Warabimochi: The Refreshing Summer Snack

by Shiori Fukuda

Warabimochi(わらびもち)is a traditional Japanese jelly-like confection. Though it looks like jelly, it’s actually made of water, sugar, and starch instead of gelatin.


It is said that Japanese people have been eating this confection since the 17th century. More surprisingly, according to one source, Emperor Daigo (born in 885) loved warabimochi very much. This confection seems to have a longer history than previously thought.

Warabimochi was originally made of “warabi root powder”(わらび粉). “Warabi” is a kind of edible wild plant Japanese people like to collect and eat in the spring. Today people usually use starch made from sweet potatoes or tapioca instead of warabi powder because extracting warabi powder requires a lot more time and effort. Warabimochi is made in this way: 1) combine warabi powder or starch with sugar and water, 2) stir and simmer it until it become sticky and looks transparent, 3) chill it until it solidifies.

Warabi Plant
Warabi Plant

Because of its refreshing color and jelly-like texture, Japanese people like to have warabimochi in the summer. Generally speaking, this confection is often served with some black sugar syrup and “kinako” (roasted soybean flour). Warabimochi with sugar syrup and kinako is a special summer dessert for Japanese people.


For August 2016 Bokksu (August’s box theme is “kuro” which means “black color” in Japanese), we curated Kuro Warabimochi, which is a kind of warabimochi made using black sugar. It looks sleek and luxurious, almost like black jewelry. We recommend chilling this snack and serving it with black sugar syrup and “kinako” (roasted soybean flour), which makes the flavor more refreshing and delicious.

Kuro Warabimochi

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