Umami Mart Registry

Kokuto Sundae

Ever since shelter in place came into effect, I have been diving head first into two indulgences: K-dramas and sweets, often at the same time.

It took me a few tries with the K-dramas. I got about three episodes into Let's Eat, a show about an undercover food blogger in Seoul, who gets into a bunch of shenanigans with his flatmates. There was mild enjoyment, until I felt my brain melting away. It was clearly not sustainable. I could barely get through the intro of Hyori's Homestay, as I felt like I was having seizures do to icons popping up as characters moved about the screen. Is this what TickTock feels like? I will never know, as I'm trying to stay off of social media.

It was a home run with my third try as I entered the world of My Mister. This intense drama¬†has got it all ‚Äď wire taps, office throw downs, elicit affairs, sign language, murder, porcelain smooth plastic surgery faces, and of course, a mom that can only¬†show her love to her children through food.

As I moved through each of the 16 episodes of My Mister, I indulged in the dessert du jour (aka whatever my partner surprised me with). Whether it was a cookie from Sesame Bakery, a cheesecake by Pomella or ice cream from Chez Panisse, I could always count on this decadent activity at the end of the day. So I knew I had to make it an extra special dessert of the Asian persuasion for the season finale weekend. Incorporating kuromitsu (black sugar syrup), and kanten, I came up with this Kokuto Sundae.

There are several elements to this sundae but only require three ingredients, kokuto sugar, kanten, and vanilla ice cream.


Kokuto Kanten
1 packet of kanten (4 gram packet)
1-2/3 cup of water
1-3/4 oz (50 g) of kokuto sugar

1 cup kokuto sugar
1/2 cup water

Vanilla Ice Cream


Kanten Dessert Mold


1. Let's start with the kanten. Boil 1-2/3 cup of water.

2. Combine 1-3/4 oz (50 grams) kokuto sugar with kanten packet in a bowl.

Kokuto Sundae

3. Slowly stir in the hot water into the bowl with the sugar and kanten. Mix very well for 1-2 minutes.

Kokuto Sundae

5. Put in kanten mold and cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Kokuto Sundae

6. As you wait for the kanten to cool, let's make the syrup. Combine 1 cup of kokuto with water in saucepan and heat gently until the sugar melts completely. Let cool and transfer to jar or seal tight container. Store in the refrigerator. 

Kokuto Sundae

7. After the kanten sets and the syrup is ready, it's time to build the sundae! Cut the kanten into 0.5" x 0.5" cubes and place about a third cup full of kanten cubes per serving into a coupe glass.

Kokuto Sundae

8. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream over the bed of cubes.

9. Generously top the sundae with kuromitsu.

Kokuto Sundae

Here's a shot from my aunt (who told me about My Mister), who is a boss and has a whole Korean food spread including a bottle of soju, while she watches the series for the third time. 

Now go to the couch and start watching My Mister.

Column: Japanify

1 comment

  • YUMMY! I am looking forward to making this dessert. Thank-you for stocking everything that is needed and for this recipe.

    Andrea Chin on

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