Consider kanten the Jell-O of champions. You can make kanten with any kind of fruit and juice, or tea. Kuzu, the starch of the kuzu plant, is a wonderful thickener, and is easy to get in health food stores. Kanten, the dessert made with kuzu, is quick and delicious, and does wonders for upset stomachs. You can eat it warm too.
Sometimes we get lucky and find fresh lychee, that wonderfully intriguing Chinese fruit with the fuzzy skin and incredibly fragrant meat. You still get a wonderful kanten with canned lychee.
- 4 cups unsweetened lychee juice (health food stores)
- 2∕3 cup kuzu (health food stores)
- 3 cups lychee nuts, peeled and coarsely chopped (sometimes they can be hard to find: settle for 1 large can lychees, juice and all, fruit chopped)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 bags green tea, decaf OK (or 1 tablespoon green tea powder, heath food stores)
- Maple syrup to taste (wait until you taste the finished dessert: you might find it sweet enough as is)
In a medium saucepan, whisk the juice and kuzu until dissolved. Turn on the flame, add the remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and cook, whisking 4 to 5 more minutes, until thickened. (Discard the tea bags, if using). Add a little maple syrup if it needs it. Transfer the mixture to a mold or individual cups and chill.