendary for producing glutinous rice called “Mandokoro Mochi”. Mukashi Kibi Dango is legendary for its light sweetness and springy texture. It’s a high-class millet dumpling, and it is commonly sold out on weekends. 

Address (Head office): 60 Fujiwara, Naka-ku, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Phone number: +81 86-271-0001
Store: Chunagon Predominant Store, Fujiwara Store Sun Station, Okayama Store, Okayama Takashimaya Store, Kurashiki Store, Kurashiki 2, Tenmaya Okayama Store, CAFE Tokidoki KOEIDO
Website: https://koeido.co.jp/

Choco Kibi Dango – Yamawaki Sangetsudo

Soft chocolate with wealthy cacao flavor is in chocolate mochi. The rice cake is surrounded by cocoa powder, and it’s delicious like sweets. If you ought to buy some for yourself, just visit the web site to order online or visit the closest stores.

Yamawaki Sangetsudo
Phone number:
+81 120-493013
Website: https://www.dango.co.jp/

Muscat Kibi Dango – Takehisa Yumeji Honpo Shikishimado

Muscat nectar from Okayama Prefecture is contained within the kibidango, and the fruity muscat spreads in your mouth is just something you ought to experience increasingly more.

Takehisa Yumeji Honpo Shikishimado
Phone number: +81 869-22-0059
Website: https://www.shikishima.co.jp/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shikishimado/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shikishimado/

Takeaway

Kibi Dango (きびだんご)

If you happen to are a fan of sweet, especially Japanese sweets or wagashi, these confectioneries are must-try. With the spread of Momotaro, Kibi Dango is increasingly famous and eaten by a variety of people. As well as, there are a variety of differing kinds beside the normal one, some are really interesting and unique. If you happen to are by likelihood in Okayama or just inquisitive about this food, just visit the web sites we just introduce to purchase some for yourself and your mates and family. How about having fun with kibi dango with some tea and chilling at home this weekend? Let’s go and take a look at it out!

If you happen to are a fan of sweets, click here to search out out more about wagashi.

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