Zu zu zu lemon tartelette : yuzu, kuzu, anzu

DSC03316-001
DSC03327-001

A delicious fresh dessert for all the lovers of sour sweetness.

Why zu zu zu ?

Zu or su, is sourness. Many acidic ingredients have this sound in Japanese. Today :
Anzu : Apricot.
Yuzu : yuzu citrus.
Kuzu : kudzu is a root resembling arrow-root and similarly used as a jelly starch.

About 1 volume of dry apricot for two of oat meal in the blender, then just a little water. Put in the mold, dried in the oven.

Yuzu. I’ve really discovered something here : yuzu and apricot are one of those rare matches made in even. Paired they become something else, a richer fruit flavor.

DSC03518-001

DSC03531-001

Kudzu as it is sold. It is 本葛 Honkuzu, pure kuzu. There exist others (explanation here).

For more : kudzu recipes.

DSC03272-001

I mixed the kuzu powder with the juice and zest of a yuzu, a little yellow cane sugar, enough water (as suggested on the package of kuzu) and cooked while stirring, till it became transparent.

DSC03330-001

Filled the crust. Let cool a few hours. Garnished with whipped coconut cream, toasted sesame seeds and yellow cane sugar.

DSC03318-001

Kuzumochi (kuzu, kuzukiri, kuzuko,kuzuyu…)


Kuzumochi avec de la poudre de caroube.
(kuzumochi with carob powder).

Kuzumochi is very close to warabimochi (click here) made with bracken. The “warabi” ingredient is cheap, so it is more commonly sold. Kuzu is a great product, but it is costly, even in Japan where it is produced.

葛餅 Kuzumochi :

40 g of kuzuko, 150 ml of water, 5 g of sugar

Recette de base :
Mélanger les ingrédients dans une casserole. Porter a ébullition en remuant avec une cuiller en bois. Quand tout est devenu translucide, rincer un recipient et y transférer le mélange.
Quand c’est un peu refroidit, couper des cubes ou tailler des billes a la cuiller. Servir avec de la kinako (farine de soja grillé) et du sucre.

Standard recipe : mix the ingredient in a sauce pan. Bring to boil while stirring with a wooden spoon. When it all becomes slightly transparent, rinse a container with cold water and poor the paste in it.
When it’s a little cooled, you can cut bits with a spoon like here and throw them in a cup of very cold water. Drain and serve with a cup of kinako+sugar to dip the kuzumochi in it. (kinako is a powder of roasted soy beans)

You can shape your kuzumochi in round tea cups and put a ball of anko (bean jam) in the middle. This is also called mizumanju.

Variations are made with the same recipe :

葛切り Kuzukiri :
(kuzu noodles)
40 g of kuzuko, 120 ml of water
The paste is spread on a flat layer, and then cut in long noddles, Or it is extruded with a noddle cutting gadget and dropped into cold water. These noodles can be served with either kuromitsu (a syrup made from kurazato black sugar), or a vinegared soy sauce.

葛湯 Kuzuyu :
(kuzu hot water)
40 g of kuzuko, 200 ml of water, 10 g of sugar
It is served hot and liquid. Like here :
ginger kuzuyu
Rem : If you let a leftover of kuzuyu cool a few hours, it will thicken into kuzumochi.


(kuzuko, here kuzu + sweet potato)

Shopping :
Kudzu 葛 Kuzu : a Japanese plant, close to arrow-root. Starch is made from its root.

本葛 Honkuzu (yamakuzu, etc) : pure kuzu starch powder
葛粉 Kuzuko : starch powder that may be 100% kuzu or a mix of kuzu and other starches (potato, sweet potato, corn).

For the Japanese sweet recipes and to thicken your sauces, you can use any type (kuzuko, honkuzu…). The color and transparency will vary slightly.
The pure ones being more expensive, many cook with the “mixed” kuzuko. Some people use kuzu for its medicinal property and they want the pure product.

