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, you may find Japanese confectionery shops and teahouses offering Kuzukiri as sweets and desserts.
What is Kuzukiri (葛切り)?
As the food name indicates, Kuzukiri mainly consists of kudzu. It is a simple jelly noodle that is tasteless in itself, which is made from kudzu arrowroot starch powder and water.
Kuzukiri is a perfect food for the hot summer months, because the kudzu jelly noodles have a translucent milky white color and a smooth slippery texture that gives us cool impressions.
Besides, the Japanese jelly noodle is known as a healthy food like I wrote about Kuzuyu in the past article.
However unfortunately, in recent years, many Kuzukiri products available at supermarkets in Japan contain potato starch as a main ingredient, instead of kudzu.
Although it might be difficult to make Kuzukiri noodles at home, its basic producing method is as follows.
- Dissolve kudzu starch powder in water
- Pour the mixture into a mold and heat it
- Cool down and solidify the liquid, then cut it into thin strips like Udon noodles.
How to Use Kuzukiri Jelly Noodles
Speaking of Kuzukiri, many Japanese will associate it 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, and some restaurants serve it as a dessert.
Not only as sweets, but actually the kudzu jelly noodles can also be used in everyday dishes, so finally let me introduce typical ways to use Kuzukiri in Japan.
As a dessert
As I wrote above, Kuzukiri is most commonly eaten as a dessert. Even though the kudzu jelly noodle is associated with a dessert enjoyed only during the summer season, the sweet is actually available at supermarkets throughout the year in Japan.
In many cases, we eat Kuzukiri noodles with Kuromitsu brown syrup, and some Japanese like adding the Japanese roasted soybean flour “Kinako (きな粉)” to the sweet. It is also good to sprinkle matcha green tea powder, instead of Kinako, as well as topping fruits.
As an ingredient for Nabemono
The kudzu jelly noodle is sometimes used as an ingredient in the Japanese hot-pot dishes “Nabemono” in the winter. Especially, dried Kuzukiri noodles absorb the broth so well that they are recommended for Nabemono.
As a main ingredient for salads
Image : cookpad.com
Kuzukiri can be used as a replacement for spaghetti noodles. For example, some Japanese home cooks like to make a pasta salad with the Japanese jelly noodles. Kudzu makes a great pair with fresh vegetables, and what is better, they are both healthy foods.