Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts

Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts

It has been a hectic time for the Ro-Ri family with way too many things going on and too little time to take it all in. Machines around the household have not been helpful either. Seems like things conspire to break down all at the same time. First it was the dish washer, then the computer started to give problems and it still does, followed by the washing machine. Good thing the basement was not flooded. The boys are busy with their school work and activities. When they are busy, you know mom is also busy. The social calendar has been taking up weekends and while the company is good, there is precious little time for anything else. On top of that we have the chore of gathering all those leaves in the yard…arghhh! Snow showers are expected this Wednesday!

I am pretty handicapped at the moment with the computer hobbling along. I am having to reboot every hour or so and that is getting me totally frustrated. Sorry for not visiting your blogs as regularly as I would like to. As a last ditch effort to avert having to get a new computer, I am planning to reformat the hard disk soon. I am also having problems getting my feed to update your blogrolls. Kindly update your links by changing the URL to www.rotinrice.com instead of the old blogger URL. many thanks for bearing with me.

Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts

After a very busy Saturday, I decided to take a break from all that running around. I am so glad to have received this surprise gift from Ann of Anncoo Journal. It was really sweet of Ann to send me these lovely agar-agar molds and agar-agar powder sachets. Making something simple and fun like agar-agar was just the thing I needed. It has been a while since I last made yōkan and these are reminiscent of the ones I had in Komagane, Japan not too long ago. You can see a picture of it here.

The agar-agar powder is really convenient and easy to use. It dissolves easily in the water with almost no residue and it also sets quickly in the fridge. To save time, I used all pre-packaged ingredients that can be easily purchased at any Asian grocery store.

Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts

Do give this Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts a try. It is lovely served as a light dessert or tea time treat.

Yokan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 tbsp (15g) agar-agar powder
  • ¾ cup (155g) sugar
  • 1 cup canned red bean paste
  • 24 par-boiled ginkgo nuts
  • 12 roasted chestnuts, halved
  1. Prepare 24 agar-agar molds, small silicone cups of 1 oz each or 2 large ice cube tray.
  2. Place red bean paste in a pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once cooled, divide into 24 equal portions. Shape into flattened balls. Place one ginkgo nut and a halved chestnut on red bean paste. Form into a nice little bundle.
  4. Bring 4 cups (960ml) of water in a sauce pan to boil. Add agar-agar and sugar, stirring constantly until agar-agar and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest setting so that agar-agar will not set in pan.
  5. Fill molds with 1 tablespoon agar-agar mixture. Place in the fridge to set, about 5 minutes.
  6. Once agar-agar has set, remove from fridge. Place prepared filling of red bean paste, ginkgo nut and chestnut into mold on top of set agar-agar.
  7. Remove pan with agar-agar mixture from heat. Fill mold to the top with remaining agar-agar mixture. Return molds to fridge and allow agar-agar to set, about 30 minutes.
  8. Unmold and serve cold.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! :-)

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  1. says

    YIKES!!! It really pours when it rains 😛 So sorry to hear about your woes – I do not envy your PC problems. Hubby has recently resurrected my crashed laptop but I think it will never be the same again and keeps shutting down while I am in mid-task, after barely two hours use when it heats up *sigh* I really can appreciate your difficulties :( Hope you get everything sorted out soon and thank you for visiting my blog inspite of your difficulties :)

    These jellies are beautiful!!! I love the muted, almost autumnal colours and that pink square dish is the perfect ‘vehicle’ for them. I honestly do not think I have seen a more gorgeous piece of Japanese tableware *sigh*

    • Biren says

      Too many things popping up lately. The PC is a big blow as it is only one and a half years old. Waiting for the recovery disks to come in the mail. May have to get a new one. Don’t know if I’ll be able to do any posts in the mean time :(

      Thanks! Making these jellies is a good diversion. I have a matching teapot that sits perfectly on this dish.

  2. Haruna says

    Lovely……as a kid I used to imagine yokan as “water that you can bite”. These concoctions certainly live up to good tasting “water”. 😀

    • Biren says

      Thanks Cristina! Ginkgo nuts have a slightly sweet but mild flavor. It lends itself well not only in desserts but also savory dishes. The peeled ones are easily found at the Asian grocery stores.

