Kuzukiri: How to Use Japanese Kudzu Jelly Noodles
Have you ever heard of the traditional Japanese noodle-like food “Kuzukiri (葛切り)”? which, in Japan, is particularly familiar to those living in the Kansai region around Osaka.
In fact, if you have a plan to go on a sightseeing trip to Kyoto, there you may find Japanese confectionery shops or teahouses offering Kuzukiri as a sweet or dessert.
As its name indicates, the main ingredient of Kuzu-Kiri is kudzu.
Kuzukiri is a simple, almost tasteless jelly noodle made from kudzu-ko (kudzu powder) that has been dissolved in water, heated, cooled down, and cut into thin strips.
The resultant kudzu jelly noodles are clear milky white in color and have a smooth, somewhat chewy, slippery texture.
However, in recent years, Kuzukiri is often made with potato starch, instead of kudzu-ko, mainly because the kudzu powder is in low supply.
By the way, in Japan, as seen in Kuzuyu, the kudzu powder, kudzu-ko has long been utilized as a folk remedy for colds and stomach disorders.
Many Japanese people would associate Kuzukiri with a dessert eaten in the summer when the kudzu jelly noodle is sold as a confection in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.
But Kuzukiri can be used in various ways and is actually also used in everyday dishes. So last, for people who are curious about the usage of Kuzukiri, let me introduce specific uses of the kudzu jelly noodle.
As I mentioned above, Kuzukiri is most commonly eaten as a dessert.
Even though the kudzu jelly noodle is associated with a sweet enjoyed only during the hot summer months, it actually can be bought at supermarkets throughout the year.
We usually enjoy Kuzukiri noodles with Kuromitsu brown syrup, over which some Japanese like dusting “Kinako (きな粉)” roasted soybean flour or Matcha green tea powder.
In Nabemono Hot Pot
In the winter, Kuzukiri noodles are added to Nabemono hot pots. Especially, the dried varieties absorb the flavor of broth so well that they are recommended for Nabemono.
Kuzukiri noodles can be substituted for spaghetti noodles. For example, some Japanese home cooks like to make a pasta salad with Kuzukiri. The kudzu jelly noodle pairs well with fresh vegetables and they are both healthy.
(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 葛切り )