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Thursday, March 17, 2011

youkan (ようかん)

youkan is a dessert made of agar agar and adzuki bean paste.
I have been wanting and trying to include more traditional japanese sweets. I suppose one of the reasons is because I would like to share these wonderful dessert with my daughter.
It is not so common in western diet to use much beans in a dessert dish but they are great nutritionally as well. Instead of all the high carbohydrate in many sweet dishes including ingredients like adzuki beans can help you stabilise your insulin levels.
other Japanese sweets that use beans are zenzai (sweet red bean or lentil soup with mochi or ponded kibi or millet), ohagi (pounded sweet rice with bean paste), daifuku (sweet dumpling) etc.
In the traditional recipe white sugar was used. It is easy to replace it with rice syrup or other more natural sweetners of your choice. I used rice syrup and raisin this time .

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