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Sanshoku Dango: Japanese Confectionary Culture Three-Coloured Dumplings

If you enjoy chewy Japanese sweets, these sanshoku dumplings (三色団子) are a must-try!

Hanami dango is a type of Japanese wagashi (sweets) that is popular during the cherry blossom viewing spring season.  There are so many different types of dango flavors, some of which include: Mitarashi dango (dango covered in a glaze of soy sauce and sugar) and Anko dango (dango covered in red bean paste)

My personal favorite is the sanshoku dango.  It is simply perfect for hanami (cherry blossom viewing)!

Delicious yet so simple to make, let's get started! 

160g Glutinous rice flour

120g Sugar
40g Japanese rice flour
3/4 cup of hot water
Red food colouring
Matcha powder


    1. Mix together all the dry ingredients while adding in hot water slowly. Continue mixing until the consistency is soft and squishy.
    2. Divide the dough into thirds: Add red food colouring into one, matcha into the other, and leave the last one as is.
    3. Knead each piece of dough thoroughly until the colour is even. Once completed, roll out into evenly-sized small balls. You should be able to roll out 6-8 small balls for each colour.
    4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the white dango balls into the pot. They are ready once they float (approximately 6-8 minutes). Continue until all balls are boiled. I would recommend against boiling all of them together at once to prevent colour from transferring
    5. Let them cool in iced water
    6. Pat them dry and skewer them onto sticks in the following order: Green, White, and Pink.

ENJOY this unique chewy snack! 

Colour Arrangement: Pink, White, Green
The colours are always arranged in this particular order: pink, white, green.  Some believe that it symbolizes the changing of seasons:

    • Pink to represent the Cherry Blossoms of Spring 
    • White for the Snow in the Winter
    • Green for the Grass and Trees in the Summer 

Through this small detail, Japanese people have created such a beautiful way to appreciate this natural phenomena!

Refreshing Tea Time Idea
Enjoy the subtle sweet taste of the sanshoku dango with a refreshing cup of warm sencha (tea prepared by infusing processed whole green leaves into hot water).

You'll want to take our Kyusu teapot home to help you brew the perfect cup of tea. The thing we love about this little pot is its traditional and practical design: no more spilled tea while pouring.

Having difficulty plating these long dango snacks? You'll want to take a look at our long dishware series. Not only do we offer plates in different sizes, colours and materials, the best part is that they come in a set of two with accompanying sauce dishes and chopsticks. Perfect for tea time with a friend or loved one during hanami! 

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