Traditional konnyaku jely preparation

Konnyaku preparation (Kokonoe 1/2012)

This is a simple manual of traditional way of preparation of konnyaku jelly from konnyaku plant (Amorphophallus konjac, konjac, gonyak, konjak, konjaku, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily) jelly. I have learned the basics of this technique in the central part of Northern Kyushu, Japan in the region called Kokonoe Chou. Please take this working protocol as a draft and use it rather as supplemental material to another more complex recipes. However I hope to be able to improve this technique in the future to offer you detailed description of konnyaku preparation.

Konnyaku is a perennial plant grown in subtropical and tropical regions of eastern Asia in countires like India, China, Japan and Korea and it is used to prepare flour and jelly made from its corm which is of size up to 25 cm in diameter. It has very little taste, it’s value is in the texture. It is used in Japanese cuisine on dishes like oden or it is made into the noodles called shirataki and used in foods such as sukiyaki and gyudon.

Preparation Manual

– clean the corms from the earth and cut it roughly in ten pieces, each of size from 3-5 cm, transfer to the pot with water
– boil intensively for one hour or simmer for 4 hours submerged in water
– dispose the water and peel the skin from the pieces using chopsticks
– cut the corms to 1.5 to 3 cm pieces
–  for 1.5 kg of boiled peeled konnyaku add 4.41 l (2.1 šó) of cold water (1 šó = 1.8 l – Japanese measurement unit)
– add 0.72 l (0.4  šó) of ash water “aku” (the ash is suppose to be made from soba (buckwheat) among the other options)
– transfer to the blender and blend it on high speed and move it quickly to the bowl
– start to mix the mixture gently but steadily in a slow motion, it will get thicker and thicker reaching the proper consistency within 15-20 min. Be careful and do not insert any air bubbles if possible!
– make the mixture level and let it sit for 20 minutes or so
– the matrix should be firm jelly by now
– start to heat up water for the next step – boiling the konnyaku (5-10 l)            – cut out by a round shaped object a “sphere” of more or less 6 cm in diameter and mold it in your wet hands so it gets as round as possible (shape the ball by the palms of your hand, make the pressure evenly pressing on the extremities in the direction to the center)
– when the ball is round transfer it to the hot water (80-90°C) and make sure that they do not stick to the side (do not boil the water at this point, the boiling water would make the outside of the ball fall apart)
– after 30 to 60 min bring to boil and let to simmer for another hour, the total time of heat treatment (together with the previous step) should not take more than two hours
– when all the parts of konnyaku are boiled properly, the sphere gets bigger
– let the konnyaku sit in the cooling water for at least 12 hours
– during this period of time the konnyaku spheres get smaller and harder
– after the 12 hours the konnyaku spheres are ready for the packaging and storage
– take the sphere and shape it in a way so it fits well into the bag (or other container) which you want to store it in
– transfer it into the bag (container) and add the “broth” which they have been cooked in
–  vacuum pack the bag and seal it by the machine
– label the bags  and store at 4-6°C, it should be consumed within ??? days

I hope that you have enjoyed this manual and that it was helpful!

Please if you have any recommendations or tips to improve this manual, post a comment or get in touch with me!

Thanks a lot for reading,


Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck


~ by algoldor on May 2, 2012.

2 Responses to “Traditional konnyaku jely preparation”

  1. Interesting! Although I find myself lacking the appropriate time the procedure with all pictures are amazing

  2. Thanks lot very useful article. I like to start to make Konnyaku in my country Sri lanka. God bless thanks

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