Kohakutou Recipe: Making Japanese Crystal Candy Easily

Introduction To kohakutou recipe

If you’re looking for a unique and visually stunning candy to impress your guests or satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than kohakutou. This Japanese candy, famous for its crystal-like appearance and gummy texture, proves a popular choice for cake, cupcake, and dessert decoration. But with its simple recipe and customizable flavors, kohakutou is also a great option for making at home.

To make kohakutou, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients. Firstly, gather sugar, agar-agar powder, water, and flavorings of your choice. The process begins by dissolving the sugar and agar-agar powder in water. Next, add your preferred flavorings and food coloring to the mixture. Afterward, pour the prepared mixture into a container to set. Once the candy cools and solidifies, you can cut it into small, gem-like pieces. These delightful treats can be enjoyed as a snack or put to use in decorating desserts.

One of the great things about kohakutou is its versatility. You can experiment with different flavors and colors to create a candy that suits your tastes and preferences. Some popular flavorings include fruit juices, tea, coffee, and alcohol. And with its unique texture and appearance, kohakutou is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

History of Kohakutou Recipe

Kohakutou is a traditional Japanese sweet that has been around since ancient times. Buddhist monks originally created it as a dietary element during their religious ceremonies. The word “kohakutou” literally translates into “amber sugar” in Japanese, which refers to the candy’s translucent, crystal-like appearance.

Originally, people made the candy by boiling sugar and water together until a thick syrup formed. They would then pour this syrup into molds and allow it to cool and harden. People typically cut the resulting candy into squares or rectangles, serving it as a sweet treat.

Over time, chefs and confectioners have evolved the recipe for kohakutou. Today, they typically make it with sugar, water, and agar. Agar, a type of seaweed, thickens many Japanese desserts naturally, giving kohakutou its unique texture and allowing for molding into various shapes.

Today, people of all ages in Japan and globally savor kohakutou, commonly exchanging it as a gift during special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and New Year celebrations. After the candy cools and solidifies, you can cut it into small, gem-like pieces and enjoy as a snack or use to decorate desserts.

Ingredients of kohakutou recipe

To make Kohakutou, you only need a few easily accessible ingredients from your local grocery store or online. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Agar Agar powder: This is the main ingredient in Kohakutou. It is a type of seaweed that is used to make the candy. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores or online. It is important to note that Agar Agar powder is different from Gelatin, which is derived from animal products.
  • Sugar: You will need granulated sugar to sweeten the candy. You can use regular white sugar or organic sugar, depending on your preference.
  • Water: You will need water to dissolve the Agar Agar powder and sugar. You can also use fruit juice or tea instead of water to add flavor to the candy.
  • Food coloring: Kohakutou is known for its beautiful colors. You can use food coloring to make the candy look more attractive. You can use any color you like, or mix different colors to create unique shades.
  • Candy flavoring (optional): You can add candy flavoring to the mixture to give the candy a unique taste. You can use any flavor you like, such as strawberry, orange, or lemon.

It is important to note that the amount of each ingredient you need will depend on the recipe you are using. Make sure to follow the recipe carefully to get the best results.

Preparation Process for Kohakutou Recipe

To make kohakutou, you will need to follow a few simple steps. In this section, we will outline the preparation process so that you can make your own delicious Japanese crystal candy.

Mixing the Ingredients

First, you will need to mix the ingredients. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Add a few drops of food coloring of your choice to the sugar syrup. You can also add flavored extracts like strawberry, lemon, or mint if you desire.

Next, add the agar-agar powder to the sugar syrup and stir until completely dissolved. To prevent burning, stir continuously. If you’d like to incorporate juice, tea, coffee, or alcohol into your kohakutou, replace water with your preferred liquid.

Setting the Jelly

Once the ingredients are mixed, pour the mixture into a square or rectangular silicone mold. Let the mixture cool and set for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Cutting and Sugaring

Once the jelly has set, subsequently remove it from the mold and cut it into small cubes or diamond shapes. Then, roll each piece in sugar to give it a crystalline appearance.

And there you have it! Now, you have successfully crafted your own kohakutou. Feel free to savor your homemade Japanese crystal candy as a sweet treat or utilize it to adorn cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts.

Variations For Kohakutou Recipe

Kohakutou, a versatile candy, lends itself to a multitude of flavors and colors. Here are some Kohakutou variations you can experiment with at home.

Flavor Variations

Kohakutou can be flavored with a variety of extracts or juices. Here are some popular flavor variations:

  • Lemon: Add lemon extract and yellow food coloring to the mixture.
  • Strawberry: Add strawberry extract and pink food coloring to the mixture.
  • Grape: Add grape extract and purple food coloring to the mixture.
  • Green tea: Use green tea instead of water to dissolve the agar agar powder.

You can experiment with different flavors to find your favorite.

Color Variations

Kohakutou can also be made in a variety of colors. Here are some popular color variations:

  • Pink: Add pink food coloring to the mixture.
  • Purple: Add purple food coloring to the mixture.
  • Green: Add green food coloring to the mixture.
  • Rainbow: Divide the mixture into several bowls and add different food coloring to each bowl. Pour the different colors onto the baking sheet in a random pattern to create a rainbow effect.

You can experiment with different colors to create your own unique Kohakutou.

Storing Tips For Kohakutou Recipe

Once you have made your delicious Kohakutou, you want to make sure that you store them properly to maintain their texture and freshness. Here are some tips on how to store your Kohakutou:

  • Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not store the candy in the refrigerator as it can affect its texture.
  • Keep the candy away from direct sunlight and heat sources as it can cause the candy to melt or become sticky.
  • If you have made different flavors of Kohakutou, store them separately to prevent the flavors from mixing.
  • Kohakutou can be stored for up to two weeks, but it is best to consume them within the first few days for the best texture and flavor.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Kohakutou stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Kohakutou is a Japanese candy that is typically made from sugar, agar agar, and flavorings. While it is a sweet treat, it does offer some potential health benefits.

