Shiratama Eyeball Drinks!

About: I am an artist, builder and teacher living in Japan.

Shiratama is a Japanese snack that translates to 'sweet rice dumpling'. I live in Japan and these are very popular.

They aren't too sweet, so keep that in mind if you give my recipe a try. Your kids might throw them right out the window! They taste almost like Mochi (sticky rice) and some people might consider them bland.

My Shiratama have a subtle sweetness and elastic-bouncy texture. They can be made sweeter with toppings like jam or honey.

Step 1: The Ingredients

These are extremely easy to make!

You only need Shiratama flour, soft tofu and food coloring. Shiratama flour is available on Amazon or at Walmart and Target. It's also called Shiratamako or Shiratama powder. Be careful, because there's a difference between Shiratama flour, Mochi flour and glutinous rice flour. These are similar, but can't substitute each other.

Normal Shiratama is just the Shiratama flour and water, but I use tofu, because it keeps the Shiratama softer much longer. They turn hard quick with water.

My recipe is:

400 grams Shiratama flour

560 grams soft tofu

A smaller batch:

100 grams Shiratama flour

130-140 grams soft tofu

Step 2: Making the Shiratama Mix

You're going to

1. Put the Shiratama flour in a bowl and then place on the soft tofu.

2. Mix with your fingers. No utensils required.

3. Form a ball.

4. Separate pinches of dough to add color to.

Step 3: Adding Food Coloring

You can use powder or liquid food coloring for this.

It's best to roll out the eyeballs, irises and pupils before adding the color so you have an exact count.

After everything is rolled into little balls or 'dango' in Japanese, you can combine them into iris and pupil balls to color.

*Wear gloves when you color the Shiratama. Some food coloring is difficult to wash off.

Step 4: The Eyeballs

These are the eyeballs.

Step 5: The Iris

Once the Shiratama are dyed, you can take off your gloves to make the eyeballs.

1. Flatten out an iris in the palm of your hand using a finger.

2. Place the flat iris on the eyeball.

3. Place the pupil on the iris.

4. Gently press and roll all of the pieces together to make an eyeball.

Step 6: Eyeballs!

Step 7: Cook Your Eyeballs

1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water to put you Shiratama in once cooked.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Gently drop the Shiratama into the boiling water. All of the Shiratama will sink to the bottom of the pot.

3. When all of the Shiratama are floating, wait 2 minutes.

4. Strain the Shiratama and then transfer them to the ice water.

Once they are firm and not hot, you can freeze them or eat them.

Step 8: Freezing Them

Freeze them in away that they're not touching. This is very important!

Step 9: Use Frozen Shiratama As Ice Cubes!

Step 10: Drinks!

You can use these in mocktails or cocktails!

Kids drink

Add three frozen eyeballs to a wine glass, fill with cider or a clear soft drink and add a few drops of grenadine and one drop of red liquid food coloring.

Adult drink

Do the same as the kids drink, but dump in vodka!

Blueberries compliment these Shiratama well too!

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    10 Discussions


    9 months ago

    WoW thanks!

    Excellent post and idea. Very nicely laid out with great pics and step-by-step easy instructions. Great job, you’ve got my vote. I can’t wait to try these. Do they easily float inside the glass sideways so you can see the iris, or does is sink or float?

    1 reply
    bryans workshoprealife11

    Reply 9 months ago

    Thank you! They sink and you can adjust them to sit in any position.

    The texture and weight of Shiratama is perfect for this. Smaller shiratama are even usually added to sundeas/parfait in Japan too.


    Question 9 months ago on Step 10

    why does this matter also i live in australia i can get tofu can i use plain flour wheat there's a difference between Shiratama flour, Mochi flour and glutinous rice flour. These are similar, but can't substitute each other.

    1 answer
    bryans workshoplukee1986

    Answer 9 months ago

    The rice flours I listed are processed differently and have completely different textures and tastes. If you make Shiratama with mochi flour, the balls will be grainy and gooey. Use rice flour and they'll be sticky and chewy. You definitely shouldn't use wheat/white flour. It just wouldn't work. It would be like making a pizza or ravioli using Shiratama flour. They'd turn out gross.