So my inspiration to start on making wagashi actually started with Mizu Yokan. I was making Gula Melaka Agar Agar jelly and it suddenly dawned on me that there’s a wagashi pretty similar to this which I’ve seen before in restaurants.
Mizu Yokan is essentially red bean jelly. You mix the red bean paste into agar agar solution and that’s it! Perfect quick and simple thing I could prepare to have with some sencha for afternoon tea, I thought.
Another close relative to Mizu Yokan is called Neri Yokan 練り羊羹. The difference lies in the amount of water – Neri Yokan has double or triple the amount of red bean paste for the same amount of water in a Mizu Yokan recipe and the result will be a wagashi of completely different texture. Neri Yokan can be eaten at room temperature and will be chewy with strong flavours. Mizu Yokan will be eaten cold and is jelly like, suitable for summer.
Even though red bean is the most common form, you can also use shiro-an (white bean paste) mixed with matcha to make a matcha version of Yokan. Currently in Singapore, I have not seen shiro-an selling on the shelves. The closest relative I can think of would be mung bean paste you can find in Phoon Huat, used for mooncake / ang ku kueh filling.
10g sugar (optional)
2g – 3g agar agar powder
A pinch of salt
- Sprinkle in agar agar powder to a pot of 200ml water and mix well before bringing to a boil and then lower to just simmering.
- To the pot of hot water, add in the koshian or red bean paste you have and mix well until even.
- If required, add in some sugar and a pinch of salt to taste. This is optional.
- Remove from heat and pour it into mould of your choice.
- Allow to set at room temperature or in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.
- When hardened, unmould and serve.
Check out this post to find out where to get the ingredients.
Things to Note
- I decided to do this on a whim and had no koshian on hand. I only had a can of boiled azuki beans, so I just blended everything up to form a paste with bits of skin everywhere, somewhat like tsubuan. If you have koshian, please use that. But my version is still delicious, so whatever works!
- You can use any sort of jelly moulds for this. If you have chestnut or whole red beans, you could place them in too to make Kuri Mizu Yokan.
- I used a rectangular lunch box and the shape was perfect for me. I sliced it into rectangular pieces to serve.
Since this is eaten cold, it goes well with cold tea too. Here I have Iced Matcha Latte.