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Japanese Anmitsu Recipe

Japanese Anmitsu Recipe

Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert consisting of kanten jelly accompanied by fruit, mochi and anko topped with ice cream and kuromitsu. The jelly is prepared ahead of time, while the other ingredients are assembled just before serving. It is a popular summer dessert.

Kanten is a gelling agent derived from red seaweed. It is similar to agar agar which is made from a different type of seaweed. The jelly is made by boiling the kanten in water then letting the mixture cool before cutting into cubes.

Mochi is a Japanese chewy rice cake. There are several types of mochi: the one used for anmitsu is called shiratama dango and is made with shiratamako (sweet rice flour) though the dango itself has a unsweet, subtle flavor so its often paired with anko which is a Japanese sweet red bean paste.

Kuromitsu is black sugar syrup which is used to top the ice cream which can be any flavor. Popular fruit choices are strawberry, bananas, kiwi and oranges. There are many types of anmitsu, the name better details what it contains.

Shiratama anmitsu is topped with shiratama dumplings while anmitsu without red beans is called mitsumame. When topped with ice cream or whipped cream they are called cream anmitsu or cream mitsumame.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Anmitsu translates to red bean paste with syrup. It originated in Ginza, Tokyo during the Meiji period of 1862 and 1912.

Anmitsu without ice cream

Japanese Anmitsu Recipe

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese desert. It consists of kanten jelly accompanied by with fruit, mochi and anko, topped with ice cream and Kuromitsu.


Kanten Jelly

  • Kanten powder - 2 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp


  • Azuki beans (dried) - 7 oz
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Water


  • Black sugar - 3.5 oz
  • Sugar - ½ cup
  • Water - ½ cup
  • Kosher salt - ½ tsp

Shiratama Dango

  • Shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour) - 1/3 cup
  • Water - 3 tbsp
  • Sugar - ½ tsp


  • Ice cream - 6 scoops
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Kiwis


Kanten Jelly

  1. Add 2 cups of water and 2 tsp kanten powder in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk the mixture together and bring it to a hard boil on medium-high heat, being careful not to let the liquid boil over.
  3. After the mixture has boiled and the kanten powder is dissolved, add 2 Tbsp of sugar and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the stove and pour the mixture into an 8- x 8-inch baking dish.
  5. Allow it to cool and let the kanten set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  6. Cut into ½-inch (1.5-cm) cubes.


  1. Rinse the azuki beans and discard any broken bits.
  2. Drain and transfer the drained azuki beans to a large pot.
  3. Add enough water to cover the beans by 1–2 inches.
  4. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  5. Once boiling, drain the beans in a fine-mesh sieve.
  6. Return the beans to the same pot.
  7. Next, add more water to the pot to cover the beans by 1–2 inches.
  8. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Once boiling, put a lid over the beans.
  10. Turn the heat to medium low and keep it simmering for the next 1–1½ hours.
  11. Add more water to keep the beans covered, as needed.
  12. After 1 hour, check if the beans are cooked. Pick up a bean and mash it with your fingers. When it mashes easily, it‘s done.
  13. Drain the cooked azuki beans in a sieve.
  14. Return the beans to the same pot.
  15. Turn the heat to medium low and add half of the ¾–1 cup sugar.
  16. Mix well.
  17. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the rest.
  18. Mix well, stirring constantly. Then, add ½ tsp kosher salt and stir.
  19. Let the moisture evaporate.
  20. When a line can be drawn on the bottom of the pot with a spatula, turn off the heat.
  21. Transfer the anko to a flat baking sheet to let it cool completely.


  1. In a small saucepan, mix the black sugar, sugar and ½ cup water.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture thickens slightly.
  4. Allow it to cool.


  1. Combine ⅓ cup shiratamako, ½ tsp sugar, and 3 Tbsp water. Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  2. Roll into a nice smooth ball and then form into a log.
  3. Pinch off dough from the log and roll each one into a ¾-inch ball and then flatten it into a thick disc.
  4. Use the index finger to make an indentation in the center.
  5. Add the Shiratama Dango to boiling water.
  6. Once they float to the surface, cook for one more minute.
  7. Remove from the water and soak in ice water to let them cool. Use immediately
  8. Cut the strawberries, banana, and kiwis into bite-sized pieces.
  9. Into the individual serving bowls, evenly divide the kanten jelly, fruit pieces, the shiratama dango, 6 tbsp sweet red bean paste (anko),and 6 scoops of ice cream.
  10. Serve with kuromitsu on the side.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 101gFiber: 3gSugar: 92gProtein: 4g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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