Can You Dry Kohakutou in a Dehydrator? A Comprehensive Guide


If you’re a fan of kohakutou, you may be wondering if it’s possible to dry this Japanese crystal candy in a dehydrator. While kohakutou is typically enjoyed in its chewy, gummy form, you may be interested in experimenting with different textures or preserving your candy for longer periods of time. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can dry kohakutou in a dehydrator and what the process entails.

Firstly, it’s important to note that kohakutou is made primarily from sugar and agar-agar, a type of seaweed-derived gelatin. These ingredients give the candy its signature chewy texture and translucent appearance. While it may be possible to dry kohakutou in a dehydrator, it’s important to consider how this will affect the candy’s texture and flavor. Drying kohakutou may result in a harder, more brittle candy that lacks the chewiness and delicate flavor of the original. Additionally, the high sugar content of kohakutou may make it difficult to dehydrate without melting or sticking to the dehydrator trays.

Understanding Kohakutou

Origin and History

Kohakutou is a Japanese confectionery with a rich history spanning centuries. Its name, “Kohaku,” translates to “amber” in Japanese, inspired by its translucent, gem-like appearance. This delightful treat is thought to have originated during Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), initially crafted using honey and rice flour. As time passed, the recipe underwent changes, and modern-day Kohakutou is now typically prepared with sugar, agar-agar, and an array of flavorings.

Making Process

To make Kohakutou, begin by combining sugar, water, and agar-agar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture reaches a boil, simmer it for a few minutes until the agar-agar completely dissolves. Next, flavor the mixture with various extracts and add food coloring before pouring it into molds to solidify. After the candy sets, remove it from the molds and roll it in granulated sugar to prevent sticking.

Drying Method

If you want to dry Kohakutou, you can use a dehydrator. To do this, place the Kohakutou on the dehydrator trays and set the temperature to 140°F (60°C). Let the candy dry for 6-8 hours, or until it is completely dry and no longer sticky to the touch. Once the Kohakutou is dry, it can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.

It’s important to note that not all types of Kohakutou are suitable for drying. Some flavors may become too hard or lose their flavor during the drying process. It’s best to experiment with different flavors and drying times to find the perfect combination.

Dehydrators and Their Uses

What is a Dehydrator?

A dehydrator is a kitchen appliance used for removing moisture from food items like fruits, vegetables, and meats. It works by circulating warm air around the food, which causes the moisture to evaporate. The evaporated moisture is subsequently expelled from the dehydrator through an exhaust vent.

Dehydrators come in different sizes and shapes, but most consist of a heating element, a fan, and trays to hold the food. Some dehydrators also have temperature and timer controls, which allow you to set the temperature and time for drying different types of food.

Benefits of Using a Dehydrator

Using a dehydrator has several benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Preservation: Dehydrating food items is an excellent way to preserve them. Removing moisture from food helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, which can spoil the food. Dehydrated food items can be stored for a long time without the need for refrigeration.
  • Convenience: Dehydrated food items are lightweight and take up less space than fresh food items. They are also easy to transport, making them ideal for camping trips, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
  • Health Benefits: Dehydrating food items can help to retain their nutritional value. During the dehydration process, vitamins and minerals remain intact, making dehydrated food items a healthy snack option.
  • Cost Savings: Dehydrating food items at home can be a cost-effective way to preserve food. Buying dehydrated food items from the store can be expensive, but dehydrating food items at home can save you money in the long run.

In conclusion, a dehydrator is a useful kitchen appliance that can help you preserve food items, save money, and enjoy healthy snacks.

Drying Kohakutou in a Dehydrator

If you want to dry your kohakutou in a dehydrator, it is possible, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you dry your kohakutou in a dehydrator.

