There is a popular summer dessert called ‘Mizu Yōkan’ in Japan. It’s a jelly, commonly made with smooth Azuki (Red Beans) Paste and Kanten. I started making it using Queen’s ‘Jel-It-In’ Vegetarian Gelling Powder because Kanten is not easy to find. Agar Agar Powder can be used. This is my recipe to make ‘Mizu Yōkan’ from scratch. It’s NOT the authentic traditional method, but it is absolutely easy and good enough for me.


4 to 6 Servings


1/2 cup Dried Azuki Beans (Red Beans)
*Note: If you have ‘Koshi-an’ (smooth type Sweet Azuki Paste), you can use 1 cup ‘Koshi-an’ and alter the amount of Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar *plus extra
1 pinch Salt
1 sachet (8g) Queen’s ‘Jel-It-In’ Vegetarian Gelling Powder *OR 4g (1 & 1/4 teaspoons) Agar Agar Powder

*Note: If you use Agar Agar Powder, use it according to the instruction on the package. 8g might be too much.

  1. Place Dried Azuki Beans in a saucepan and cover with a plenty of water, and cook until the beans are swollen and plump. Darin the water. *Note: This is to remove unpleasant taste from the beans.
  2. Place the beans back into the saucepan, cover with plenty of water again, and cook until the beans are absolutely soft.
  3. Drain most of water but save some, and process, using a hand blender OR food processor, into smooth paste. *Warning: It is very hot, you need extra care not to burn yourself.
  4. Place the paste in a measuring jug, and add COLD Water up to 500ml marking. *Note: You can add extra 1-2 tablespoons more Water for softer jelly.
  5. Place the Azuki mixture into a saucepan, add all other ingredients, and use a whisk to blend everything well.
  6. Heat over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Once it started boiling, lower the heat and simmer, stirring, for 1 minute, then remove from heat. *Note: Taste it. You may wish to add extra Sugar and Salt.
  7. Pour the mixture into a container, cups OR moulds. Be careful as it is hot. You can cool the mixture slightly, but do not leave it for too long because this jelly sets at room temperature.
  8. When cool enough, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a few hours or until completely set. If it is set in a container, cut into a serving size. Enjoy with nice green tea.