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Recipe & Video: Matcha Kanten Parfait


Recipe & Video: Matcha Kanten Parfait

3 minutes

Don't think the desert can be both healthy and amazing? Try our matcha green tea-based kanten jelly parfait, topped with bananas and strawberries, and see for yourself just how nutritious and delicious traditional Japanese sweets really can be.

Green tea-based desserts are heaven on earth! Using matcha, a powdered form of pure green tea, it’s easy to add this rich flavor and subtle pick me up to all kinds of different sweets. You have probably had green tea ice cream and mochi before, but what about a Matcha Kanten Parfait? It’s much like the jello cubes so popular in the west, and it’s healthy and good for you. Adding fruit like banana and strawberry gives it even more flavor and valuable vitamin content as well. Best of all, you can make this Japanese dessert delight with right in your home kitchen with this recipe!

What is Kanten?

Made from the seaweed extract, kanten is the firmest of three different kinds of gelling agents used to create the many jellied dishes consumed as part of Japanese food culture. The other two are agar, also made from seaweed, and gelatin, which is made from animal sources. Solidifying at 104F-122F, it doesn’t need to stay in the fridge and won’t melt at an average room temperature. It makes perfect for dinner parties where it may sit out on the table for hours!

The semi-translucent jelly is a reasonably high source of fiber. It means that desserts that utilize kanten jelly are good for dieting because only a small amount will help you to feel satisfyingly full. Many Japanese sweets use kanten as thickening agents and give it a satisfying consistency. Kanten is also often confused with and substituted for agar (and vice versa), but the two are made from different seaweeds.

Other Kinds of Japanese Sweets

This matcha kanten parfait is just one of the many different kinds of traditional Japanese deserts that you can learn to make. Many of you are probably already familiar with mochi, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now you can try your hand at making wagashi, which are pastries enjoyed with tea, as well as exotic sweets like purin, a Japanese style pudding that is creamy and heavenly, and melts right in your mouth.

One of the significant differences between Japanese deserts and many Western deserts is that they emphasize the savory flavors just as much as the sweet. Most of them use healthy, natural ingredients, just like this matcha kanten parfait!

Cooking Tips:

  • Make sure matcha completely dissolves when mixing with hot water. That way you can make sure it’s evenly distributed in the final kanten parfait.
  • If you want, make matcha syrup and add a bit of flavor as a topping to this desert. You can also enjoy it with honey or other kinds of syrup. Be creative!.

Matcha Kanten Parfait

Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings cup


  • 1 Tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Hot Water
  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 bag (4g) Kanten Powder
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • Banana & Strawberries, for garnishing


  1. Mix matcha powder and hot water in a small cup until matcha dissolves.
  2. In a small pot, combine sugar, water, and kanten powder and heat up over medium heat while mixing.
  3. Once boiled, add matcha liquid to the pot and keep boiling for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool it down in an ice bath.
  5. Pour the liquid into a small cookie pan or small container and cool it down in the refrigerator.
  6. Cut the matcha jelly into small squares. Serve with sliced bananas and strawberries. Enjoy!