So I ended up with a bunch of anko that I wasn’t sure what to do with, and then this molecular gastronomy starter kit arrived in the post, and one of the chemicals in it was agar-agar, or kanten in Japanese. There a plenty of yokan (羊羹) recipes swimming out on the internet, but many tend to be mizu yokan, rather than the neri yokan I have fond memories of, so using my basic Japanese language skills I tried to translate one.
- 225ml water
- 4g agar
- 100g sugar
- 450g anko
- Add water and agar to a pan and bring to the boil whilst mixing.
- Once boiling, add the koshian and sugar.
- Simmer over a low heat and stir with a wooden spatula (木べら)
- Simmer until thick enough that scraping the spatula along the bottom of the pan leaves a visible trail.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a mould.
- Let it cool and, when hard, serve.
I didn’t have a suitable rectangular mould, but I did have a silicone ice cube tray which made very cute single serving mini-yokans. I think I should have simmered the mixture a bit longer to get a firmer gel, but I’m not sure I really see the point of simmering in the original recipe, why not just dissolve the agar in less water to begin with?