Japanese Vegan Gastronomy: Tokoroten-Agar-Basic Recipe


“Toroten” or 心太 (or 寒天) in Japanese is Agar or agar agar.
It is made with a variety of small red Gelidiaceae.


The seaweed is called Tengusa/天草/Heaven Grass in Japanese and is particular abundant in Western Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture!
The picture above was taken in Western Izu peninsula where it is regularly harvested in its natural element and sun-dried before being processed.


It has been for unknown ages in Japan and is still used extensively in food and even cosmetics and fertilizers.
It is first washed in clear water and su-dried 4 to 5 times before use.


Its use has been recorded in Izu as far as 1822!


This is the form it is sold in Japan. The red color has naturally disappeared after all the washing and drying.


In a large pan add plenty of water and rice vinegar.


Boil it over a medium fire for an hour or until the liquid becomes a boiling syrup.
make sure ther is enough though during the boiling, otherwise the the syrup will stick on the bottom of the pan.


Take off fire and sieve the tengusa into a large bowl.


Then pour it into a clean cloth and press it out. Proceed twice! The agar must be pressed out at least twice for best quality!


Pour the agar into a flat square cooking metal dish and let cool down for 20^30 minutes at room temperature.
The agar should slide out if you incline the dish.


The Japanese use the above tool called ところてん突き/Tokoroten Tsuki!
Check the use in this video!


The agar will get through this grill to make “noodles”


Cut out strips of agar the size of the pushing handle.


Push the cut agar through the “tokoroten Tsuki”.


foe a better view!

Serve the tokoroten as they are seasoned with ponzu and whatever chopped seaweed or greens of your liking.
Naturally the agar can be seasoned with spices!

Check this video, too!


As an indication in Japan the above containg 100 g of dried tengusa is sold for 698 yen (about 7 US$.


Shop with Intent by Debbie
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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