Can You Dry Kohakutou in a Dehydrator? Step by Step Guide

  1. Start by preparing your kohakutou. Make sure they are at room temperature and not too moist. If they are still sticky or wet, they will not dry properly.
  2. Preheat your dehydrator to 140°F (60°C).
  3. Line the dehydrator trays with parchment paper or silicone mats to prevent the kohakutou from sticking to the trays.
  4. Arrange the kohakutou on the trays, leaving some space between them to allow for air circulation.
  5. Place the trays in the dehydrator and let them dry for 6-8 hours, or until they are completely dry and have a hard, crunchy texture.
  6. Once the kohakutou are dry, remove them from the dehydrator and let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Precautions and Tips

  • Make sure your dehydrator is clean and free of any debris before using it to dry your kohakutou.
  • Check on your kohakutou periodically while they are drying to make sure they are not burning or becoming too dry.
  • If you notice any condensation on the inside of the dehydrator lid, wipe it off with a clean cloth to prevent moisture from dripping onto the kohakutou.
  • If you want to add flavor to your kohakutou, you can add a few drops of flavoring to the sugar syrup mixture before cooking it.
  • Be careful not to overcook the sugar syrup, as this can cause the kohakutou to become too hard and difficult to chew.
  • Store your dried kohakutou in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks.

Alternative Drying Methods

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can still dry kohakutou using other methods. In this section, we’ll discuss two alternative drying methods: air drying and oven drying.

Air Drying

Air drying is a simple and low-cost method to dry kohakutou. To air dry kohakutou, follow these steps:

  1. After making the kohakutou, place them on a wire rack or a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Let them air dry for 24-48 hours or until they are completely dry.
  3. Once dry, store them in an airtight container.

Note that air drying may take longer than other methods, and the texture of the kohakutou may not be as consistent.

Oven Drying

Oven drying is a faster method than air drying, but it requires more attention to prevent burning. To oven dry kohakutou, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°F (65°C) or the lowest temperature setting.
  2. Place the kohakutou on a wire rack or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Put the kohakutou in the oven and prop the door open slightly to allow moisture to escape.
  4. Let them dry for 2-4 hours or until they are completely dry.
  5. Once dry, store them in an airtight container.

Note that oven temperatures can vary, so keep a close eye on the kohakutou to prevent burning. Also, the texture of the kohakutou may be slightly different than dehydrated kohakutou.

In conclusion, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can still dry kohakutou using alternative methods such as air drying and oven drying. Choose the method that works best for you based on the time you have available and the equipment you have on hand.

Storing and Enjoying Kohakutou

Kohakutou is not just a candy but a work of art, encapsulating the rich history and culinary tradition of Japan. Its unique texture and flavor make it a sought-after treat for many. To get the most out of this delectable candy, knowing how to store and enjoy it is essential.

Preserving the Magic of Kohakutou

Proper storage is the key to maintaining the dual-texture of Kohakutou: its crunchy exterior and soft, jelly-like interior. When exposed to excessive moisture or humid conditions, the candy can lose its crispiness. Here’s how to store it properly:

  1. Airtight Containers: Once your Kohakutou candies are fully dried and crystallized, place them in an airtight container. This prevents any moisture from seeping in and ensures the candies retain their crunch.
  2. Cool and Dry Spot: Store the container in a place away from direct sunlight, preferably in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry.
  3. Avoid Refrigeration: While it might seem like a good idea, refrigerating Kohakutou can affect its texture. Room temperature storage is best.

Savoring the Kohakutou Experience

Kohakutou is not just about taste; it’s an experience. Here’s how you can best enjoy this traditional Japanese candy:

  1. Pair with Tea: The subtle sweetness of Kohakutou pairs wonderfully with a warm cup of green tea or any lightly flavored tea. The contrast of the hot drink with the cool, crystallized candy is a match made in culinary heaven.
  2. Mindful Eating: Instead of rushing, take a moment to appreciate the candy’s texture. Feel the crunch as you bite and then the soft, gelatinous inside as it melts in your mouth.
  3. Share the Joy: Introduce friends and family to Kohakutou. Sharing this unique candy can spark conversations about its origin, tradition, and the meticulous process of making it.

The Importance of Agar in Kohakutou

Kohakutou, a mesmerizing jewel-like candy from Japan, captures the hearts of many with its contrasting texture and delectable taste. One of the primary ingredients responsible for this candy’s unique characteristics is agar, also known as “kanten” in Japanese. But what exactly is agar, and why is it so vital to Kohakutou?

