IMBB? - Mizu Yokan (Soft Red Bean Jelly)
When I found out that Elise, of Simply Recipes, was going to be hosting this month's IMBB? event, I just knew I had to participate. When I found out that she had chosen gelatin as her theme, I was even more excited. You see, I know that both Elise and I are JELL-O® lovers! The most difficult part for me of this month's event came when I had decide what to make.
Since summer is nearing, and since it's been quite hot and humid here lately, I decided to make a dessert that is traditionally eaten in summer.
My grandmother used to prepare this for many years, and I think most of us didn't really like it too much when we were younger. As I grew older, I developed a fondness for this dessert, even making it myself from time to time. Mizu yokan is a type of soft "jelly" made from kanten (agar-agar) and azuki beans. Koshian, which is the smooth azuki paste used to make this dessert, can be made using dried azuki beans and sugar, or can be purchased already prepared.
This dessert is so simple to make and delicious with a nice cup of green tea.
Mizu Yokan (Soft Red Bean Jelly)
1 stick (about .25 oz) shiro kanten (white agar-agar)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can koshian (strained azuki bean paste)
No sugar in used this recipe since koshian is normally pre-sweetened. Up to one cup of sugar may be used depending on the level of sweetness desired.
Rinse kanten under cold water, then cut into 1" pieces. Add 1 1/2 cups water to a small pot, add cut kanten and place on stove. Allow kanten to soak for 30 minutes to soften.
After 30 minutes, turn the heat to medium and cook until kanten is completely dissolved. Add in sugar and salt. After the sugar and salt have dissolved, add in koshian. Increase heat until just below boiling, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, remove from heat.
Strain mixture into a 8" x 8" square pan and let cool completely. Cut into desired shapes and serve.
The good thing about this is that kanten sets at room temperature and will start to firm up as it cools. No refrigeration is required for this to set. However, like any other gelatin based dessert, this tastes much better after being chilled.