This dish requires glutinous rice (mochi gome) and a steamer but is well worth the effort, resulting in delciously fluffy meat balls which are traditionally dyed red on New Year’s eve in Japan. Red and white (Kouhaku), the colours of the Japanese flag, are traditionally always used on New Year’s eve to represent celebration. Its Japanese name is Kome Mushi Dango.
1 cup of Glutinous rice
200g pork mince
half a diced onion or 2 shallots
thumb size of grated ginger
2tbs potato flour
1tbs soy sauce
1tbs sake or white wine
1 tsp sesame oil
salt & pepper
Wash the rice and drain, then dry for 2 hours. Dye half the rice with red food colouring if you want to make it the traditional way, but otherwise, don’t waste your time! :p Then place all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands until sticky.
Then add balls to a steamer and steam for about 15-20 minutes. If the rice has become clear, it’s a good sign that the meat is also cooked, but if you are concerned, cut one of the meat balls open to check.
Serve with a dip of soy sauce and vinegar with a little Japanese mustard (karashi) if you can get your hands on it.