Understanding Agar

Derived from red algae or seaweed, agar is a gelling agent used in various culinary and scientific applications. It’s a natural ingredient, making it a preferred choice for many vegetarians and vegans as an alternative to animal-derived gelatin.

Key Roles of Agar in Kohakutou

  1. Texture Creation: The unique dual texture of Kohakutou, with its crunchy exterior and soft jelly-like interior, is achieved because of agar. As the candy dries, the outside becomes crystallized while the inside remains gel-like, a characteristic property of agar gels.
  2. Natural Origin: Being a seaweed derivative, agar is an entirely natural ingredient. Its inclusion ensures that Kohakutou remains a candy rooted in nature, aligning with traditional Japanese culinary values.
  3. Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly: With the global shift towards more conscious eating, the use of agar makes Kohakutou suitable for vegetarians and vegans, expanding its appeal to a broader audience.
  4. Stability and Durability: Agar provides Kohakutou with a stable structure. It doesn’t melt easily at room temperature, ensuring the candy retains its form and texture for an extended period.

Agar vs. Other Gelling Agents

While there are other gelling agents like gelatin available, agar stands out for several reasons:

  • Temperature Resistance: Agar gels can withstand higher temperatures compared to gelatin before they start to melt.
  • Transparency: Agar provides a clearer and more transparent finish, ideal for the gem-like appearance of Kohakutou.
  • Plant-Based Origin: As mentioned, agar’s seaweed origin makes it a preferred choice for those avoiding animal products.

In the intricate dance of ingredients that make Kohakutou so special, agar undoubtedly takes center stage. Its properties, both functional and ethical, make it indispensable in crafting this traditional Japanese candy. When you next savor a piece of Kohakutou, take a moment to appreciate the role of agar in bringing this delightful treat to life.


In conclusion, you can employ a food dehydrator to dry kohakutou, although it may not be the most efficient method. While some people have had success using a food dehydrator to dry kohakutou faster, leaving them in the food hydrator at the lowest setting overnight, others have reported that the texture of the kohakutou became too hard and chewy.

If you decide to use a food dehydrator, it’s important to keep an eye on the kohakutou and check on them regularly to avoid over-drying. Alternatively, you can simply air-dry the kohakutou at room temperature for several days, flipping them occasionally to ensure even drying.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to store the dried kohakutou in an airtight container at room temperature to prevent them from absorbing moisture and becoming sticky. With a little patience and attention, you can enjoy delicious and beautiful kohakutou candy at home.

Learn more about Kohakutou here.


Can you dehydrate agar agar?

Sure, you can dehydrate agar agar in a dehydrator. Agar agar, a seaweed variety, serves as a thickening agent in various foods, especially desserts. Dehydrating it can result in a crispy texture. To dehydrate agar agar, follow the instructions for dehydrating fruit in your dehydrator. Spread the agar agar in a thin layer on the dehydrator tray and dehydrate at a low temperature for several hours until it is completely dry.

Can you dehydrate jelly candy?

Yes, jelly candy can be dehydrated in a dehydrator. To dehydrate jelly candy, spread it in a thin layer on the dehydrator tray and dehydrate at a low temperature for several hours until it is completely dry. Keep in mind that the drying time may vary depending on the thickness of the candy and the humidity in your kitchen.

How do you dehydrate agar?

To dehydrate agar, spread it in a thin layer on the dehydrator tray and dehydrate at a low temperature for several hours until it is completely dry. Keep in mind that the drying time may vary depending on the thickness of the agar and the humidity in your kitchen.

How do you make kohakutou reddit?

To make kohakutou, you will need water, sugar, flavoring, food coloring, and agar agar. First, soak the agar agar powder in water for 4-5 minutes in a saucepan. Then, bring the agar agar mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, or until the agar agar powder has fully dissolved. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning. Add in the granulated sugar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Finally, add in your desired flavoring and food coloring and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into a silicone mold and let it set for several hours until it is firm. Once the kohakutou is firm, remove it from the mold and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces.

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