Konnyaku is a food known for its health benefits in America, and disliked for its texture in Japan. We made our own by hand, and found the handmade version much better than the store-bought version. It has the same amount of taste (zero), but is much softer and more pleasant to eat. Here’s how we made it.
Konnyaku potatoes, or devil’s tongue. Apparently even the wild boars won’t dig them up to eat them! We’ll make them edible.
Wash the dirt off. Still not looking so good.
Cut into pieces.
If you keep the stem part you can plant it and get more konnyaku potatoes!
Remove the skin.
Into the blender.
You must add hot water before you blend and perhaps as you blend. Add as little as possible while allowing the mixture to blend thoroughly.
Start to stir.
Add hot water as you stir.
When it smooths out, that’s enough water.
This is the strained liquid from the ash of Japanese apricot tree clippings. Basically, it’s an alkalizing agent that sets the mixture. Add it as you mix, perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 cup or so for a bowl of this size. Add it slowly and mix vigorously. You’ll see the mixture get a little whitish and start to firm up.
Grab a handful and form into the shape you want. A ball is easiest. Dip your hands in the alkalizing liquid as you form the shape to help the outside firm up. Then drop it into boiling water for a while.
After it’s been boiled, cool it in cold water. To store, keep in cold water and replace the water twice a day.
To prepare for eating, cut a ball in half and boil for five minutes. You can chunk it and add to stews, or cool it and slice it thin, which is called sashimi konnyaku and is eaten with a miso sauce. I also put mine on top of the rice in a curry rice dish. Enjoy!