In Japan, new flavors and creations are frequently added to Japanese sweets. There are many craze sweets that have come out in recent years. Anmitsu Yokan is one of them. Try making this trendy sweet at home with step by step instructions.
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What is Japanese sweets “Anmitsu Yokan”?
In Japan, there are many little snacks and traditional confections known as wagashi, such as manju and daifuku, and new ones are created often to expand upon this already delicious assortment. One of these new creations is Anmitsu Yokan. As the name suggests, Anmitsu Yokan is a new hybrid Japanese sweet combining the two classic Japanese sweets Anmitsu and Yokan. Just in case you are not familiar with these two Japanese treats, I will briefly explain what they are (you can also get the Anmitsu recipe by clicking the link).
Yokan is also a classic Japanese dessert made from mixing agar agar or kanten and red bean paste (anko) poured into a mold to set. It is often served with matcha green tea at tea ceremony.
Why You Will Love this Japanese Sweets?
- You will enjoy this hybrid Japanese confection because it is easy to make.
- Ingredients and toppings are easily replaceable. So run your imagination and creativity wild.
- It looks cute and is also delicious with glutinous rice mochi.
What do You Need to Gather?
Azuki bean paste (anko), Kanten powder, and water.
We need the “tsubu-an” variety of sweet red bean paste (anko) as it is more coarsely pasted. I used a store bought red bean paste; however, if you can not access ready-made anko, you can make it from scratch from azuki beans by following my recipe here.
Kanten powder – Many Japanese chilled desserts are made from kanten. It is readily available in Japan and it comes in many different forms, such as powder sticks, dry Kanten bars, and sheets. Kanten is made from the extract of seaweed such as Okonori and Tengusa. It melts at 90°C and coagulates at 40-50°C. It has a firm rubbery texture. For this recipe, I used powder from kanten as it is easy to use. If you get dry Kanten bars, you need about 1/2 and soak in water first. Squeeze the excess water out and tear into the water and boil to dissolve.
For Anmitsu toppings
I used shiratama dango, matcha kanten, roasted chestnuts and canned mandarin. To make dango, you need glutinous rice flour
How to Make the Japanese sweets
- To make matcha Kanten see the recipe in this post.
- Making Dango. Place the rice flour or Shiratama dango flour into a bowl. Add water or silken tofu (I used tofu to add a bit of protein) to make a dough that is like the softness of an ear lobe.
- Divide the dough into two. Add red food colouring in to make pink coloured dango.
- Shape each coloured dough into small balls, and cook them in boiling water in a pot.
- When it is cooked, they start to float on the surface of the boiling water.
- Scoop them out into a bowl of cold water. When the dango is cooled down, drain the water and set aside.
- Make mizu yokan mixture
- Pour the mixture into a mold (I used 15cm x 15cm mold)
- Leave the mixture to solidify at room temperature (10-15 min).
- Place larger pieces of toppings such as mandarin, then roasted chestnuts, then dango and Matcha kanten.
- Chill it in the fridge to set.
Tips for Making Chirashi
- Tips to serve Chirashi beautifully – Chose colourful toppings and scatter topping ingredients evenly considering colour distribution.
- Use the water from soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms to cook the other mixing ingredients (like carrots and the mushrooms) as it is packed with Umami and gives the Chirashi depth of flavour.
- Keep all ingredients except sushi rice in the fridge before assembling.
What to Serve with ?
A : Yes you can, however gelatine is made from collagen contained in animal bones and skins, so it will not be a good choice for vegetarians and vegans. Also if you boil it like Kanten, the protein will be destroyed and the yokan will not set. You also need to note that if you use pineapple and kiwi it will not set.
A : The yokan part can be stored and frozen, however Anmitsu toppings, such as dango, can not. If you stored it in the fridge longer like overnight, the dango texture will become hard and not as tasty as when it is freshly made.
A : Yes you can. It will make pretty Anmitsu yokan as well.
Japanese sweets Anmitsu Yokan
- 1 yokan setting mold 6 x 6 inch(15x15cm)
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp kanten powder *1
- 250 g Anko red bean paste *2
- ½ cup Shiratamako(glutinous rice flour) *3 60g
- 2 oz silken tofu or water *4
- 1 tsp beetroot juice *5
- 1 can mandarin
- 2 packets roasted chestnuts
- 1/2 cup Matcha kanten *6
- Dissolve the kanten powder in the water, boil in a saucepan over high heat.
- When boiling, turn the heat off and add red bean paste.
- Stir the bean paste in with a wooden spatula and put it back on heat.
- Once boiling, turn the heat off and pour the mixture into a mold.
- Leave to cool at room temperature for 10-15 min.
Make Shiratama dango
- Place glutinous rice flour (Shiratamako) into a bowl.
- Add water or tofu gradually to make a dough of ear lobe softness.
- Divide the dough into two equal balls and make one pink coloured by adding beetroot juice or food colouring.
- Make small balls out of those two coloured doughs.
- Boil water and cook those balls till they float the surface of the boiling water.
- Remove the cooked balls into a bowl of cold water.
- Drain the cold water and set aside.
- Place larger surface ingredients such as mandarin first on top of half solidified yokan mixture.
- Scatter all anmitsu topping ingredients and refrigerate it till set.