Orange kanten is a traditional Japanese dessert served especially in the summer and throughout the year as a light and healthy wagashi (Japanese sweet). Kanten is much like the Jello desserts that are popular in the United States.
Although there are many different kinds of kanten, orange kanten is one of the most authentic Japanese food recipes you can make at home. It presents well as an after-dinner party treat or outdoor tea party dessert because it will not melt at room temperature like ice cream and other frozen confections. Please enjoy our recipe and video, as well as the background story on this intriguing part of Japanese food culture.
Presentation Is Key
Plating is one of the things that makes Japanese cuisine unique. Japanese culture and traditions place just as much emphasis on presentation as they do on culinary perfection, which is why Japanese cuisine is often considered an art form. By using the orange skin as a cup, regular desserts like orange kanten look much more professional and can match the decor of the table as well as the flavors being enjoyed. Orange kanten is usually served on its own side plate or dessert dish and with its own spoon.
Getting Creative With Kanten
Japanese cuisine also places an importance on incorporating seasonal food. Depending on the season, you can use different fruits to make this fruit kanten. Just make sure to use about 1 to 1.5% kanten to the amount of fruit juice or liquefied fruit.
Other popular fruit kanten recipes include blueberry rose jelly and coffee jelly. Additionally, you can use matcha powder (green tea) to create a healthy Japanese dessert recipe based on kanten. Besides simple fruit desserts, kanten is also part of more complex authentic Japanese dishes, such as mizu yokan.