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  • Juju Kurihara

How to make Kon-nyaku at Home

A friend of mine has decided to go on a diet but she loves eating and it´s hard for her not to be full. I guess it´s hard for anyone. So she found an Asian product that says you can eat as much as you like and has no calories. She was so excited about this food. Then a few days later she told me that the food did´t taste anything and was strange. What she showed me was Kon-nyaku (こんにゃく) in a noodle shape.

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If you don´t know, this is kon-nyaku. I know, it´s not so appetizing. The texture is like a jelly but harder. Smells a little fishy. It doesn´t sound good but it´s used quite often in Japanese food. Also it´s true that it doesn´t have much calories and people eat it for dieting.

In Japan you can even buy some kon-nyaku jelly with fruits flavour. When you are craving for sweets but you are on a diet, that would be a perfect sweet snack.

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Would you be surprised if I said kon-nyaku is made of potato? Kon-nyaku is made of kon-nyaku imo, which is taro family. And it looks like this.

This is a big one of 22cm across in deametre.

I´´ve found a page where a Japanese housewife makes kon-nyaku at home. I thought it´d be interesting to share.

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Here is How to make kon-nyaku at home.

Ingredients: Kon-nyaku imo 1 kg, water 2,500 cc and sodium carbonate 10 g.

1. Peel the skin of kon-nyaku imo.

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2. Cut into smaller pieces (4-5 cm ) so that it´s easier to process in the blender. Then cook in the water until the chopsticks can go through.

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3. Make sure you have 1 kg of kon-nyaku imo.

Put it in the blender little by little until it becomes smooth liquid.

4. Then pour it into a tub and mix well. Leave it for a half and hour.

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5. Warm up the water and add sodium carbonate. Then mix it with the blended kon-nyaku. More you mix, it gets stickier.

When it becomes one sticky dough, leave it for one hour.

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6. After one hour, it becomes hard enough to make a shape. Make balls and cook them in the boiled water.

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7. Boil them for 40 - 60 minutes.

Remove the harshness frequently.

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8. After boiling, move them into the cold water. This is to remove the harshness. The water will become yellowish then you need to change the water.

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9. This is one day later. Kon-nyaku is now pale grey. Now it´s ready to eat.

You can eat it as sashimi. Dip it in some soy sauce and wasabi.

There are also different ways of eating Kon-nyaku.

This is miso dengaku (味噌田楽). Boiled kon-nyaku with sweet miso sauce.


Kaminari kon-nyaku (雷こんにゃく). A little spicy stir-fried kon-nyaku with soy sauce and mirin based taste.


Tama kon-nyaku (玉こんにゃく). This is my favourite and is a speciality of Yamagata prefecture.

Kon-nyaku is cooked so well in the soup that even in the middle. it has enough taste of juice.

So now, you know a little bit more about kon-nyaku. Please don´t call it flubby tasteless stuff anymore.

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