Consider kanten the Jell-O of champions.
You can make kanten with any kind of fruit and juice, or tea. Take a look at my Berry Kanten: It’s pretty amazing too!
Kuzu, the starch of the kuzu plant, is a great natural thickener, and is easy to get in health food stores. It knocks Jell-O out of the ballpark, and is presentable enough to serve to company. Jell-O with a college education! Kanten, the dessert made with kuzu, is quick and delicious, and is known to work wonders for upset stomachs. You can eat it warm too. Even without the addition of diced fruit, you will get somewhere delicious and nutritious!
Sometimes we get lucky and find fresh lychee:
It’s that fuzzy, funky and intriguing Chinese fruit with incredibly fragrant meat. If you find it, pounce on it. And if you don’t, you will still get a wonderful kanten with canned lychee if you must settle.
You will note I have no added sweetener. The lychee juice is naturally sweet and fragrant, and will naturally sweeten the whole dessert beautifully.
I prefer to pour it in serving cups
It is more guaranteed to be neat, and is hardly more work than pouring it in one larger mold.
- 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). Just to be clear: The end result is 3 cups diced.
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 bags green tea, decaf OK (or 1 tablespoon green tea or matcha tea powder, heath food stores)
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 to small individual cups and chill. Makes 8 to 10 servings.