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How to Make Kohakutou Candy (Japanese Crystal Gummies)

colorful kohakutou candy
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Make your own Japanese Kohakutou at home with this easy recipe! This popular Japanese gummy candy takes just 5 ingredients to make, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. The secret ingredient? Agar-agar!

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On my last trip to Japan, I made it a goal to try as many new food as I possibly could in the one-week period. I tried egg-yolk ice cream, unagi (eel) rice box, uni (sea urchin), wagashi, and countless matcha desserts!

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Of these, one of the most exciting foods I got to try was none other than the popular Japanese kohakutou candy. Slightly crunchy on the outside, perfectly chewy on the inside – this was a regular treat during my trip, and for good reasons!

As it turns out, making your own kohakutou candy is not hard at all! Follow this easy recipe and you’ll have a batch to eat in no time.

Let’s start!

Ingredients You Need in this Kohakutou Recipe

How to Make Japanese Kohakutou Candy

  1. In a saucepan, soak the agar-agar powder in water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Bring the agar-agar mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, or until the agar-agar powder has fully dissolved. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.
  3. Add in the granulated sugar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until sugar has fully dissolved and mixture has thickened. Turn off the heat.
  4. Spray a few rectangular heatproof dishes with oil and pour in the gummy mixture equally (1 dish = 1 flavor). Add your flavoring of choice into each dish, and a few drops of liquid food coloring. You can choose to swirl different colors to make a pattern, or just blend one color thoroughly.
  5. Refrigerate the kohakutou for 1-3 hours, or until set.
  6. Once the candy has set, remove the kohakutou from the dishes and use a sharp knife to cut it into crystal shapes. You may need to rinse the knife every now and then as the candy will be very sticky.
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kohakutou to dry for 2-3 days. You’ll know they are ready when a hard crust forms on the outside. ENJOY!

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colorful kohakutou candy

How to Make Kohakutou Candy (Japanese Crystal Gummies)

DWELL by Michelle
Make your own Japanese Kohakutou at home with this easy recipe! This popular Japanese gummy candy takes just 5 ingredients to make, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. The secret ingredient? Agar-agar!
5 from 8 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 70 crystals
Calories 31 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan, soak the agar-agar powder in water for 4-5 minutes.
  • Bring the agar-agar mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, or until the agar-agar powder has fully dissolved. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.
  • Add in the granulated sugar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until sugar has fully dissolved and mixture has thickened. Turn off the heat.
  • Spray a few rectangular heatproof dishes with oil and pour in the gummy mixture equally (1 dish = 1 flavor). Add your flavoring of choice into each dish, and a few drops of liquid food coloring. You can choose to swirl different colors to make a pattern, or just blend one color thoroughly.
  • Refrigerate the kohakutou for 1-3 hours, or until set.
  • Once the candy has set, remove the kohakutou from the dishes and use a sharp knife to cut it into crystal shapes. You may need to rinse the knife every now and then as the candy will be very sticky.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kohakutou to dry for 2-3 days. You'll know they are ready when a hard crust forms on the outside. ENJOY!
Keyword 5-ingredient dessert, afternoon snack, agar agar, authentic recipes, dessert, easy dessert recipes, easy holiday recipes, easy recipes, easy snack recipes, easy snacks, japanese dessert, japanese recipes, plant-based snack, snack

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10 Comments

  1. After refrigerating the mixture for five hours, it is still very liquidy for me. It tastes amazing but for some reason it is unable to solidify. Please help!!

    1. Hi Fraise! When using agar-agar, it’s very important to have exactly the correct ratio, cooking time, etc for it to set correctly. Can you share more about the brand of agar-agar you used and if you made any (even slight) changes to the recipe?

  2. 5 stars
    Such an easy recipe to make. Very sticky at first but as it dries out, we couldn’t get enough of it. Even my husband loves it.

  3. 5 stars
    the kohakutou turned out fabulously. You were right, it was a sticky batter but once firmed up, it tasted just like i remembered the first time i had it.