Skip to Content

Kohakutou Recipe – Japanese Crystal Candy

Enjoy a delicious sweet treat with a piece of beautiful and tasty Kohakutou candy that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

They come in all kinds of colors and shapes, and they taste as good as they look.

Kohakutou looks impressive but it’s actually really easy to make and only a few simple ingredients are required.

Follow our Kohakutou recipe and you’ll have your pretty candies in no time!

What Is Kohakutou

Kohakutou is a popular Japanese crystal gummy candy, and it literally translates to amber candy.

It’s made from agar-agar, and it’s so delicious with a chewy center and a hard outer crust.

Because agar-agar is derived from red algae, it means that this delightful candy is suitable for vegans as well!

When liquid is added to agar-agar and boiled, it becomes a jelly-like substance and you can add any colorings and flavorings to make all kinds of Kohakutou.

After allowing the boiled agar-agar mixture to cool and set, it can be shaped and cut into anything you can think of, which makes it really versatile.

It’s great for decorating cakes and desserts, or simply enjoyed on its own!

Ingredients Required In This Kohakutou Recipe

It’s really simple to make as there are only 5 main ingredients, of which 2 are optional:

  • Agar-agar: The star ingredient in this recipe. It’s a gelling agent which activates when combined with water and boiled. Once cooled, it will set into a jelly state. It’s flavorless and colorless. We prefer the Telephone brand as it gave a clear candy and had the best results.
  • Water: Agar-agar is added to water and then boiled to dissolve, before letting it cool to set.
  • Sugar: Loads of sugar are required since we are making candies after all! We also need a high sugar content for crystallization in order to achieve the crust.
  • Liquid food coloring (optional): Play around with different color combinations and designs to make fun and pretty candies! You can swirl, layer, and do all sorts of things here.
  • Flavoring (optional): Add some candy flavoring oils to alter the candies’ taste and you can even make separate batches to have different flavors.

Tip #1: If you are particular about the final color of the candies, you’ll need to consider the color of the flavoring oils as well since it will interfere with the liquid food coloring. A clear candy flavoring works best if you want a clean canvas to work on.

Tip #2: If you are planning to do multiple color and flavor combinations in one batch, you’ll need to work quickly before the agar-agar mixture cools and sets so gather all your ingredients beforehand.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Saucepan: Water mixed with agar-agar will be boiled in a saucepan.
  • Spatula: Constant stirring will be required while boiling the agar-agar and sugar to prevent any burning.
  • Heatproof pans or glass dishes: Once the agar-agar mixture is boiled, it will be transferred to pans or glass dishes, hence they will need to be heatproof to withstand the high heat. We find it easier to work with square or rectangular pans for shaping crystals.
  • Baking sheet with parchment paper: The cut candies will be transferred to a baking sheet and left to dry at room temperature until a hard outer crust is formed.
  • Sharp paring knife: A sharp knife helps in cutting and shaping the candies once they’re cooled and set.

Instructions To Make Kohakutou

The Kohakutou recipe is simple to follow and fun to make:

  1. Initial preparation
    Gather all your equipment and ingredients. Lightly oil the pans to prevent sticking later.
  2. Soak agar-agar
    Add agar-agar and water to a saucepan. Stir with a spatula to combine, then let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Boil and activate agar-agar
    Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly to prevent any burning. Boil for about 3 minutes. Make sure the agar-agar is fully dissolved.
  4. Add sugar and continue boiling
    Add sugar into the mixture and boil for another 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly still to prevent any burning. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Turn off the heat.
  5. Coloring and flavoring
    Pour the mixture into heatproof pans equally, with each pan taking on 1 flavor and color combination. Add desired flavoring and coloring to each pan. You can play around with the designs by swirling or stirring to combine multiple colors.
  6. Refrigerate
    Place the pans into the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until they are set.
  7. Cut and shape candies
    Once set, take the pans out from the refrigerator and remove the Kohakutou from the pans onto a working space. Use a sharp paring knife to cut and shape the candies to your liking. If the knife gets too sticky, rinse before continuing.
  8. Dry the Kohakutou candies
    Transfer cut pieces to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours to form a hardened outer crust. Recommended to leave it for 2-3 days for best results!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store Kohakutou and how long do they last?

Once the outer crusts have been formed, transfer and store them in an airtight container.

There’s no need to put them in the refrigerator or freezer.

They can last for one to two weeks when stored properly.

The longer they are kept, the harder they will become, so discard them when they become too hard.

Kohakutou Recipe

Yield: 100

Kohakutou Recipe - Japanese Crystal Candy

Kohakutou Recipe - Japanese Crystal Candy

Enjoy a delicious and beautiful Japanese sweet treat with this simple Kohakutou recipe that's sure to bring a smile to your face!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2½ tsp agar-agar powder
  • 1¾ cup water
  • 3⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp flavoring
  • liquid food coloring

Instructions

  1. Gather all your equipment and ingredients. Lightly oil the pans to prevent sticking later.
  2. Add agar-agar and water to a saucepan. Stir with spatula to combine, then let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly to prevent any burning. Boil for about 3 minutes. Make sure the agar-agar is fully dissolved.
  4. Add sugar into the mixture and boil for another 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly still to prevent any burning. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Turn off the heat.
  5. Pour the mixture into heatproof pans equally, with each pan taking on 1 flavor and color combination. Add desired flavoring and coloring to each pan. You can play around with the designs by swirling or stirring to combine multiple colors.
  6. Place the pans into the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until they are set.
  7. Once set, take the pans out from the refrigerator and remove the Kohakutou from the pans onto a working space. Use a sharp paring knife to cut and shape the candies to your liking. If the knife gets too sticky, rinse before continuing.
  8. Transfer cut pieces to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours to form a hardened outer crust. Recommended to leave it for 2-3 days for best results!

Notes

  1. If you are particular about the final color of the candies, you'll need to consider the color of the flavoring oils as well since it will interfere with the liquid food coloring. A clear candy flavoring works best if you want a clean canvas to work on.
  2. If you are planning to do multiple color and flavor combinations in one batch, you'll need to work quickly before the agar-agar mixture cools and sets so gather all your ingredients beforehand.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

100

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is only an estimate and can vary depending on ingredients used.

Did you make this recipe?

Follow and tag us on Instagram or Pinterest @GloriousRecipes! We would love to see what you have made!

Let us know how your Kohakutou candy turned out in the comments below!

For more sweet treats, check out Yonanas, Ninja CREAMi, and Dash Ice Cream Maker recipes for some ice-cold desserts!

Share on your favorite social media platform and tag us @GloriousRecipes – we can’t wait to see what you have made!

Skip to Recipe