Kanten is a Japanese dessert that is made out of gelatine. The plant-based gelling agent agar agar is used in this recipe. In Japan gelatine is made out of red alga and not out of pork, as it’s common practice in Germany. Additional ingredients give the kanten their sweet flavour. Ingredients are also used to garnish this dessert. The bright colour that shines through the jelly looks very beautiful. Kanten can either be prepared with milk or water. I prefer to use water as it’s lower in calories.
Agar Agar the Japanese gelling agent
Agar Agar is a plant-based gelling agent, that is not much used in Germany yet, as it’s more expensive than regular gelatine. In Germany regular gelatine is made out of pig skin. It’s cheap but not vegetarian. I’ve found a German manufacturer that sells agar agar as an affordable product in supermarkets. Dr. Oetker is the only brand that sells it in German supermarkets at the moment. You can buy the packet either on Amazon or in regular grocery stores like Edeka, Real and Rewe. The main ingredient of this product is agar agar and therefore it’s perfect for this Japanese dessert.
The perfect summer dessert
Kanten is generally served cold. This is Japan’s Nr.1 dessert because it’s refreshing and very popular during summertime. The beautiful bright and fruity colours attract children especially.
The strawberry Kanten
Kanten can be prepared with almost every fruit. I especially like kanten with strawberries as the red and sweet fruits remain firm and fresh in the jelly. A beautiful example of bright colours is a milk based kanten with the red berries. It just looks so inviting! The amount of kanten depends on the number of little bowls available. If you take one big bowl, you’ll get big, but little kanten out of it. I recommend using small bowls in order to get bite sized portions. It goes without saying, that the strawberries need to be cut according to the size.