A very simple Japanese sweet. something like a gummy I suppose. The texture of the agar agar and the graininess of the red beans combine for a unique mouth feel mouth feel. If you're interested in wagashi, for sure give this a shot.
What you will need
3/4 cup water
2g agar agar
1 pinch salt
How to cook
This condiment is used in a variety of Japanese desserts. Do a double batch and store it in the freezer. It should last for a couple of months, no problem.
Anko paste is a simple paste of sweetened red beans that appears in a lot of Japanese desserts. There are 3 varieties or stages referring to the texture, or basically just how much you squished the beans. Tsubuan refers to whole unmashed bean paste. Tsubushian is a lightly mashed bean paste as in the image above. Koshian is mashed and sieved bean paste with no visible bean chunks.
Combine agar agar and water in a sauce pot and mix over heat until it comes to a simmer. It's important to mix well as the water is heating up because agar tends to clump up.
Stir in the bean paste. Mix well. Break up the clumps with a whisk.
Remove from heat and mix in a pinch of salt.
The make special molds for this, but I just used this small terrine mold. It's lined with plastic wrap so that I'll be able to get the yokan out when it's set without damaging it too much.
Put it in the fridge. It should take about 15 minutes to set, so long as yours ends up around the same thickness as mine.
See, the plastic makes it easy to pop the yokan out of the mold.
Slice it up. My mold left some rounded edges, so I sliced those away before cutting into rectangular strips. In hindsight, I would have cut once in half perpendicular as well because these candies are better in small bites.
You've got your yokan. Do what you will. Share with friends, horde it all to yourself, or get weirded out and feed it to the dog. I like it, but it's probably not for everyone.