      Thanks for the retweet :)

  3. says

    oh no, Biren! i hope you get all those machine problems fixed soon! i know what an inconvenient it can be when everything all dies on you at once, especially with kids. that happened to us last year (3 things broke down all at the same time) and boy did i have a headache.

    eeeek! chestnuts are so addicting for me. i can seriously go through 5 bags of those chestnuts before i start getting sick of them. i love that you made such a fun recipe with these chestnuts and i love that you decided to keep the agar agar clear. it totally adds a cool icy effect and makes it so much more fun to see the ingredients inside. what a great way to say thank you for the gift. great post Biren!

    • Biren says

      Technology is great when it works but it can give a real bad headache when they fail. I may have to get a new computer and the frustrating thing is that this one is not old at all!

      Yes, those roasted chestnuts are addicting. It is my treat to myself when I go to the Asian grocery store. These agar-agar turned out really well. It was sweet of Ann to send the molds to me.

  4. says

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, hopefully everything is straightened out soon! This is such a beautiful treat, and how sweet of Ancoo to send you a surprise package!

  5. says

    I am so sorry about you electronics issues, I am sure it must be so annoying…But the fantastic teats you have put together from Ann’s lovely gift must have cheered you up :) I am sure it will be well soon :)

  6. says

    WOW Biren! This is very beautiful never thought of adding chestnuts and ginko into agar agar before. I bet its must be very yummy :)
    Recently I’ve tried chestnut Mont Blanc from the Japanese bakery store, it was really nice and I thought of trying make one.

    • Biren says

      Thanks Ann for the lovely molds. They are really easy to work with. I am already thinking of making something else with them. Chestnuts and ginkgo nuts are some of my favorite ingredients and I am really pleased at how these turned out.

  7. says

    Biren those are so pretty! They look like little decorations. So sweet of your friend to send you a gift in the mail. I love getting mail!! Especially surprises :)

  8. says

    So sorry to hear things are breaking down. And you are so right, when it rains it pours. I hope you can get it all fixed up quick; especially the computer!

    This agar agar looks like such a simple tasty treat! Those molds are just beautiful. Enjoy your snow showers if they decide to make a show. The first snow is always so exciting!

  9. says

    Just a few days back, someone told me that she can’t live without a computer. She even carrys a 3G 24 hours. Haha… I think soon I’ll be same too! I just got my computer fix a couple of months back. Changed the harddisk! Btw, those jellies look great and very cooling. Yummm…. Have a great day!

  10. says

    Technology is great when it works! Your molded treats are little works of art and all displayed on such beautiful dishes. The photographs are excellent, thanks for sharing Biren , in spite of all the difficulties:)

  11. says

    Hey Biren! First of all, your photos are super nice here! Second, that was sweet of Ann-true dat. Thirdly, I want to eat this. It looks really good. Plus, I’ve been wanting to taste chestnuts. I don’t think I ever have…?!

  12. says

    I’m sorry for u, Biren. It know how frustrating it can be especially we’re living in a world where we can’t do w/o gadgets. LOL!

    Nice shots! Jelly certainly looks delicious :)

  13. says

    I’m sorry to hear about all of the trials you’ve had to endure! At least you had something delicious to dig into in the wake of all this mayhem. These look so tasty. I lvoe the red bean filling.

    • Biren says

      Yes, it is a little stressful right now. My PC is totally out . I am waiting for the recovery disks in the mail. It it doesn’t work, I’ll have to get a new PC.

      Thanks for the retweet :)

  14. says

    Hi sweet woman. I’m so sorry for all the technology problems. Not fun at all! You continue to have grace under pressure though…which is very admirable. I will update my feed to make sure I’m getting all of your wonderful posts. These look delicious. I wish you could bring me a plate! I will be praying that your stress lessens today!

  15. says

    Sorry to hear about your computer! Yeah, life is very crazy at times. Yours are definitely a little sweeter with your jellies, a great idea for some stress relief, at least a few moment of total delicious enjoyment! Love your cute little molds and gorgeous sets of cups and plates!

  16. says

    Okay girl- you got me! I have never seen this nor heard of it but i am now fascinated and must try it. If i can’t be fearless in the kitchen and do this what can I do! Okay, gonna try it out at least for me to eat- might not be up hubby’s alley and i will let you know how it goes!


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