But, look what we did - we made wagashi - Japanese sweets! More precisely we made fish out of apple juice and agar-agar (kanten).
It´s super easy and we will do it again! These fish are perfect for matcha (green tea).
Good quality apple juice
Agar-agar (powder or flakes, we used powder)
Sugar paste (optional)
Plastic or silicone mold
I mixed 2 dl of apple juice, 60 grams of sugar and 3-4 grams of agar-agar in a kettle, and boiled it for 2-3 minutes. Adjust the sugar according to taste. Ours got a bit sour, but we like that! In the fish mold I made little balls of sugar paste as eyes. You don´t have to! 2 g agar-agar pr. 100 ml liquid gives a quite hard jello. You can use less and still get a good result.
After the mixture cools down a little bit (but not below 40 degrees C), pour into molds. The sugar paste might bleed, but I think it looks nice. The mixture will set when it gets colder, so fill it to the brim!
The fish sets quickly, you can leave the mold on your kitchen top counter or in the fridge. Serve with matcha and a fork/spoon (I´m going to get a real Japanese wooden fork soon).
Fun facts about kanten: Agar is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae, and which is released on boiling. These algae are known asagarophytes and belong to the Rhodophyta (red algae) phylum. Agar is actually the resulting mixture of two components: the linear polysaccharide agarose, and a heterogeneous mixture of smaller molecules called agaropectin.