You can buy them in most supermarkets in Japan. Abroad, Asian grocers and some health ingredient stores (macrobiotic, etc) may sell them.

Pour les Français, il existe cette boutique en ligne. Je ne les connais pas. Ils ont beaucoup d’ingrédients de base japonais.

I had no kinako in stock, so I’ve eaten my snack with a mix of carob, powder sugar and cinnamon. Carob is not Japanese at all, but I liked it.

Goma-dofu maison

On peut acheter le tofu de sesame… partout au Japon. C’est une des specialites des bonzes de Koya-san, la cite de temple dans les montagnes de Nara.
Mais, c’est tres simple a faire. Ca prend 3 minutes.

Les 2 ingredients essentiels sont du kudzu starch (kuzu-ko)
nerigoma (tahini, beurre de sesame).
Dans une casserole, melanger 400 ml d’eau (2 verres), 2 cuilleres a soupe de kudzu (30 g), 4 cuilleres de nerigoma (40 g), une pincee de sel. Cuire a feu moyen, en remuant constamment a la spatule. Des que ca epaissit, oter du feu. On obtient une creme encore liquide. Si c’est trop epais, rajouter un peu d’eau et recuire un peu.

Mouiller des moules. Ne pas essuyer. Verser le melange, laisser refroidir, mettre au frigo (2 heures mini pour demouler).

Demouler, ou pas. Servir, par exemple, avec un peu de sauce (soja, bouillon, sucre…), ou comme ici avec du yuzu-koshio.

Making yuzu kosho

C’est bien cremeux. On peut augmenter la proportion de sesame, mais il faut reduire les portions car c’est plus gras.

La recette japonaise traditionnelle se fait a partir de graines de sesame que l’on ecrase au mortier.
Variantes populaires : avec du neri-goma brun (sesame grille) ou noir, ou avec du beurre de cacahuetes. On peut bien sur utiliser d’autres beurres de noix et de graines.

Home-made jade

This is edamame tofu fully made of edamame beans, which are fresh green soy beans.

The other ingredient is kudzu. It is the starch from a plant. It is sold in the form of a powder, in Japanese groceries and also in some Western health stores (and you will probably find it expensive). It is very close to arrow-root and can surely be substituted.

Recipe of edamame tofu

You can un-mold it or serve it in cups as you like. Un-molding works better with the version with agar or gelatine , but the version simple is more creamy.
Make your choice.

Version simple
edamame (weighted cooked and shelled) 120 g
kombu dashi 300 g (300 ml, 1.75 cup)
kudzu 20 g

Version +1
kudzu 15 g
gelatine 5 g

Version +2
kudzu 15 g
instant agar-agar powder 5 g

A -Rub the pods of edamame with coarse salt and rinse them. Boil them in their pods in slightly salty water. That takes 4~5 minutes till they get soft.

B-Blend together the shelled beans, the dashi and the kudzu powder. If you want a perfectly silky result sieve the liquid. Pour it in the sauce pan.
C-Heat on medium-low, while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. After a few minutes, it thickens. Add in the gelatine if you use it. Stir well.
D- Pour in containers or molds. Let cool. Then put in the fridge a few hours.

Version +
-If you use gelatine, rehydrate it with a little dashi in a cup, add it to the beans after 1 minute.
-If you use agar-agar, add it to a little dashi in the sauce pan, bring to a boil, add the bean mix to it.

It can be served as a savory dish. Or as a sweet, as you will surely find the taste very sweet.

The jade aspect is beautiful. The texture is not like white tofu either.

Ideas to serve it : click here.

For a sick cat

Ginger kuzu-yu.

You were getting canned posts because I stopped food. Yep, eating is a nasty habit. All you need is a little strength of will… I have none.
The other way is to be 99% dead and sick in bed, which is what I have done mostly for the last 3 days. Now I am back to life, but not totally repaired yet. I’m left with a voice of cat, as they say here, or a cat in the throat as we say in my country.

So take fresh ginger and kuzu.

