Mizu Yokan is a traditional Japanese dessert that is served as a refreshing treat on warm summer days. The jellied dessert is made with sweet red bean paste, sugar, and other flavorful ingredients such as chestnuts.

Tips for Making Mizu Yokan

Making your own mizu yokan enables you to add as much or as little sugar as you like. The red bean paste is still sweet, and you can add other sweeteners or sweet ingredients in place of sugar. Additionally, although you can make your own red bean paste, it is much easier to pre-made koshian (smooth red bean paste).

Kanten can always be found in Asian supermarkets and grocery stores, but it is also possible to find it in some American supermarkets as well. Of course, you can also order it online.

You do not need to make large amounts of mizu yokan—it is easy to make small individual servings to enjoy. Simply use a small square cup or mold, and reduce the amount of kanten you use.

If you’d like to add chestnuts (recommended for some great umami!) you can find them already peeled and preserved in syrup in some grocery stores, in Asian supermarkets, and online.

Mizu Yokan Arrangement

Mizu Yokan Mochi Balls

  1. Make mochi balls with shiratama powder.
  2. Follow the mizu yokan recipe until step 3 to make the mixture.
  3. Line a small cup with plastic wrap.
  4. Pour a scoop of mizu yokan mixture into the cup, and drop 1 mochi ball inside.
  5. Squeeze the top of the plastic wrap to create a ball shape (about the size of a ping-pong ball). Seal the top tightly using rubber bands so the liquid won’t leak.
  6. Place the balls in a bowl of ice cold water and let them cool in the fridge.
  7. Done!

Matcha Mizu Yokan

  1. Mix matcha powder (1 tablespoon) with hot water (2 tablespoons).
  2. Add to the mizu yokan recipe after step 2 using a strainer.
  3. Pour it into a small cup (a green tea cup works best) and let it cool.

Mizu Yokan

Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese


  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Kanten Powder
  • 1.5 cup Red Bean Paste (Koshi An)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar


  1. Add water and powdered kanten into a pot and heat. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and keep mixing for about 2 minutes. Stop the heat.
  2. Add red bean paste, sugar, and salt and mix well.
  3. Turn the heat on medium heat, and once it boils, remove from heat and place the pot in ice cold water. Mix until it slightly thickens and cools.
  4. Wet the inside of the container and slowly pour in mixture.
  5. Cool it in the fridge for about 3 hours until it hardens.
  6. Remove from container and cut into desired pieces.