Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
kanten (agar agar) 14gm (0.5oz) or 2 sticks
water 900cc (3.6c.)
sugar 300gm (10.5oz)
mizuame (or light corn syrup) 2T
koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) approx. 30gm (1oz) per sweet
yellow food color - approx. 2 drops
umeshu (plum wine) 1T
Wash the kanten well in cold water and remove any black/brown specks. Soak in fresh cold water to cover for a couple of hours. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear into small pieces. Place the kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low heat until the kanten is dissolved.
Add the sugar and mizuame, or corn syrup. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Strain through a fine strainer and return to the pot and cook a little longer. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.) Turn off the heat and mix in a small amount of yellow food color, to achieve a golden color, and the umeshu. Stir in well. Pour into a nagashikan, lined mold, that is approximately 6" X 7" X 2" (1000cc [4c.]) and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. (note - Any similar size glass or plastic container may be used.)
Form the bean paste into tawara (bale) shapes. Using a serrated tofu knife, cut the kanten into long thin strips. The strips should be long enough to wrap completely around the formed bean paste. Carefully wrap the kanten around the bean paste. The sweets can be chilled before serving. Place on a towel to blot any excess moisture before serving.
(Note - Any non acidic flavoring can also
be added when adding the color. Acid will cause the kanten
not to gel properly.)
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