Pineapple No Kanten (Pineapple Gelled with Agar)

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"You can't gel pineapple with gelatin because an enzyme in the fruit prevents it, but you can make gelled pineapple dessert using agar, called kanten in Japanese. I found this recipe somewhere (maybe the New York Times) about 30 or 35 years ago and everyone I've served it to has enjoyed it. The times I have given do not include "standing" and "chilling" times, but this is something that can be made ahead for dessert the next day if covered with plastic wrap."

Original recipe yields 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (101.4 g)
  • Calories 215.9
  • Total Fat - 16.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 0.9 mg
  • Sodium - 17 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 17.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.5 g
  • Sugars - 14.8 g
  • Protein - 0.4 g
  • Calcium - 11.8 mg
  • Iron - 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 13.2 mg
  • Thiamin - 0 mg

Step 1

Break the kanten stick into several pieces and soak in water, covered, for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Combine 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar melts. Add the Grand Marnier if desired.

Step 3

Squeeze all the water from the softened kanten and shred it into the syrup. Strain the remaining soaking liquid to extract any shreds of kanten and add them as well. Discard the soaking liquid.

Step 4

Cook the kanten mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes until all the kanten has melted.

Step 5

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pureed pineapple. Pour the mixture into a straight-sided 4 cup mold, individual molds, or foil muffin cups. Allow to stand at room temperature until cool and solidified.

Step 6

Chill for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



Well...I'm not going to rate this, because agar agar did not end up being to my taste. But I would like to give an informational review. I had some agar agar sticks to use up, and Marion very nicely posted this recipe for me. I had no experience with agar agar and didn't know how to use it, but this recipe was easy to follow, and turned out just as it was supposed to. While agar agar was very fun to work with, and was amazing at how quickly it set up at room temperature...there is just something about it's 'texture' that I don't enjoy. I did try one other recipe using this technique, with strawberries and coconut cream, but I didn't like it's texture either. It is beautiful though, and I molded some in my mini bundt pan and then released it by running hot water over the actual gelled pineapple. Freddy Cat says thanks for the fun Marion! Made for the Easter/Spring recipe tag game.

review by:
(14 Apr 2012)