tofu dango from On A Stick by Matt Armendariz

Recently I was sent a copy of Matt Armendariz’s newest project, a stunning book called On A Stick – 80 Party Perfect Recipes. This I think many will agree that many foods are better and more fun when served on a stick!

Matt is the renowned talent behind Matt Bites, one of those fabulous blogs I just get lost in. A highly skilled photographer, Matt also teaches food photography and styling workshops – I have coveted those workshops for a while now, and hope to take one someday.

Each and every recipe in this book is mouthwatering and beautifully photographed, with varying foods to please every palate. I have tabs on more than half of the pages already, marking recipes I want to make.

From savory snacks including Korean Pork Belly Skewers, Fried Pickles and Spaghetti (yes, on a stick!) to scrumptious sweets like Cinnamon Rolls, Pineapple Funnels and Sweet and Sour Lollies, there are more than enough creative ideas for parties all summer long. Want to come over for a pool party?

For this review post, I chose Tofu Dango, a Japanese dumpling. I made both his sweet and savory recipes and they were equally delicious.

Sweet Tofu Dango

Serves four

12 cocktail picks

Sesame Sugar

1/2 cup black sesame seeds, crushed
1/4 cup sugar

Sweet Soy Sauce

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise


1 1/2 cups flour
8 ounces silken tofu

Make the sesame sugar: combine crushed sesame seeds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

Make the sweet soy sauce: stir soy sauce, the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and star anise in a small saucepan over medium heat; stirring occasionally, simmer about 20 minutes to reduce by one-third. Remove from heat and let cool; discard cinnamon stick and star anise.

Mix rice flour and tofu in a medium bowl, kneading until a smooth dough forms. If dough is dry, add water, a tablespoon at a time.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (you should have about 12 balls). Carefully place balls a few at a time into the pot and boil 5 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through.

Roll half the cooked balls in sesame seed mixture and drizzle the other half with the sweet soy sauce. Serve with cocktail picks.

While this is a multi step recipe that takes more time, it comes together very easily, and we loved these! They would be easily adaptable to other flavors, and I will definitely be making these again. Right after I make those Pineapple Funnels.

With irresistible recipes and gorgeous full color photos, to me this book is an art piece! It is also a functional piece – a cookbook that will have a permanent place in my kitchen, getting much use.

As Matt says: Eating food on a stick is fun, festive, and just plain delicious!

What is your favorite food on a stick?

While I received this book from the publisher, I am not compensated for positive reviews. Recipe reprinted with permission from Quirk Books.


  1. says

    I need to check out his blog and that book — I love food on a stick! At the MN State Fair they have every imaginable food served on a stick — although I don’t think they have spaghetti on a stick!

    My favorite has to be a corn dog :)

    • spabettie says

      Mmm, corn dog is the epitome of summer! :) if you are a stick food girl, you would love this book, Holly!

    • spabettie says

      thanks, Averie – and they WERE awesome. you should definitely make them – when you have time (they take a bit, with the boiling and all). but worth it! you’re going to love the book, it is GORGEOUS! well done, Matt and Adam!

    • spabettie says

      I love fruit popsicles too! especially this time of year they are refreshing, but I like them all year long!

    • spabettie says

      I know, I do too! I was excited when they offered the book to review, I’ve been (impatiently?) waiting for it’s publish date! 😀 and thank you about my photos – I think I wasn’t happy with ANY of them, just because I was reviewing Matt’s book and everything in there is SO amazing… 😉

  2. says

    First of all: I love that you have a pink cutting board! 😀

    Second: I want to be invited to your pool party so I see spaghetti on a stick. I won’t believe this until I’ve seen it with my own eyes, so I *have* to be invited. 😉

    Third: I have washing compulsion which gets triggered when I touch things (especially food or things other people have touched before) with my bare hands, so food on a stick is definitely for me. 😀 (I actually just wonder now why I don’t make sticky 😀 food more often, but I guess it’s because I still look for reusable sticks.)

    Forth: I know that the adjective “sticky” doesn’t necessarily refer to (clean, with regard to hands) foods on a stick, but rather to icky stuff that won’t let go of you until you SCRUB IT OFF.

    Fifth: I want that cookbook.

    • spabettie says

      of course I have a pink cutting board 😉 spaghetti on a stick, can you believe? and I love your use of sticky as food on a stick! this sounds like the book for you!

    • spabettie says

      I KNOW – total BFF posts today, I thought the same thing. (I figured you’d come see, I didn’t want to say anything in my comment and look like I’m spamming scamming, ya dig?) 😀 XXO love ya sweetie, hope you are having a FABULOUS Friday! (I just may have to make your JALA-RELLA stackers this weekend…)

    • spabettie says

      isn’t it a great book? he is incredibly talented and the recipes are fun. THIS recipe is delicious!

  3. says

    These looks so good! Yum! I would so make these for a party, but my friends are afraid of tofu! lol! U know the only friends I have that enjoy stuff like that is my bloggie friends , ha! No in life real friends!

    Happy Weekend! xoxo

    • spabettie says

      haa – you should make a half batch or something sometime, just for you – they’re good! happy weekend to you!!

    • spabettie says

      yes, that sounds SO good… I love Love LOVE cheesecake, and want to try his recipe in this book… cheesecake is the bomb dot com. I hope you have a great weekend too, my friend, and I hope it includes some maximum relaximum! 😀

  4. says

    They look like they should be sweet, like a dessert. I’m being fooled! Maybe I have sweet treats on the mind (happens quite often). I’ve heard a lot about this cookbook. Ack, do I dare order another cookbook? haha

    • spabettie says

      no fooling, Leanne! some of them (the lighter with sesame) are sweet – the recipe I shared was the sweet ones! :) the darker were savory, and both were amazing!

    • spabettie says

      thank you!! and yes, they were tasty – he has a great recipe. we LOVE food on a stick around here! 😀

  5. 藤島明輝子 says

    This recipe was obviously made for Westerners without any attention to authenticity.
    Dango are not made with those ingredients, though tofu is sometimes used for tofu dango. The Mitarashi sauce only has to correct ingredients and in the wrong proportions.

    I tried these, because I was curious as to the “American” version of a childhood favorite. They taste nothing like true dango.. the texture is not there and they are far too sweet.. >__<

    If you would like to try an authentic dango recipe, please do not hesitate to ask. ^__^

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