Posted by Mindy Nguyen
Dave was looking through Khymos and found a recipe for yōkan, a classic Japanese pastry made by mixing red bean paste, agar, and sugar. Dave’s not actually a fan of the yokan taste, but he does enjoy its signature dense texture. As you know, we’ve been creating a lot of fresh nut oils since we got our centrifuge, which has left us with a lot of nut butters (the solids separated from the oils). The lightbulb clicked and Dave decided to try and make yōkan using our freshly made pecan butter.
Dave’s pecan yokan has the same texture as the classic, but it tastes about a thousand times better. And, it’s actually pretty easy to make and is quite versatile. You start as you would with most agar recipes: disperse agar in cold water and stir while bringing it to a boil until all agar is dissolved. Then add in sugar and dissolve. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in pecan butter until smooth and homogenous.
From here, you can choose to form it into classic cube shapes or you can spread into a thin sheet on a Silpat and let it set it in the fridge. You can use the thin sheets of yōkan to make pecan butter noodles or turn them into yōkan crisps by placing the sheets in a dehydrator at 135°F for 1-3 hours, depending on how thinly spread it is. If left too long in the dehydrator, the fat from the pecan butter will start to create little bubbles, so keep an eye on it while it’s drying.
If you’re interested in agar agar and other hydrocolloids, Nils and Dave will be teaching their intensive Hydrocolloids class this Thursday and Friday. There’s still room in the class, so please check out the details on our Advanced Studies website if you have interest. Hope to see you there!
Pecan Butter Yōkan
5 g agar agar
300 g water
200 g sugar
340 g pecan butter
1) Disperse/whisk agar into cold water, then bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling until agar is fully dissolved.
2) Whisk in sugar and heat to dissolve.
3) Remove sugar, agar, water mixture from heat and quickly whisk in pecan butter fully incorporated.
4) Either pour yōkan mixture into plastic wrap-lined mold or spread thin on silpat/dehydrator sheets to cut noodles or create crisps.
5) For noodles, place thinly spread yōkan mixture in fridge to set. Hand cut noodles and gently lift them away from silpat.
6) To create yōkan crisps, place thinly spread yōkan mixture in dehydrator at 135°F for 1-3 hours depending on how thinly spread it is. If left too long in the dehydrator, the fat from the pecan butter will start to create little bubbles, so keep an eye on it while it’s drying.