Low in Calories

Kohakutou is a low-calorie candy option, which makes it a good choice for those who are watching their weight. One serving of kohakutou (about 5 pieces) contains around 60 calories.

Contains Agar Agar

Agar agar is a type of seaweed that is used as a thickener in many foods, including kohakutou. It is a good source of fiber and can help promote feelings of fullness. Additionally, agar agar may have some prebiotic effects, which can help support a healthy gut microbiome.

Low in Fat

Kohakutou is a low-fat candy option, which makes it a good choice for those who are watching their fat intake. One serving of kohakutou contains less than 1 gram of fat.

No Cholesterol

Kohakutou, being cholesterol-free, is an excellent option for individuals conscientious about their cholesterol consumption.

No Protein

Kohakutou does not contain any protein, which may make it less satisfying than other snacks. If you are looking for a snack that will help keep you full, you may want to pair kohakutou with a protein-rich food, such as nuts or seeds.

Contains Sugar

Kohakutou is a candy that contains sugar, so it should be enjoyed in moderation. While it may offer some potential health benefits, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When making kohakutou, there are a few common mistakes that can be easily avoided. Here are some tips to help you make perfect kohakutou every time:

Using the Wrong Type of Sugar

One of the most common mistakes when making kohakutou is using the wrong type of sugar. It is important to use granulated sugar, not powdered sugar, to ensure that the candy sets correctly. Powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which can interfere with the setting process and cause the candy to become sticky and gooey.

Not Dissolving the Agar-Agar Properly

Another common mistake is not dissolving the agar-agar properly. Agar-agar needs to be soaked in water for a few minutes before being heated. If you don’t allow the agar-agar to soak properly, it may not dissolve completely, resulting in lumpy candy.

Overcooking the Mixture

Overcooking the mixture can also lead to problems. If the mixture is cooked for too long, it can become too thick and difficult to pour into molds. It can also become too hard and difficult to chew. It is important to cook the mixture for the recommended time and to remove it from the heat as soon as it reaches the right consistency.

Not Using Enough Flavoring

Finally, not using enough flavoring can result in bland kohakutou. It is important to use enough flavoring to give the candy a strong, distinct taste. You can use a variety of flavorings, such as fruit juice, tea, or even beer, to give your kohakutou a unique taste.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your kohakutou turns out perfectly every time.

Kohakutou Recipe: Tips and Tricks

Making kohakutou requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make perfect kohakutou every time:

1. Use a Candy Thermometer

Using a candy thermometer is essential when making kohakutou. The mixture must attain a precise temperature for proper setting, approximately 248°F (120°C). If it falls below this temperature, the candy will turn out soft and sticky. Conversely, if it exceeds this temperature, the candy will become hard and brittle.


2. Use High-Quality Ingredients

Opting for high-quality ingredients significantly impacts the final product. Incorporate pure fruit juice, natural food coloring, and top-notch flavor extracts to elevate both the taste and appearance of your kohakutou.

3. Add Acidic Ingredients Carefully

Acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar can cause the candy to lose its shape. If you want to add acidic ingredients, do so carefully and in small amounts. Too much acid can ruin the texture of the candy.

4. Use Silicone Molds

Using silicone molds makes it easier to remove the candy from the mold without breaking it. Grease the molds with a non-stick spray before pouring the mixture in. Make sure to tap the molds gently to remove any air bubbles.

5. Let the Candy Dry Completely

Let the candy dry completely before removing it from the mold. This can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the size of the candy. Do not rush the process or the candy will not set properly.

Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be on your way to making perfect kohakutou every time.


Congratulations! You now have all the information you need to make your own kohakutou at home. Remember to use high-quality ingredients, follow the recipe closely, and be patient during the crystalization process.

Feel free to experiment with various flavors and colors, allowing you to craft your own distinct candies. Kohakutou’s versatility lends itself to decorating desserts or simply savoring it as a delightful standalone sweet snack.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the recipe sources that were provided earlier. They can provide additional guidance and advice to help you make the best kohakutou possible.

Have fun and enjoy the process of making this beautiful and delicious Japanese candy!


What is kohakutou made of?

Kohakutou is a Japanese crystal candy that is made of agar-agar, a plant-based gelatin substitute, and sugar. The candy is usually flavored with fruit juice and colored with food coloring. Kohakutou has a unique texture that is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Can you dry kohakutou in a dehydrator?

Indeed, you have the option to dry kohakutou using a dehydrator. Once you’ve cut the candy into crystal shapes, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then place them in a dehydrator set at 140°F (60°C) for a span of 4-6 hours. Alternatively, you can opt to air-dry the candy at room temperature for a duration of 2-3 days.

How do you make edible crystals fast?

To make edible crystals fast, you can increase the concentration of sugar in the candy mixture. This will help the candy to crystallize faster. You can also add a small amount of citric acid to the mixture to help it crystallize more quickly.

How do you make sugar crystals step by step?

To make sugar crystals, you will need to dissolve sugar in water and then allow the solution to cool. As the solution cools, sugar crystals will begin to form. Here are the steps to make sugar crystals:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a clean glass jar or container.
  5. Cover the container with a paper towel or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band.
  6. Place the container in a cool, dry place and allow the sugar crystals to grow for 3-7 days.
  7. Once the crystals have reached the desired size, remove them from the solution and allow them to dry on a paper towel.

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