Kuzukiri vs Tokoroten: Japanese Jelly Noodles
Here in Japan, the summer season is just around the corner. The hotter it gets, the more I crave something cold to eat and drink, such as ice cream or icy chilled beer.
As you might already know, Kuzukiri and Tokoroten are representative Japanese jelly noodles, which are often eaten during the hot summer months. From this fact, they are sometimes said to be a kind of Japanese summer tradition.
The Difference: Kuzukiri vs Tokoroten Noodles
As you can see in the photos above, both Kuzukiri and Tokoroten have an appearance perfect for summer, but do you know how these Japanese jelly noodles are different from each other?
For people who know little about these jelly noodles, today let me talk about the main difference between them.
First of all, Kuzukiri and Tokoroten are different in ingredients. Kuzukiri is made from water and kudzu powder (arrowroot starch), whereas Tokoroten is made from a broth extracted by boiling the seaweed “Tengusa (天草)” or “Ogonori (オゴノリ)”.
Both Kuzukiri and Tokoroten themselves are almost tasteless.
As for the texture, Kuzukiri noodles are jiggly but somewhat chewy, while Tokoroten has a typical-jelly-like smooth, slippery texture.
Based on Google Japan, Kuzukiri jelly has 135 kcal per 100 grams, whereas Tokoroten is very low in calories, only 1.9 kcal per 100 g.
Watch the video shown below, and you can roughly know how Kuzukiri jelly noodles are made,
Source: Youtube “葛切りの作り方”
and here is a video showing a basic making method of Tokoroten noodles.
How to Eat
Kuzukiri with Kuromitsu Syrup
As a confection for the summer, Kuzukiri noodles are most commonly enjoyed with the brown syrup “Kuromitsu (黒蜜)”, sometimes with the roasted soybean flour “Kinako (きな粉)” added.
Other than this, the kudzu jelly noodle can be used year-round in other ways. As an example, it is used as an ingredient for salads throughout the year or in the winter in “Nabemono (鍋物)” hot pots.
Tokoroten with Sanbaizu Vinegar Sauce
On the other hand, we usually eat Tokoroten noodles with the vinegar sauce “Sanbaizu (三杯酢)” as an afternoon snack or a side dish at meals, only during the summertime.
However, in the Kansai region around Osaka, the seaweed jelly noodles tend to be consumed with Kuromitsu syrup as a sweet or dessert.