A recipe for Japanese Coffee Jelly (コーヒーゼリー)! This versatile treat comes together with only a handful of ingredients for quite the delicious and refreshing dessert.
It is time for #BrunchWeek again! Hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, this year’s event is featuring a variety of sweet and savory recipes perfect for brunch.
Due to our current cross-country move, I was only able to participate on Monday (Korvapuustit/Finnish Cinnamon Rolls) and today, but check out the rest of the bloggers for even more of brunch-themed recipes from the past week.
Japanese Coffee Jelly
For the final #BrunchWeek day of 2022, I am sharing a recipe for Japanese Coffee Jelly (コーヒーゼリー, Kohi Zeri)!
I first came across coffee jelly here in Torrance, California and it quickly became a favorite. It also doesn’t take too much effort to make at home with only four ingredients and some time to set in the refrigerator.
Instant coffee, sugar, powdered kanten and water are simmered on the stove until all the powder has dissolved, then transferred to glasses before placing in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Once set, the kanten creates a firm, jello-like texture and will last covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days for an easy make-ahead dessert.
Coffee Jelly Serving Ideas
Japanese Coffee Jelly can be served in a variety of ways. A few favorites include topping with sweet cream or half and half, whipped cream, or even ice cream for something a little more decadent.
After preparing the mixture, it can be divided among individual serving glasses or even an 8×8 inch (20×20 centimeter) baking dish if you want to cut the jelly into bite-sized cubes. Smaller cubes are a great addition to drinks such as milk for added texture.
I sometimes adjust the amount of sugar in the jelly depending on how I will be serving it. If pairing with something also sweet such as ice cream, I generally add 3 tablespoons (42 grams).
When enjoying on its own or with unsweetened whipped cream or milk, I usually bump the amount up to 4 tablespoons (50 grams).
To set the coffee, I used powdered kanten. Kanten (寒天) is a vegan thickener derived from an edible red algae (テングサ, Tengusa) and creates a more firm texture compared to animal-based gelatin. It comes in different forms, but the powder is the easiest to work with.
For those in the Los Angeles area, I have been able to find kanten in Mitsuwa Marketplace and Tokyo Central.
If you are unable to find powdered kanten, this recipe can also be made with powdered gelatin. The way you prepare it will change just a bit and the resulting texture will be a little more wobbly.
Instead of adding straight to the pot, place 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) water in a small bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon (9 grams) gelatin powder evenly over the top. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Simmer the 2 cups (470 milliliters) water, sugar, and instant coffee in a small pot until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the soaked gelatin until dissolved. If it does not dissolve completely, place back over very low heat briefly. Do not boil the gelatin (only the kanten).
Friday #BrunchWeek Recipes
- Homemade Coconut Syrup for Lattes from Jen Around the World
Appetizers and Salads
- Dill Pickle Cream Cheese from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Breads, Grains, and Cereals
- Banana Thumbprint Donuts from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Ham and Broccoli Muffins from A Little Fish in the Kitchen
- Strawberry Lemon Scones from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Chipped Beef on Toast from Palatable Pastime
- Homemade Italian Sausage from Art of Natural Living
- Hot Chicken Salad Casserole from For the Love of Food
- Dr. Pepper Chocolate Bundt Cake from That Recipe
- Dulce de Leche Dumpling Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Japanese Coffee Jelly from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Japanese Coffee Jelly Recipe
Adapted from No Recipes
Japanese Coffee Jelly
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) water
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) powdered kanten
- 3-4 tablespoons (42-50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (9 grams) instant coffee powder
- In a small pot, whisk together the water, powdered kanten, and sugar over medium high heat.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil and the powder has dissolved, whisk in the instant coffee.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often (especially the bottom and sides), until the liquid is completely smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to individual heat-safe glasses (or to an 8×8 inch/20×20 centimeter baking dish) and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Cover the glasses or baking dish with plastic and refrigerate until set, at least 2-4 hours.
- Serve immediately after removing from the refrigerator. If using a baking dish, cut the set jelly into 1/2-1 inch (1.25-2.5 centimeter) squares.