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What’s The Difference Between Mochi, Dango and Daifuku?

Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

Daifuku comes in many varieties. The most common is white-, pale green-, or pale pink-colored mochi filled with anko. These come in two sizes, one approximately 3 cm (1.2 in) diameter, the other palm-sized. Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or potato starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Though mochitsuki is the traditional method of making mochi and daifuku, they can also be cooked in the microwave. Mochi and daifuku are very popular in Japan.


Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice. It is ground, steamed, and pounded into a sticky ball. As a result, it’s very chewy and has no color (aka it’s white). Though, color can be added to it. Also, mochi is not naturally sweet, which is why dango and daifuku exist because these are mochi that have additives to make them into sweet snacks or desserts.

The most important difference between mochi and dango is that while mochi is made from rice, dango is made from rice flour (mochiko). Though, both are commonly white and lack a strong flavor of their own.

The best way to determine dango from mochi is the appearance because dango is often served as 3-4 tiny round balls which are skewered on a stick. Often times, the dango will have a sauce poured over it as well or perhaps anko spread over the top. Outside of this, dango and mochi look very similar in appearance and are easy to mistake.

Daifuku, on the other hand, is rather easy to differentiate between dango and mochi. While it can come in a multitude of colors like the above desserts, it’s different in that it is filled. Daifuku is literally filled mochi. The most common filling is anko, but other fillings may appear.


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James Brown
James Brown
19 sept. 2022

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