Tag Archives: Yokan

Matcha Kanten Mizu Yokan Recipe

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 Kanten Mizu Yokan.

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.

Matcha Kanten Mizu Yokan.

Matcha Kanten Mizu Yokan.

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Kabocha Pumpkin Yokan Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

(1) Ingredients for kabocha yokan: kabocha, agar-agar powder, and sugar. (2) Mashed kabocha and boiled agar-agar. (3) Kabocha yokan mixture from mashed kabocha and boiled agar-agar. (4) Kabocha yokan poured into a loaf pan to set.

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)
  • pumpkin/kabocha (カボチャ)
  • persimmon (柿)

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. 🙂

A loaf of kabocha pumpkin yokan.

A loaf of kabocha pumpkin yokan.

What are the ingredients for a kabocha pumpkin yokan?

You will need:

  • 500 gram kabocha pumpkin meat
  • 1 teaspoon agar-agar powder. I use Now Food agar powder.
  • 100 gram (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

If you need help to prepare a whole kabocha pumpkin, please read my detailed guide from this simmered kabocha in shio koji article.

Cut fully set kabocha yokan into serving slices.

Cut fully set kabocha yokan into serving slices.

How to prepare yokan?

1. Kabocha puree.

First, steam kabocha meat until soft enough to be mashed. Use a fork, or a food processor, to turn the steamed kabocha into kabocha puree.

2. Prepare agar-agar.

Boil together water and agar-agar in a small pot, then add sugar and salt and boil until sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Mix kabocha with agar.

Remove the pot from heat, then stir in kabocha puree into the agar-agar mixture until smooth.

4. Let the yokan set.

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (I use an 8″x4″ loaf pan), use a spatula to smooth the mixture, and then chill in the fridge until set. About 1 hour.

Slices of kabocha yokan. Yokan is the perfect healthy treat for a cup of Japanese hot tea.

Slices of kabocha yokan. Yokan is the perfect healthy treat for a cup of Japanese hot tea.

Serving yokan

When you want to serve the yokan, gently run a thin blade around the loaf pan to loosen the yokan, then cover the pan with a plate and flip. The yokan become loose and drop on the plate.

I cut one loaf of yokan into 16 pieces, and serve each person with a hot cup of tea and two pieces of yokan.

Any leftover yokan can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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