Shiratama Dango: Vegan Gluten-Free Japanese Dessert

10 Oct

Shiratama dango is a dumpling made with shiratama-ko, powdered glutinous rice flour. Despite the name, glutinous rice flour doesn’t contain the form of gluten; the term “glutinous” means that glutinous rice gets glue-like, or sticky, when cooked. Chilled shiratama served with sweet azuki / anko (red bean) is a traditional Japanese dessert.

This simple and tasty dessert is very versatile and can be served in many ways:

shiratama anko = shiratama + anko (sweet red bean paste)

shiratama anmitsu = shiratama + anko + kanten (agar jelly =vegetable gelatin)

shiratama cream anmitsu = shiratama + ice cream +anko + kanten

Uji shiratama cream anmitsu = matcha (green tea) shiratama + ice cream + anko + kanten

★ If you’re vegan or on a gluten-free diet, avoid one with ice cream.

Uji Shiratama Cream Anmitsu (宇治白玉クリームあんみつ)

Uji Shiratama Cream Anmitsu (宇治白玉クリームあんみつ)

When I traveled to Kamakura the other day, I stopped by a cafe called Sabou Kirara, famous for its homemade shiratama.  It’s located in the residential area about 10 minutes walk from Kamakura station.  It’s not the easiest place to find if you’re not familiar with the area.  I got lost on the way, but a local man pointed me to the right direction.

The small cafe was filled with women, young girls, and a few men who came with the women.  From the menu consisting of various types of shiratama desserts I ordered uji shiratama cream anmitsu.  It took some time for it to be served; in order to serve them fresh they began making shiratama after the order was placed .  But it was worth the wait.  They were some of the best I had ever had.


Uji Shiratama Cream Anmitsu (宇治白玉クリームあんみつ)


Uji shitarama (green tea shiratama), green tea ice cream, anko, kanten, cherry


800 yen


Sabou Kirara (茶房雲母); 16-7 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0012, Japan; 10 minutes walk from Kamakura Station

You can make shiratama desert at home.  Click here for recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need:

What is your favorite Japanese dessert?

Related articles:

Anko (Sweet Azuki Bean Taste) (


3 Responses to “Shiratama Dango: Vegan Gluten-Free Japanese Dessert”

  1. Noriko October 12, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    OMG! That looks really tasty. Now I want to have some Japanese sweets 🙂

    • Yumi October 12, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Don’t they look delicious? They were very soft and fresh. I want to make shiratama at home and see what happens. 🙂


  1. Shopping day at Orchard | Homeaway fromHome - October 14, 2013

    […] Shiratama Dango: Vegan Gluten-Free Japanese Dessert ( […]

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