Japanese Jelly Dessert (Awayuki)

(Photo by lovejanine/Flickr)

Serves 6.


1 1/2 sticks kanten or 4 teaspoons agar-agar powder
250 g/8 oz/1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons strained lemon juice or fruit flavoured liqueur
2 egg whites
lemon slices or strawberry fans for decoration


If using kanten, break sticks into pieces and soak in 2 cups water for 30 minutes, then bring to boil and simmer until completely dissolved. If using agar-agar powder, sprinkle evenly over surface of 2 cups water in a saucepan and stir until it boils and dissolves. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff. When agar-agar mixture is still slightly warm add it to the egg whites, mixing well. (Do not let it cool too much or it will set before you can mix it into the egg whites.) Pour into a mould or individual dishes and leave to set. Chill and decorate.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)