Posted by: yoko | September 7, 2005

Words From Childhood 3.9

Today’s word: mitsumame

The online dictionary I use defines mitsumame as “mixture of boiled beans, jelly cubes, fruit pieces and molasses.” The canned mixture that my mom used to get had mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, pear slices, clear, unflavored gelatin cubes, and azuki beans in sweet syrup. Sometimes my mom would serve it with vanilla ice cream, or with sweet red bean sauce– with the sauce, the dessert is called anmitsu.

When I was a kid, I would only eat the oranges and cherries, and maybe the pears. I left the gelatin cubes and beans.

It never occurred to me to actually make this dessert from scratch until very recently, when I made the red bean (anko) sauce for Lipby. I could choose my own fruit for the dish– mmm.


(from flickr)


  1. At first when you said “jelly cubes” I thought you were referring to yokan…would including yokan be an acceptable variation? I don’t know anything about making it but I’ve had it in some Japanese restaurants and I *love* it.

    I still haven’t made the red bean dumplings, by the way…been busy with my daughter starting school.

  2. Bouks– you can certainly try mixing fruits with yokan. I personally find yokan to be too sweet and like to eat it in very small quantities, accompanied by some green tea and maybe a simple biscuit cookie.

    I used to love the tiny, two-pronged forks that are used to eat the yokan with.

    Hope your daughter is enjoying her first days at school!


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