Sweet Potato and Chestnut Yokan Jelly

In Japan, there is an old saying that all girls like sweet potatoes, chestnuts and pumpkins.

Sweet Potato and Chestnut Yokan Jelly
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi

Recipe by
Akiko Watanabe





Calorie count is for full recipe.


  • 300 g sweet potato
  • 8 kanro-ni chestnuts (sweet-simmered chestnuts)


  • 1/2 tsp powdered kanten agar
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1/6 tsp salt
  • 150 ml water



Cut the sweet potato into rounds 2 cm thick. Peel off the skin and a thin layer beneath it, and place in water. Transfer the sweet potato slices to a pot and add enough water to cover, then heat over low heat and cook for about 20 min.


Use a paper towel to wipe the excess syrup off of the chestnuts. Line your mold with plastic wrap.


When the sweet potato has softened, strain and either place in a food processor and process for about 20 sec, or press through a strainer. Mix in the sugar and salt while the sweet potato paste is still hot.


In a pot, combine the powdered kanten agar and water, and heat over low heat. When it comes to a boil, stir for about 1-2 min to dissolve. Add the sweet potato paste and stir with a wooden spatula, scraping the bottom of the pot so that nothing sticks, for 2–3 min while it cooks down. Let cool until safe to handle and pour into a mold. Smooth out the top surface and press the chestnuts into it, and let cool to set.


You can use a bento box or other food storage container you have as a mold. Kanten will set naturally at room temperature, so there's no need to put it into the refrigerator.


To store, cover the surface with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.