Yoshino Hon Kuzu (Kudzu) - Pure Japanese Arrowroot Powder, 1.76 oz
Yoshino Hon Kuzu is a starch made entirely from the root of kudzu plants (arrowroot) grown in Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, a place known to produce high quality kudzu. This superfine kudzu powder is crafted by hand-picking wild kudzu, crushing them, soaking and repeatedly washing in clean water, filtering, and drying the result into a powdered form. This painstaking and careful process distinguishes the kudzu powder from other less expensive alternatives that are blended with potato starch. When kudzu powder is dissolved in water and the solution is heated, it turns transparent. Once the transparent mixture is cooled, it hardens and creates a smooth, jelly-like texture. Because of these characteristics, it is often used for making wagashi (Japanese confectioneries) and thickening sauces. Yoshino Hon Kuzu adds a particularly smooth, elegant texture to dishes, and many high-end Japanese restaurants prioritize these features in order to perfect their dishes. Also, in Japan, kudzu is known to warm the body and is traditionally taken as a holistic medicine to treat chills.
Because Yoshino Hon Kuzu can produce a smooth, transparent, and jelly-like texture while remaining neutral in taste, it can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. The basic process to use it is to dissolve in cold water, heat the solution, and cool it again. Popular Japanese dishes made with kudzu include Kuzumochi (sweet, non-rice based mochi topped with kuromitsu [dark sugar syrup] and kinako [soybean powder]) and Sesame Tofu (non-soy based tofu made with sesame seeds). When using kudzu as a thickening agent for soup, stew, gravy, or sauce, dissolve the powder in cold water first, and add the solution into what you are cooking.