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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kouri Zatou (氷砂糖)

Here's a short post for The Hapa Pantry: Kouri Zatou (氷砂糖)!

Kouri zatou, "rock sugar" is an ingredient used in making infused liqueurs in Japan, like umeshu. Rock sugar is ideal for this because it dissolves slowly; if the sugar dissolved too fast, it would take longer for the fruit to infuse into the liquor.

Kouri zatou is also a pretty neutral sweetener that allows for the flavor of the fruit to shine through. More assertive sweeteners like honey and black sugar will obviously make the finished product taste different.

America's rock sugar candy
Other uses for kouri zatou in Chinese culture is for sweetening tea, especially chrysanthemum tea, as well as in sweet dessert soups. The Japanese azuki bean dessert soup called oshiruko (お汁粉) is one of these soups, whose counterpart in Chinese cuisine is almost always prepared with rock sugar.

Teavana's rock sugar
Rock sugar here in America is usually colored with bright food colorings and used as candy, it can also be crystallized on swizzle sticks to be used to sweeten and stir coffee and tea.

Another example of rock sugar in the states is the sugar beet rock sugar that popular chain tea store, Teavana, offers in many malls  as their suggested choice to sweeten their teas.

Recipes that feature kouri zatou:

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