This Hanami Dango recipe is amazingly chewy and tender with the perfect amount of sweetness. Easy to make & requires just 3-ingredients to make this popular Japanese dessert!

Dango is one of those desserts that bring me right back to my childhood in grandmas small apartment. I was fortunate enough to travel to Japan every summer to visit my grandparents and eat so much good food. Every night, we would end the day with something sweet. My choice of dessert was always homemade dango and mochi over ice cream and cake. Something about chewy, tender, sticky morsels of subtly sweet rice cakes was so satisfying to eat. There are many different varieties of dango, but I wanted to first share a recipe for Hanami Dango because it’s beautiful and the most simplest to make.

What is Hanami Dango?

Hanami Dango, also called Sanshoku Dango (3 coloured dango) is another variant of the dango family. It is the iconic pink, white and green dango on a stick, there is even an emoji for it on iPhones! This special tri-coloured dango is sold year around, but is especially popular during the spring during the cherry blossom viewing. This is where the name Hanami Dango stems from where Hanami literally translates to “flower looking”.

What Does Hanami Dango Taste like?

Plain dango balls tastes like sweet rice. It sounds boring, but what makes this Japanese dessert so special is the texture. Chewy, tender, soft but still firm and toothsome. Some dangos comes with a topping such as sweetened black sesame paste, sweet soy sauce or anko (sweet red bean paste). However, Hanami Dango is served as is. The green dango typically is slightly earth because it is subtly flavoured with mugfort (yomogi), but matcha can also be used. The pink dango is also sometimes flavoured with sakura or strawberry powder but usually tastes the same as the white dango.

Dango Ingredients

Dango traditionally is made with only rice or rice flour. However, my grandma always incorporated tofu to achieve a more tender, soft and chewy texture. I’ve always made it with the addition of the tofu but was curious how it would turn out if I only used Japanese rice flour. I attempted to make dango with just rice flour and found it to be much more tough and not as springy in texture.

So to achieve soft and chewy dango with the right amount of firmness, these are the 3 main ingredients needed:

To make green dango, I used matcha powder and for the pink dango, I used strawberry powder. The colouring really is for presentation purposes only, so you can still enjoy dango without the powders.

How to Make Hanami Dango Step by Step

3 colours of dango dough prep

Step 1: The first step is to make the dough by combining the tofu, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together, almost in a kneading motion until everything is well incorporated. Then divide the dough into 3 equal portions.

Step 2: Add the matcha powder into one portion of dough and mix until the colour is uniform. Add the strawberry powder or pink food colouring into another portion of dough and mix until the colour is uniform.

Step 3: Divide the dough into 5-6 equal sized pieces. For 5 pieces, each piece should weigh 14-15 grams. If 6 pieces, 11-12 grams each.

rolling out dango dough
dango dough balls

Step 4: Roll each piece into a ball using your palms.

TIP: To achieve perfect round balls, dust your hands with a little bit of rice flour so the don’t stick to your hands.

boiling dango balls

Step 5: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the dango balls in. Let them cook until they start floating to the top. Then use a strainer ladle to scoop them out.

dango balls in cold water & dango balls on a bamboo stick

Step 6: Place the dango into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Step 7: Once cooled, place the dango balls in a bamboo skewer in this order: green, white pink. Repeat for the remaining balls.

And… thats it! Easy right? I hope this recipe leaves you inspired to make Hanami Dango right in your own kitchen! Stay tuned for more dango recipes coming in the near future!

If you recreate this Hanami Dango recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

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Hanami Dango

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4.9 from 43 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 skewers 1x


This Hanami Dango recipe is amazingly chewy and tender with the perfect amount of sweetness. Easy to make & requires just 3-ingredients to make this popular Japanese dessert!


Units Scale


  1. Weigh the rice flour, silken tofu and sugar and then add Into a large bowl. Mix well using your hands. Using a kneading motion until a dough forms. 
  2. Divide the dough into three equal parts. 
  3. Sift in the strawberry powder into one portion of the dough and knead until it forms a uniform pink colour.
  4. Sift in the matcha powder into another portion of the dough and knead well until it turns green.
  5. Divide each ball of dough into 5-6 balls. I weigh each ball to be around 14-15 grams each, this yields 5 skewers. For smaller balls, make them into 10-12 grams each. 
  6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the dango balls. Leave the dango balls to cook. Remove the dango balls when they rise to the top of the water. Scoop them out using a strainer ladle and place into a bowl of ice cold water to stop them from cooking further. 
  7. Add one green dango ball onto a skewer. Follow with one white and one pink dango ball. Repeat for all 5-6 skewers then enjoy!


  • Strawberry powder and matcha is added just for natural colour and a tiny bit of flavour, however is not essential or traditional. You can either leave out the colour entirely or food colour can be used instead.
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer) for 1 out of 5 skewers.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 skewer
  • Calories: 108
  • Sugar: 8.2g
  • Sodium: 4.8mg
  • Fat: 0.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 22.7g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 2.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0


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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Delicious and easy to make! I used cocoa powder and golden milk mix (turmeric, mostly) and they tasted delightful
    I could’ve been a little more careful with shaping though LOL thank you!

  2. My budding chef daughter loves Japanese food and made these tonight. She failed to read the ingredients exactly so we had rice flour and firm tofu. She made it up anyway and it was a little chewy but she had made the balls bigger. She used blackberry jam for the pink. They were totally delicious! It was quite easy! They are sorta like mochi. Thank you!

  3. Very well written instructions. Thank you! But how do you keep the nice round shape? Mine came out of the pot all wonky.

    1. I used a spider strainer to pick them out of the pot, it helped keeping them in a good shape, plus just being careful while putting them in helps

  4. I was surprised how easy and fun to make these dango were, and they were tasty too! I’ll definitely make these again 🙂

  5. Hi Lisa, I just wanted to ask if I could use almond flour as a substitute for rice flour? The store had no rice flour when I went there and I do still want to try this recipe. Thank you 🙂

  6. Hi Lisa! I’m a little confused about the recipe. Isn’t 3/4 a cup equal to 150 grams? I’m unsure what measurements to use because in your recipe you put 3/4 a cup or 90 g. I’ll be using 100 g of the tofu so I just wanted to clear this up. thank you!