Starch of kuzu, kudzu . I used to think it was arrow-root. It has the color of arrow-root, the taste of arrow-root, but indeed it’s Canada Dry. Click to read more about that plant.

>

Dilute in cold water. Heat slowly and stir till it becomes transparent. You can add honey and grated ginger, for a sore throat, but other flavorings are possible.

Serve hot.


(photo from a webshop, click to get there)

It’s a popular Winter sweet.
Japanese cake stores sell thoses cute packages of instant kuzu-yu (just add hot water). There are also blocks with cute shapes.

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts.

It will wonderfully sooth the aching throat thanks to the extraordinary gel texture.

Ate it till the last drop…

Wagashi saga. Full edition.

DSC01074-002mikan daifuku

The Japanese are sweet lovers. Now, all sorts of Western and Asian sweets can be found in big cities, and there are many talented bakers.

Wagashi means “Japanese sweets”, and it refers to the snack, usually sweet, served with tea. Eating desserts is not the custom. You eat lunch at 11~12 , then at 3 pm, you have a sweet with tea.

murasaki hanamame

The bulk of wagashi are made on a base of 2 ingredients : rice and azuki beans. And the artisans carve hundreds of refined designs -inspired by nature and seasonal events. So you may have the impression that they all taste the same and are only decorative. Actually, even in traditional shops, there exist many other flavors, sesame, roast soy beans, sweet potato, nuts, yuzu, chestnut, ume plum, cherry blossom, matcha, dry fruits, cassia cinnamon…
I have no ambition to compete in refinement of making with the famous shops. I have them on occasions, not too often as the quality ones are not cheap. Making my snacks is mostly a hobby and a way to avoid the supermarket range ones.
My home-made wagashi don’t always follow the traditional recipes, but I try to indicate when I adapt. Usually, I want mines to be less sweetened.

BASIC RECIPES FOR HOME-MADE WAGASHI

Sweet pastes
There are several sweet pastes called “an”.
“anko” the most common is made of red azuki beans. Other beans are used too, white for “shiro an”, and also red, yellow, black…
“kimi-an” is yellow and egg flavored. “kuri-an” is made with chestnut. Etc

Cooking azuki beans

Making anko (brown filling) from the beans. Tsubuan and koshian. Easy recipe.

Making kimi-an (yellow filling, with egg)

Rice, rice flour, processed rice flours

Making o-hagi, the basic wagashi (from rice)

Making daifuku mochi from mochiko (from mochi flour)

Making kashiwa-mochi (from joshinko rice flour)

Other flours

kuzu, kudzu :
kuzumochi
warabi (bracken) :
warabi mochi
agar agar :
tokoroten

Home-made wagashi

Autumn

 

Gold and Chestnut : kuri kinton

Kuri, the sweet (2nd style of kuri kinton)

Kinako-bo and mugi-cha

Polka-dot kabocha yokan

Making o-hagi

Mizu-yokan and nashi

After-Eight Daifuku Mochi

Choco-coco hari-nezumi

Winter

Zenzai

Azuki filled “sweet potato”

Mushi-pan

Ichigo daifuku mochi

Zenzai with yaki-mochi

Ginger kuzu-yu

Spring

choco-chip matcha-an daifuku

Tokoroten cherry…

Kimi-an dango, Japanese sweets like pearls of gold

Tamago-chan, cute egg wagashi

Summer

Dango

Lemon snow-flake mochi

Mochinnamon bun

Cubes of refreshment : heart-heaven in black sweetness

Ubatama

Okinawan mochi

warabi mochi (classic recipe)

ichigo-dama (strawberry pearls)

Others

Setsubun (start of Spring festival)

Casual tea.

About wagashi and mochi from the shop… (Summer)

Yatsuhashi for sakura season (from the shop)

Assorted Spring wagashi (from the shop)

Kashiwa-mochi for Children Day, May 5th (from the shop)

okaki mochi

noshi mochi

Other dessert compilations :

Crazy and Healthy Sweets (compilation)

French desserts – Dessert francais (compilation)