Ice cream has always been a serious business in Japan and its ubiquity is evident not only in the wide array of selections offered in the market such as Pino and Haagen Dazs but also in many of Japan’s delectable culinary delights. In fact, ice cream has been incorporated in many of the country’s traditional and contemporary sweets, giving an added twist to the already decadent and scrumptious desserts. In this article, we give you four mouth-watering saccharine indulgences which combine both your favorite traditional Japanese desserts and ice cream on a single serving!
The typical recipe of anmitsu consists mainly of anko (red bean paste), agar cubes, mochi, slices of fruit, and chestnuts. Add a scoop of ice cream to your bowl of anmitsu and you get a Japanese-American fusion which is called cream anmitsu. Cream anmitsu offers a variety of textures in one bowl: soft glutinous anko red bean paste; silky agar cubes; pulpy and juicy slices of fruit, chewy and sticky mochi balls; crunchy chestnuts; and the creamy goodness of the ice cream.
Monaka is a Japanese sweet which is made up of fillings such as anko, chestnut paste or mochi sandwiched between two crispy mochi wafers. The thin wafers are sometimes shaped into squares, triangles, or even cherry blossoms. This dessert is usually served with tea. Today, there are monaka stores in Japan which add a popular twist to this age-old recipe. Traditional fillings are replaced with ice cream (or added alongside) to make ice cream sandwiches.
Daifuku is a popular traditional dessert which is made up of sticky rice usually filled with bean paste. If you replace the usual filling with ice cream, then you get a fusion of two desserts which is called yukimi daifuku. Yukimi daifuku is also a popular ice cream item in Japan which was released by Lotte in 1981. It is also the first mochi ice cream in the country and comes in different flavors such as matcha, strawberry, and vanilla.
Kinako or roasted soybean flour is a common ingredient used in Japanese desserts. It is commonly added as a coating to many Japanese rice cakes such as mochiko and dango. Kinako can be enjoyed as a candy or as a drink when combined with milk or shaved ice. Another way to enjoy this sweet flour is to add it as a topping on ice cream to make kinako ice cream which is also a very popular dessert in Japan.
Cream anmitsu, monaka ice cream sandwiches, yukimi daifuku, and kinako ice cream are among the many fusion recipes which combine the element of Japanese traditional sweet flavors with ice cream in pursuit of creating new flavors and twists to the well-loved traditional sweets. So, if you are planning to make a food trip in Japan, be sure to make room for these delectable desserts!