Experiences

Must-eat in Japan – Yokan

When a platter is as diverse as that which is plated up with dishes from Japanese cuisine, a foodie is often bamboozled. Should he go in for sushi or spiced tofu? Some sashimi or o-dango? Luckily, we help out all you foodies out there.

Yokan

Image Courtesy: yoppy used under the Creative Commons Licence

If you’re at a restaurant in any city or town in Japan, make sure you try a less-heard-of dish called Yokan. A delicious jellied dessert that is made of that old Asian favourite, red bean paste, Yokan is usually sold in a block form. It’s eaten in thin or thick slices.

Yokan is a perfect summer dish as it is served chilled. The surprise lies in the small portions of chestnuts, persimmons and sweet potatoes, among other little delightful ingredients that go into the making of yokan.

It is believed that Yokan originally came to Japan from neighbouring China. Zen Buddhists introduced this sweet to the Japanese sometime around 1200 AD. The Buddhists made these sweets with wheat flour and azuki beans, making it a vegetarian-friendly dish. The original recipe contained animal gelatin, the use of which stood against Buddhist beliefs.

What’s good about Yokan is that it can be stored for a long period. But even if you don’t get it back home, make sure you sample this must-eat in Japan – Yokan.

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