For a family who claims to dislike beans, the Kan and Lewis women can never get enough of the sweet red bean topping that is common to many Japanese desserts. “Anko” is often doled on top of ice cream, filled into pastries, and ground fine to use in other gelatinous desserts, giving these treats a sweet, syrupy, and hearty texture. At Shiroi Hana, the family enjoyed a double helping of anko. The sweet red bean ice cream almost floral in taste, with scattering of chopped beans throughout, giving it both creaminess and texture. Rather than being overwhelming, the topping is much more syrup like, complimenting the flowery ice cream.
A classic combination of dessert pairings consists of green tea and anko flavors. While we sipped on earthy green tea with our anko ice cream, we also ordered green tea “anmitsu”. This dessert is made using agar agar, a kind of gelatin that comes from seaweed. The clear cubes of the lightly sweet gelatin are then topped with green tea ice cream and another healthy serving of anko. Although the dessert we ordered also contained a light clear syrup, making the dish more liquid in form, traditional anmitsu excludes this syrup, instead including an assortment of fresh fruits.
Written by Christine