Daily Cooking Quest

Mamekan - Kanten and Red Bean with Kuromitsu

Mitsumame is a traditional Japanese dessert where kanten (agar-agar) cubes is served with kuromitsu (sweet black syrup). There are many varieties of mitsumame, such as:

  • anmitsu: the deluxe version of mitsumame, with an (bean paste), mochi, shiratama dango, and seasonal fruit slices
  • mamekan: mitsumame served with bean only
  • coffee mitsumame: mitsumame where the kanten is made of coffee
  • cream mitsumame: mitsumame topped with ice cream Mamekan is the simplest version of mitsumame, and once you can make a mamekan, you can pretty much conjure up the other four varieties without much effort. In this recipe, I use red bean as my mame of choice, but kuromame (sweeten black soy bean) is also a popular choice.

Mamekan - Kanten and Red Bean with Kuromitsu

Mamekan - Kanten and Red Bean with Kuromitsu

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Serves: 8


  • 8 tablespoons azuki an (red bean paste) (*)
  • Kanten (agar-agar) cubes
  • 1 packet of plain agar-agar (Indonesian: tepung agar-agar)
  • water, according to the packet instruction
  • sugar, according to the packet instruction
  • Kuromitsu (sweet black syrup)
  • 3 cups water
  • 50 gram sugar
  • 50 gram brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mizuame (rice syrup) (**)


  • Kanten (agar-agar) cubes
    1. Make the kanten following the packet instruction. I use Swallows Brand 7 gram packet plain agar-agar powder, which requires boiling the agar-agar powder with 900 ml water and 120 gram sugar.
    2. Pour into a baking pan and let it set at room temperature. Then chill for 1 hour in the fridge. Cut into small 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Kuromitsu (sweet black syrup)
    1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to slightly more than 2 cups.
    2. Turn off the heat, and let cool at room temperature. Then transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.
  • To serve
    1. Place some kanten cubes in a serving bowl, top with 1 tablespoon of azuki an, and pour some of the kuromitsu to fill about half of the bowl.


  • (*)You can use store bought version or follow my recipe https://dailycookingquest.com/sweet-red-bean-paste.html.
  • (**)Mizuame is liquid sweetener used in many traditional Japanese desserts/snack and is typically made of rice. You can also use honey if mizuame is not available.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:

Thank you! Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Something went wrong...