When I think of Japanese dessert, I cannot think of anything more traditional and representative than matcha and red bean paste. So, today I am going to combine both in one pretty dessert, a matcha kanten paired with mizu yokan to create a two-layer agar-agar pudding. I decided to have a matcha kanten top layer and a mizu yokan bottom layer, but you can reverse this order if you like.
Matcha, Anko, and Agar-Agar Powder
Since the color of matcha kanten depends solely on the quality of your matcha, you may want to invest on a good quality matcha. I highly recommend this culinary grade matcha from Maeda-En if you are still undecided. As for anko (red bean paste), you can use my recipe, or even just buy some koshi an if that’s the easiest. The last crucial ingredient you need is some agar-agar powder. For this recipe, I decided to use agar-agar powder from Now, and I think it works really well and I may use this from now on to make more agar-agar dessert.
Do you know that kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) is sweeter than your average pumpkin, even sweeter than butternut squash, and therefore, perfect to be turned into sweet treats? One of my favorite wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) is yokan, and today we’ll be making some kabocha pumpkin yokan. 🙂
What is yokan?
Yokan (羊羹) is one type of Japanese traditional confectionery/sweets (wagashi) made from a paste, agar-agar, and sugar. Most yokans are sold in a block and then cut into small slices/cubes to be enjoyed.
Some of the popular ingredients in Japanese yokan:
red bean/azuki (小豆). This is the most common yokan you will find in Japan. Most often added into yokan as red bean paste, though some yokan also contain sweetened whole beans. I have previously shared my recipe for mizu yokan
white bean (白いんげん豆). Probably the second most popular yokan ingredient. This will naturally have a white color and is the reason why many flavorings are added to this, such as green tea (緑茶, or 抹茶), black tea (紅茶), coffee, and even white miso (白みそ).
chestnut (栗). Mostly scattered into red bean yokan.
sweet potato (サツマイモ)
As you can surmise from the ingredients, yokan is vegan-friendly, and completely gluten-free too. So this is a perfect treat that almost everyone can enjoy. 🙂
What are the ingredients for a kabocha pumpkin yokan?