Ogura Yokan: A Sweet Azuki Red Bean Cake

Yokan (羊羹), also spelled Youkan, is one of the most common Wagashi (和菓子: traditional Japanese sweets) varieties, whose origin can be traced back to the late 1300s.

It is a simple jelly-like dessert made from Azuki red bean paste called Anko (餡子), cooked with water, sweetened with sugar, and solidified with agar or Kanten (寒天).

The confection Yokan comes in 4 types, Neri Yokan (煉羊羹), Mizu Yokan (水羊羹), Mushi Yokan (蒸羊羹), and Decchi Yokan (丁稚羊羹), and the basic form is Neri Yokan.

Ogura Yokan and Neri Yokan

Since the main ingredients in Yokan are Anko and Kanten, the firm jelly-like cake is generally inexpensive and casually eaten, typically as an afternoon snack with green tea

Neri Yokan Sweet Red Bean Dessert

Therefore, supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan carry various kinds of Yokan, and today, I bought Ogura Yokan (小倉羊羹) and Neri Yokan for this blog article.

Ogura Yokan (小倉羊羹)

Ogura Yokan Sweet Red Bean Dessert

Ogura Yokan is one of the most seen Yokan varieties, but I was not sure how it differs from Neri Yokan simply because their appearance is the same. 

Ogura Yokan Sweet Red Bean Jelly

Plus, they are very close in taste and texture, which made me want to know what Ogura Yokan is.

Neri Yokan Sweet Red Bean Jelly

After sampling, I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out that Ogura (小倉) in its name stands for Ogura An (小倉餡).


Ogura Yokan Ingredients

By the way, based on the ingredient lists, the Ogura Yokan consists of unsweetened Azuki red bean paste called Nama An (生餡), sweet Azuki red beans called Amanatto (甘納豆), and Kanten.

Neri Yokan Ingredients

Meanwhile, the Neri Yokan consists of sugar, Nama An, and Kanten.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 羊羹 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

1 Response

  1. July 7, 2021

    […] a set of five flavors at the museum, but the new set has been expanded and includes ten flavors: ogura, salt, yuzu, sesame, neri (“plain”), chocolate, blueberries, chili peppers, matcha, and brown […]

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