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August 10, 2012

Blueberry and Mixed Berry Kanten

Blueberry & Mixed Berry Kanten

When I lived in Hawaii there were two desserts that I always sought out at any party where food was being served - Sweet Mochi and Kanten.

I made a version of sweet mochi awhile back, but it wasn't nearly as good as the mochi I've had in Hawaii, which usually looked like this:

I'll have to continue working on my mochi skills.

But, on to Kanten!  I had several recipes for fruit Kanten, a traditional Japanese dessert.
It was amazing to me that all of the recipes started with 4 c of fruit juice, but the measurements for the remaining ingredients all varied widely.

I sort of split the difference and tried my first Kanten, which we really liked.

Kanten has 3 main ingredients:  juice, cut fruit or berries, and Agar Agar flakes.

At Kroger I asked Brennan to pick out the juice and berries for our first Kanten.
He chose a mixed berry juice and blueberries.

The Agar Agar flakes area two types of sea vegetable.  It's important to get a good quality version.  I got this one from Sandy who is my ingredient expert.

Because the juice Brennan chose was a smoothie-kind, I used 3 c of the juice and 1 c of water.
With normal juice you'd use 4 c of juice.

You start by pouring your juice in a sauce pan and sprinkling on the agar agar flakes.
This can sit for a few minutes.

See below for additional ingredients that you could add in.  If you are using any other ingredients, you can add them in as well at this point.

Then you boil the juice and reduce the heat to simmer.  It boils up pretty quickly.
I saw on Pinterest that if you lay a wooden spoon over a pot it won't boil over.
Not sure if it always works, but it did this time!

Let it simmer for 20 minutes or so, then remove it from the heat so it can cool down a bit more.

I chose to put my berries in an 8x8 glass dish, but you could also make your Kanten in individual ramekins.  The amount of fruit to use in this dish varied from a couple of tablespoons to 2 cups.
I placed about a cup or more of blueberries in the bottom of my dish.

Then poured the juice on top and transferred the dish to the refrigerator.  It needs to chill for about 2 hours, uncovered.

Then it has the consistency of a fruit filled Jello.
Scoop some out for each person and enjoy!

I think next time I'd like to try a clear version so you can see all the fruit.
I'm thinking about apple juice and strawberries.

Some of the recipes had additional ingredients.
Some of the additions recommended were: 1 tsp ginger juice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 Tbs orange juice, up to 1/4 c natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup, and lemon/lime/orange zest.

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare)
(Japanese for Bon Apetit!)

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