15 Jul 2009, 11:06pm
japanese snacks:


Mizu Yokan

mizu package

Yokan is a very traditional Japanese confection made from red bean paste and agar. You usually buy it by the block: narrow, rectangular bricks o’ sweet. They’re heavy like bricks, too! Here’s an interesting tidbit from Wiki:

Due to its relative heaviness and unfamiliarity with this dessert, it has been mistaken as C-4 or similar plastic explosives during baggage checks.

Haha! XD

A little lighter than your usual C4esque yokan is the “mizu” yokan (literally, water yokan), which is best served chilled. It’s not watery like Jello, but it’s definitely not as dense as standard yokan.

Here’s a box of the stuff that arrived from Japan a few days ago, complete with four flavors: ogura (sweet bean paste), matcha (green tea), brown sugar (actually called black sugar in Japanese), and wasanbon sugar (a Japanese-made sugar that’s less sweet than refined sugar). These are made by Toraya, a very famous and excellent yokan maker.

I’ve tasted 3 out of the four – all but the brown sugar. They’re all quite subtle in flavor, and have a nice smooth texture. My favorite is the green tea:

mizu matcha

I love the pale green hue in the matcha flavor! So summery and gorgeous.

mizu azuki

The ogura has whole bean bits inside for added texture. By the way, the wasanbon looks exactly like the ogura in color, but without the beans.

I love this stuff. You imported it?

Speaking of summer mizu sweets, I bought a jar of mizu ame the other day (with little Ikkyu-san on the label)… I recall dipping chilled sections of mandarin oranges in it during a matsuri ages ago and loving it. But I have to say it looks thinner than I recall… more mizu-y and less ame. *lol* Have you ever tried it at home? Maybe refrigeration is the key…


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