Today I bring to the table The Mochi Diaries Chapter 7 – Ninja (Kusa) Dango 草餅
As a foreword this mochi doesn’t actually have anything to do with ninja, in fact rather than mochi todays review is on kusa dango 草団子 (grass dango). Dango whilst being almost identical to mochi is a separate type of wagashi, generally speaking the difference is that mochi is made by pounding glutinous rice into a dough where as dango is made by adding water to mochiko 餅粉 (glutinous rice flour) and boiling or grilling the resulting dough.
Now the reason I suspect for the whole ninja packaging is due to the fact that kusa 草 the kanji for grass, though in modern Japanese it is now an archaic reading 草 was once could be read to mean ‘ninja’, so it’s essentially a pun.
Unlike any mochi 餅 or dango 団子 I have reviewed thus far, as opposed to the usual mochi outer layer filled with a sweet centre (usually azuki あずき) this kusa dango lies on a bed of anko 餡こ (sweetened red bean paste).
Rather than just popping them in your mouth, a small a small spoon is provided to scoop the dango up with a little anko on the side.
Fair nomnomnom 3.5/5
Now as a little bonus, if you have never seen one of these before its a kakigoori かき氷 (shaved ice) machine. During the summer I became somewhat addicted to these delicious treats as they are a great way to cool down. Popular matsuri 祭 (festival) snacks, they come in a wide array of flavours.
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