Matcha parfait is a popular dessert in many cafes in Japan, especially in Kyoto. It is a multi-layered affair, similar to an ice cream sundae in places like the United States – except that everything is based around matcha green tea. It usually includes mochi, kanten and ice cream, plus additional topping ingredients like adzuki beans and matcha syrup. The result is a whole new level of yum! If you don’t have a Japanese cafe near you, make your own delicious matcha parfait right at home.
Matcha and Different Kinds of Green Tea
The type of green tea used in this recipe is Matcha. It is just one of many different kinds of green tea commonly consumed in Japanese food culture. What makes matcha different is that it has been ground up into a fine powder, so it is kind of like a concentrated version of green tea. While matcha is a kind of tea, by simply adding hot water to the powder and whisking it well, it also has other uses. Matcha makes candy and other sweets like ice cream bright green and gives them the hearty flavor and health benefits of green tea. Japanese cooks also use green tea in a wide variety of wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets, especially mochi “dango” balls.
What is Kanten?
Kanten is a kind of Japanese jelly, much like American Jello, except that it is made out of seaweed extract. Many different kinds of Japanese sweets use kanten as a thickening agent. You can also enjoy kanten on its own as a delicious and healthy desert. Check out our recipes for Strawberry Milk Kanten and Orange Kanten for some inspiration on what is possible with this versatile traditional Japanese food. Although it might look complicated, it’s really quite easy to make kanten right in your home in just minutes. It easily adds a new texture and lots of flavor to any sweet dish. Kanten is also considered a healthy food. In fact, its so good at helping people lose weight that there is even a movement happening in Japan!
What are Mochi Balls?
No doubt you have tried, or at least seen mochi balls in your supermarket. But what exactly are they? In this traditional Japanese recipe we are going to show you how to make mochi balls from scratch – and you are going to find that its much easier than you may think! While items like mochi ice cream are now a trend around the world, the mochi itself has actually been a part of Japanese food culture for hundreds of years. Mochi is made from rice that has been soaked overnight and then pounded into a chewy and gelatinous texture. Because we don’t expect you to soak and pound the rice yourself, we recommend using shiratama flour. Just by adding water you can make mochi balls instantly! Once you have mastered making mochi at home, you can make a wide variety of different mochi treats, including apple daifuku mochi and sakura cherry blossom mochi. And that’s just the beginning!
- Make sure to keep stirring when heating up kanten.
- You can add fresh fruits like orange and cherry to matcha parfait if you like.
- Matcha itself is a bitter ingredients. Increase the amount of sugar if you think it’s too bitter for your taste.
- Instead of Matcha syrup, you can also enjoy this with honey or brown sugar syrup (Boil ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup brown sugar).
- 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp Shiratama Powder
- ¼ cup Water
- 4 Tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Matcha Powder
- 2 Tbsp Water
- ¼ lb Adzuki Beans, cooked
- 4 scoop Matcha Ice Cream (1 scoop per portion)
Make Matcha Kanten
- Add water and powdered kanten into a pot and mix well.
- Turn on the heat and continue mixing until it boils over low heat. Continue to heat for 1 more minute after it boils.
- Turn off the heat, and add the matcha powder and sugar and mix until they melt.
- Turn the heat back on again and continue heating over low heat for more 2 minutes after it boils. Turn of the heat and let it cool down.
- Pour the liquid into a shallow flat container and let it harden in room temperature. Move the container into the fridge to cool more.
Make Mochi Balls
- Place the shiratama powder in a bowl and add water little by little while stirring. Continue stirring until the hardness is similar to an earlobe, and separate into 16 balls.
- Add the balls into boiling water. Once the balls float up, leave for 1 minute and then move the balls into cold water to cool them down. Drain.
Make Matcha Syrup
- In a pot, add the sugar and matcha powder and mix. Add water and heat over low heat while mixing. MIx until syrup thickens.
- Take the matcha kanten tray from the refrigerator. Cut into small squares.
- In a small cup, add several matcha kanten cubes, several mochi balls, a spoon full of cooked adzuki beans, and a scoop of matcha ice cream. Top it off with the matcha syrup. Enjoy!