Unlike breezy Bay Area, summer in New York City was hot and humid – filled with hot air and musty smell. On certain summer days, garbages are dumped and cooked on scorching hot streets releasing a perfectly sour odor. Waiting for the 1 train at 96th Street Subway station was like sauna bathing and the air-conditioned subway cars felt like heaven. After a long and steamy afternoon walk in Soho, Coffee Milk Tea Boba in China Town seemed just right.
Then I remembered the ferociously long hot and humid summer in Japan. The traditional sound of wind chimes, fuurin, are everywhere in summer and incredibly soothing. Despite the hot summer, Japanese enjoy summer with various cold summer treats – shaved ice, yokan, fruit jellies, green tea frozen yogurt, and many more. One of my favorites treats are Yokans – Red Bean Jelly. If you are in the Bay Area, you can find them at local Japanese Supermarkets like Mitsuwa, Nijiya, or Marukai. I personally find them too sweet for my little one, so I usually whip up this treat with less sugar and add honey.
MIZUYOKAN (RED BEAN JELLY)
PREP TIME 5 MIN COOK TIME 5 MIN TOTAL 30MIN
200 grams of Sweet Red Bean Paste
2 grams of Kanten (Agar)
1 teaspoon of Honey
1 cup of Water
Pinch of Salt
1. Combine 1 cup of water and add 2 grams of powdered kanten in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Lower heat and dissolve powdered kanten with a wooden spoon for 2 min.
3. Add 200 grams of sweet red bean paste and dissolve the paste with wooden spoon for 3 min.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and pinch of salt. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 min.
5. Pour mixture into a pan and cool in refrigerator for 15 min.