Anmitsudama (Jellied Fruit Balls)


Ingredient 8 Servings 8 Servings
agar powder 1½ tsp. 4g
water 1⅔ - 2 cups 400 - 500 ml
sugar ¾ cup, heaping 50g
koshian 4 oz. 120g
one or more kinds of fruit as much as you like as much as you like
salted sakura blossoms (optional) 8 blossoms 8 blossoms
kuromitsu as needed as needed

Like our other anmitsu variation, this gelatin and fruit desert is a refreshing summer treat. This version is very much like a Japanese take on the American classic jello mold, with a variety of fresh fruit suspended in a lightly sweet, translucent ball of gelatin.


  1. Prepare a batch of koshian. If you don’t intend to use the remaining anko soon, you can freeze it. Divide the anko into 8 equal balls of about 15g (one-half ounce) each.
  2. Prepare a batch of kuromitsu to use for topping syrup.
  3. If using sakura blossoms, rinse off the salt and let them soak in a bowl of water for five minutes. Remove from water and dry by pressing gently in a paper towel.


  1. Prepare fruit.
    Wash, peel, pit, or otherwise prepare the fruit(s) you’ll be using as necessary, and cut into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Prepare sweetened kanten.
    Prepare a batch of kanten with sugar added: Add the agar powder to 500 ml (2 cups) room-temperature water (less for firmer kanten) in a small pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to keep the powder from settling to the bottom. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes, continuing to stir. After the powder has blended completely, add sugar and continue to heat and stir until sugar has blended completely.
  3. Transfer and cool.
    Remove the kanten mixture from heat and continue to stir gently until it has cooled slightly. Transfer to a pyrex measuring cup or other heat-proof container that it will be easy to pour cleanly from.
  4. Assemble.
    Prepare 8 small bowls, ramekins, teacups, or other small containers with a nicely-shaped bottom. Wet the inside of the containers to prevent sticking, then pour 1 Tablespoon of warm kanten mixture into each. Wait until that has begun to solidify, then add remaining components; if using sakura blossoms, add one to each; gently place a ball of koshian in the center of each, then arrange fruit around it. Divide the remaining kanten mixture equally among the containers to cover fruit.
  5. Anmitsudama, topped with kuromitsu Chill and serve.
    Let the kanten cool at room temperature until relatively firm, then move to refrigerator and chill. When serving, use a toothpick or sharp skewer to separate the top rim of the jelly from the mold, then turn out onto a serving plate; it should pull away cleanly once you get it started. Top with a few spoonfuls of kuromitsu syrup and serve chilled.


  • You can use any type and combination of fruit you like. Good choices are strawberries, bananas, kiwi, peaches, oranges, grapes, or blueberries. Dried apricots also work well.
  • If you prefer firmer kanten, use less water (400 ml / 1⅔ cups).
  • This is one of a whole family of desserts involving various combinations of kanten, fruit, and anko. We also have a recipe for an unsweetened version with ice cream, cream anmitsu.
  • A small jar of salted sakura blossoms A salted sakura blossom Salted cherry blossoms (sakura no hana no shiozuke) aren’t easy to find; try Japanese markets. You can also make them yourself from fresh yaezakura blossoms, but of course you will need to find a tree in bloom to do so.