In Okinawa, Japan, roughly half of the prefecture’s farmed land is dedicated to sugar cane or “uuji” cultivation. The crop makes up about 20% of the prefecture’s total agricultural output, owing to Okinawa’s tropical climate and rich history of processing the canes into kokuto.
Kokuto, or Okinawa black sugar, is an unrefined and naturally nutritious sugar product. While kokuto is often sold in chunks to enjoy on its own or ground up to mix into baked goods, it is also often turned into kuromitsu, translated as “black honey” in Japanese.
Kuromitsu is similar to molasses (a byproduct of refined sugar) in color and texture, though the taste is not as smoky or heavy. Furthermore, it retains the sugar cane’s high levels of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, making it a healthier syrup alternative than most.
In Japan, kuromitsu is often drizzled over warabi mochi and mitsumame, two notablewagashi(Japanese confectionery). Or, consider a little over your morning oatmeal for all-day island vibes!
Servings: About 75ml
- 50g kokuto (Okinawa black sugar)
- 100ml water
- Whisk together kokuto and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Keep simmering on low until reduced to about half the original volume. During this time, stir the bottom gently and scrape down the sides of the pan to avoid burning.
- Once reduced, turn off the heat and cool the syrup on the countertop for about 20 minutes before transferring to an airtight container and chilling in the fridge until use.
Note: Kuromitsu will thicken as it sits and cools. For best use, remove from the refrigerator immediately before use.
Recipe available in our Baking: "Amai" Care Package
About the recipe creator and photographer: Yaz Gentry is a freelance recipe developer and food-lover based in Tokyo, Japan. Half-Japanese and half-American, she enjoys fusing together seasonal ingredients and dishes from both cultures as a reflection of her mixed heritage. You can follow her culinary adventures at www.meshibliss.com and @