Why Anmitsu Is The Perfect Summer Snack

by Courtney Thompson

Summer is the perfect time for cool and refreshing treats, which is why anmitsu is one of the best Japanese snacks for the summer! Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert consisting primarily of kanten jelly, which is a light and mostly flavorless jelly also known as agar. Because this base is fairly bland, it’s a perfect vehicle for additional ingredients like fruits and anko or red bean paste. Like many other Japanese sweets, anmitsu is very versatile and can also include less traditional ingredients like mochi, ice cream, nuts, and more! These sweet and fruity flavors are perfect for the summer, and even better, anmitsu dessert is served chilled making it truly refreshing on a hot day!

Yokohama Mitsumame

If this sounds like the perfect summer treat, you can experience anmitsu this summer with Bokksu’s Choshiya Anmitsu Jelly! It comes with four bowls, so you can enjoy it with family or friends. The ingredients include individually packed kanten jelly, brown sugar syrup, red bean paste, and assorted fruit. All you have to do is chill everything in fridge and then mix it together to prepare it!

Anmitsu is quite similar to mitsumame, another jelly-based dessert. Anmitsu actually gets its name from this dessert—anmitsu is the combination of anko (an) and mitsumame (mitsu). Mitsumame is essentially the same as anmitsu but without the anko. If you’re not a fan of anko, mitsumame is the perfect snack for you! Bokksu’s YOKOHAMA Mitsumame Jelly also comes with four bowls and is very similar to anmitsu, but only comes with kanten jelly and fruits in an acidic and sweet syrup. Because there’s no anko and the syrup has an acidic element to balance out the sweetness, this dessert is great for those with less of a sweet tooth.

Anmitsu can also be easily made at home! This Japanese dessert only requires a few specific ingredients, so even if you’re not very skilled in the kitchen, you should have no trouble making it. Anmitsu is also naturally vegan and gluten-free, so it’s the perfect dessert to make for any crowd! Here’s a simple anmitsu recipe to follow:

The jelly only requires three ingredients: kanten or agar agar powder, depending on which you have access to, water, and sugar. Simply dissolve either a ½ stick of kanten or 1 tsp agar agar powder in 1 and 2/3 cups of water for an hour. Then strain the water into a pot, separating out the kanten. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear it into pieces before adding it into the pot. (If using agar agar, skip this step and simply add the agar agar and water into the pot together). Bring this mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer and stir until everything is dissolved. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp sugar and stir until dissolved. Then pour the mixture into a flat container and allow it to cool.

The next step in this anmitsu recipe is to make the syrup. Just add 1/4 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. If you’d like, you can also add 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Once everything is dissolved, remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to cool. Once everything is chilled, cut the jelly into cubes and portion it into bowls along with the syrup. Add whatever toppings you’d like, such as fruit and anko, and you have your finished anmitsu!

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