Sweet, nutty, and refreshing! Kuzukiri with kuromitsu sauce is a traditional Japanese dessert from Kyoto. Considered a delicacy, this dish is served cold with clear, jelly-like noodles, and a sweet and nutty caramelized black syrup.
This dessert is very easy to make! Simply boil the kuzukiri until soft, rinse under cool water, and drain. Then, mix kokuto, sugar, and water in a pot. Boil down the mixture until it thickens into a syrup. Set aside to cool. Serve the kuzukiri with syrup drizzled on top or on the side as a dipping sauce! If you have kinako powder, you can also lightly powder the dish for extra nutty flavour.
What is kuzukiri?
Kuzukiri is a clear noodle made from the starch of kudzu root. Kuzukiri starch (kuzuko) is considered the highest grade of starch in Japan and it is used to make wagashi (Japanese sweets). The kudzu root is obtained from 30-50 year old vine roots in the mountainous areas of Japan. The root is prepared through a long and delicate process where a small amount is extracted into starch. Kuzukiri does not have much flavour. However, it is appreciated for its silky-smooth texture, and its delicate, translucent appearance. This clear noodle is commonly enjoyed as a sweet dessert in the summer and in savoury hot pots during the winter.
What is Kuromitsu and kokuto?
The kuromitsu is a syrup made with water, sugar, and kokuto. Kokuto is a black sugar from Okinawa. It has a rich, smoky, caramel-like taste, with hints of maple and licorice. Similar to brown sugar, kokuto is great for creating deep and bold, caramel flavours. Unlike brown sugar, that consists of adding molasses to refined white sugar, kokuto is made by slowly boiling down natural sugarcane juice. This cooking style maintains the high nutrient profile found in natural sugarcanes. This sugar is used for both desserts and savoury dishes. Kuromitsu has the bold, nutty, caramel-like flavours of kokuto and is commonly used as a syrup for Japanese sweets! Besides kuzukiri, this syrup is used with shaved ice, warabi mochi, and in baked goods!
- 20-30g kuzukiri (kudzu noodles)
- 1L water
- 25g (or 2 tbsp) kokuto (Okinawa black sugar)/kurozato (black sugar) (you can substitute muscovado sugar or unrefined dark brown sugar)
- 25g (or 2 tbsp) sugar
- 25ml water
- Put the kuzukiri in 1L of boiling water and cook for 10 mins until softened. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
- To make the kuromitsu sauce, mix the kokuto and sugar in 25ml of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring periodically until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has begun to thicken (4-5mins). Set aside to cool.
- Serve the kuzukiri from step 1 in two small bowls and either drizzle or dip into the kuromitsu sauce from step 2.
Introduction courtesy of Tiffany Furukawa
Tiffany spent her childhood exploring Japanese food in the suburbs of Tokyo and helping her Obaachan (grandmother) in the kitchen. These experiences nurtured her passion for food and she is now studying environmental sustainability and food sciences at university. In her free time, Tiffany loves discovering hidden restaurants in Japan, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and going on runs!