Kuzukiri vs Tokoroten : 2 Types of Japanese Jelly Noodles
The summer season is just around the corner here in Japan. The hotter it gets, the more I crave for something cold to eat and drink, such as ice-cream and icy-chilled beer.
Kuzukiri and Tokoroten are representative Japanese jelly noodles commonly eaten during the hot summer months of Japan, so it is sometimes said that consuming these jelly noodles in the summer is a kind of Japanese summer tradition.
The Difference between Kuzukiri and Tokoroten Noodles
As you can see from the photos above, Kuzukiri and Tokoroten actually have a similar, fresh, cool appearance, but do you know how these Japanese jelly noodles are different from each other?
First of all, Kuzukiri and Tokoroten are different in ingredients. Kuzukiri is made from kudzu powder, or arrowroot starch, whereas the main ingredient of Tokoroten is the agar from 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 chewy, while Tokoroten has a smooth, slippery texture.
According to Google Japan, Kuzukiri jelly has 135 kcal per 100 g, whereas Tokoroten is very low in calories, only 1.9 kcal per 100 g.
If you watch the video shown below, 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.
Kuzukiri with Kuromitsu Syrup
In Japan, as a confection for the summer, Kuzukiri noodles are most commonly eaten with “Kuromitsu (黒蜜)” brown syrup, sometimes with “Kinako (きな粉)” roasted soybean flour 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 and “Nabemono (鍋物)” Japanese-style hot pot dishes.
Tokoroten with Sanbaizu Vinegar Sauce
On the other hand, we usually enjoy Tokoroten noodles with “Sanbaizu (三杯酢)” vinegar sauce as an afternoon snack or a side dish at meals, only during the summer months.
However, in the Kansai region around Osaka, the seaweed jelly noodles tend to be eaten with Kuromitsu syrup as a sweet treat or a dessert.