A recipe for Matcha Kanten and Strawberry Parfait! This creamy cheesecake parfait is layered with cubes of Matcha Kanten and fresh strawberries for a light and refreshing dessert.
I first came across Matcha Kanten on Daily Cooking Quest and have been having such making these little matcha-flavored cubes! Matcha Kanten is a Japanese green tea jello-like dessert. It uses Agar-Agar, or Kanten, as a thickener instead of the animal-based product, gelatin.
I paired the Match Kanten cubes with sliced strawberries and a cheesecake parfait for a light and refreshing dessert. Instead of the cheesecake filling, you can also use vanilla ice cream like the original recipe or just plain (or flavored) yogurt sweetened with a little honey.
The cheesecake filling is only lightly sweetened. Add more honey as desired to taste. You can also use vanilla Greek yogurt and omit the vanilla extract.
Matcha is a powder created by grinding whole green tea leaves. There are various grades. The higher quality grades are made from the fine, new leaves from the very top of the Camellia sinensis tea bush. Use the premium grades for drinking, while the lower culinary grades are fine for baking. Be careful when storing matcha. It can become stale and brownish when exposed to oxygen. I have been able to find matcha at the local markets with Japanese ingredients and more recently in the tea section of larger supermarkets. It is also available on Amazon: Matcha Konomi and less expensive: Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder.
Agar-Agar (Agar, Kanten) is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin and a thickener that is derived from sea vegetables. It is a popular ingredient in various East Asian desserts. It is either sold in strips or as a powder. I was able to find the powder at Whole Foods, but it is also available at Asian Food Markets specializing in Japanese foods or on Amazon: Eden Foods Agar Agar Sea Vegetable Flakes — 1 oz.
Looking for more recipes with Matcha?
Matcha Kanten and Strawberry Parfait Recipe
Matcha Kanten and Strawberry Parfait
- 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 450 milliliters (scant 2 cups) water
- 50 grams (3 1/2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 5 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) kanten or agar-agar
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 5 ounces Greek yogurt room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Honey to taste
- 1/4 cup milk
- Strawberries hulled and sliced
To make the Matcha Kanten:
- Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment for easy removal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together matcha and 1 tablespoon of the water until smooth.
- In a small saucepan, combine 450 milliliters (scant 2 cups) water, sugar, and agar-agar and bring to a boil. Whisk until the sugar and agar-agar have dissolved and remove from heat.
- Whisk in the dissolved matcha. Pour the mixture into the prepared 8x8 inch baking dish and cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Cut into ~3/4 inch cubes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To assemble the parfait:
- In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and yogurt until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and honey to taste. Slowly beat in milk until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In serving glasses, add a layer of the cream cheese mixture. Top with some matcha kanten and sliced strawberries. Top with more cream cheese, then more matcha kanten and strawberries. Serve immediately.