World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001240221
Reproduction Date:

Title: Yōkan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Adzuki bean, Wagashi, Red bean paste, List of Japanese desserts and sweets, Agar
Collection: Wagashi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Type Wagashi
Place of origin Japan
Main ingredients Agar, sugar, red bean paste or white kidney bean paste
Cookbook: Yōkan 
Cubes of green tea yōkan

Yōkan (羊羹) is a thick, jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices. There are two main types: neri yōkan and mizu yōkan. "Mizu" means "water", and indicates that it is made with more water than usual. Mizu yōkan is often chilled and eaten in summer.


  • Types 1
  • History 2
  • Notable manufacturers 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Although yōkan found in Japan and abroad is typically made with red bean paste, yōkan made from white kidney bean paste (しろあん, 白餡 shiro an) is also relatively common. This type of yōkan is milky and translucent with a much milder flavour than that made of red bean paste. As such, it can be effectively flavoured and coloured by using green tea powder.

Yōkan may also contain chopped chestnuts,[1] persimmons, whole sweetened azuki beans, figs, and sweet potato(Imo Yokan), among other additions. Sugar can also be replaced with honey, dark brown sugar, or molasses to alter the taste of the yōkan produced. There is also shio yōkan, which uses small amounts of salt.


Originally a Chinese confection or snack made from gelatin from boiled sheep; the term is literally “sheep geng” (羊 sheep + 羹 thick soup). It was introduced to Japan by Zen Buddhists in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, around 1191. As Buddhism forbids killing, they replaced the animal gelatin with wheat flour and azuki beans. Agar came into use after it was discovered during the Edo period in around 1800. This variation became the basis of modern yōkan.[2] One of the most popular Japanese sweets, it evolved further during the Edo period as sugar became more available. It can be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration unless opened, and is a staple gift item.

Notable manufacturers

See also


  1. ^ 栗子羊羹 at 搜搜问问 in Chinese
  2. ^ 'Yōkan', Japan Wagashi Association, 2011 (translated from Japanese)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.