The recipe I used
Ingredients (for 4)
Water 1/2 cup*
Sugar 8 tbsp
Soy Sauce 2 tbsp
Water 1/2 cup*
Katakuriko 2 tsp
* The typical Japanese cup is 200mL compared to Western 250mL.
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil on the stove. In the meantime, in a (small to mid-sized) bowl, slowly add the water, a little at a time to the shiratama-ko mixing until it becomes the same firmness as your earlobe. (Don't add too much water or you'll need to add more shiratama-ko). Roll the dough into small bite-sized balls and gently drop the balls into the boiling water. Boil until the balls float.
2. When the dango balls are ready, drop them into a bowl of cold water until cooled. Remove excess water (I strained them or dropped them on a papertowel), place on skewers (3-4 / skewer), place the skewered dango in a hot frypan* to add char marks to the dango. Set cooked dango aside.
3. In a small saucepan, and the sauce ingredients, bring to a boil while mixing well.
4. Coat the dango from (2) with the sauce from (3) and plate.
* I've done two batches of this now charring the dango in two different ways. The first time, I used a stainless steel fry pan (no oil) and it charred the dango nicely but was a royal pain to clean (even with steel wool). The second time, I grilled them over the element until nicely charred, coated the dango with sauce, cooked them a little longer again, coated them a second time with sauce and then plated. This gave a stronger sauce flavour to the dango, but if eaten right away, the dango will be quite a bit softer. Also, with the second method, be aware that the sauce is quite flammable and drippings may flare up.
I let the sauce boil for a minute or so before removing from the heat. It may help to let the sauce cool a bit before using and thicken further.
Katakuriko 片栗粉 = dog-tooth violet / potato starch
Shiratama-ko 白玉粉 = a type of sweet rice flour; can probably replace with mochiko if no shiratama-ko can be found. It has a large particulate consistency rather than floury.
Soy sauce = Japanese soy sauce should be used.
While the dango turned out reasonably well, I think I'm going to try the other recipe next time; I just have to find the other rice flour. Could be interesting. ^___^