Steamed Yokan with Sweet Chestnuts

Yokan is one of the most traditional Japanese sweets. It looks like a bar of jelly and is made mainly with azuki beans, sugar, and agar. This recipe adds sweetened chestnuts to steamed yokan for a touch of luxury!

Steamed Yokan with Sweet Chestnuts
Photographed by Shin Ebisu

Recipe by
Setsuko Sugimoto


Beans & Tofu




Calorie count is for full recipe.
Excludes time needed to chill the sweets.

Ingredients (Makes enough for a 11 x 13.5 x 3.5 cm mold)

  • 200 g sweet azuki bean paste (smooth; store-bought)
  • 8 chestnuts simmered in syrup (store-bought)
  • 1 1/3 tbsp kuzuko arrowroot powder

    *If unavailable, use potato starch.

  • 40 g sugar
  • 20 g low-gluten flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water



In a bowl, mix the kuzuko with 2 tbsp of water. Smooth out any lumps with your fingers. Add 90 ml of water, the sugar, the flour, and a pinch of salt to the bowl. Whisk until smooth and then strain.


Add the smooth azuki bean paste to a separate bowl and gradually add in the above mixture, combining thoroughly.


Place the simmered chestnuts on a paper towel to drain. Cut in half.


Line the mold with parchment paper. Lay out the chestnuts and pour the azuki mixture evenly over them.


Japanese desserts often make use of a stainless steel mold with a removable inner tray. However, a simple aluminum lunch box will work just as well.


Cover with plastic wrap and steam in a preheated steamer for 50 minutes. Set aside to cool and then cut into easy-to-eat pieces.