You may have never heard of kanten before, but I’m sure you’ve had its close cousin here in the States: Jello. Kanten is a dish that originates from Japan and has the same consistency as jello, but it contains a clear, tasteless substitute for chemical or animal based gelatin. The gelling agent is Agar Agar, a tasteless sea vegetable.
We also included kuzu in this recipe, another traditional Japanese ingredient that usually provides a thickening agent for sauces, soups, and gravies. Kuzu is great for strengthening the digestion, soothing upset stomachs, and provides a healthier, chemical free substitute in recipes calling for corn or potato starch.
Making kanten is fast and easy, and makes for a great summer dessert. It is traditionally made with apple juice, but you can use any juice, or use water and a liquid sweetener. Pair it with any seasonal fruit and you have a refreshing and healthy dessert!
2 cups Apple Juice
Pinch of Salt
2 Tablespoons Agar Agar
1 Tablespoon Kuzu
1 lb of strawberries
1. Combine the apple juice, salt and agar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Dissolve the Kuzu completely in a small amount of cold water and then add to the apple juice agar mixture.
3. Let the mixture simmer until the agar dissolves and the flakes are no longer visible, about 10-25 minutes.
4. While the apple juice is simmering chop the strawberries into bite size pieces.
5. Put the strawberries into a glass dish and pour the liquid over it.
6. Let it cool and then place in the refrigerator to set, about 1 hour.