October 16, 2016

Making Konnyaku from Konnyaku Corms/こんにゃく芋からこんにゃくを作る

Last year, I made my very first attempt to make konnyaku from a corm as I described here. I recently made my second attempt. Because of several silly mistakes, I failed to make konnyaku properly.
Mistake 1:
I kept the corms in the plastic bag. One day, I found them getting moldy.
Mistake 2: I didn't want to do the whole process of konnyaku making that day, so I decided to microwave them that night. Even after 15-minute microwaving, I failed to cook them properly.

I should have simmered them in a pot for 20 minutes or so.
The next day, I had to simmer the pieces for 5 minutes or so until done.
I let them cool,
peeled, and
processed one fourth of them in the blender at a time.

Mistake 3: I used baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate) instead of sodium carbonate.
間違い3: 炭酸ナトリウムの代わりに重曹(炭酸水素ナトリウム)を使いました。

You can get 1 g of sodium carbonate by heating 1.6 g of baking soda, but I think I failed to decompose the baking soda properly to make a sufficient amount of sodium carbonate.
重曹1.6 gを加熱すると、炭酸ナトリウムが1 gできますが、私は、ちゃんと重曹を分解して、十分な量の炭酸ナトリウムを作れなかったのだと思います。
The konnyaku chucks would not harden...
I later added 3% sodium carbonate, and managed to make mediocre konnyaku.
I put some in a pot to make "oden". The oval item in the upper right of the photo is an boiled egg.
My wife also used some of the konnyaku to make tonjiru (pork soup).


Min said...

Hello Hiroyuki,
I really enjoy your blog. I like the way you do experiments and inform us of the results, bad as well as good! Thank you.

Hiroyuki said...

Min: Thanks for your compliment! I like to talk about failures as well as successes! (laugh) Just like Edison said, I have not failed. I've just found three ways that won't work.

Yangsze said...

Thank you for sharing your experiment! I love konnyaku (favourite way is to eat it sauteed with pork belly) but have never dared to try making it at home. :)

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: Maybe you have difficulty finding konnyaku corms in the first place. If you ever try to make it from scratch, be cautious about the amount of konnyaku you are going to get. A 1 kg konnyaku corn will result in 3-5 kg of konnyaku!

Sissi said...

Congratulations! You are really brave! I've read somewhere that konnyaku making process is very difficult when made at home and I see it's true... was the smell/texture better than the sold version? Did it have a better taste? (Usually it doesn't have taste... but who knows).
I'm a konnyaku addict: whenever I have a rich dinner the same day (a dinner with friends at a pizzeria or a cheese fondue place for example), I have a light soup with konnyaku or stir-fried konnyaku for lunch. Often the same the following day for lunch. My absolute favourite is the "udon"-like konnyaku. I always buy 4 or 5 packages because it disappears quickly...

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Home-made konnayaku is usually softer than the store-bought kind, depending on the amount of coagulant added. One site says that store-bought konnyaku is made with 10% coagulant, while a home-made version with 2-5%. One big difference is that home-made konnyaku usually contains tiny air bubbles, due to mixing after adding coagulant, which help the konnyaku soak up dashi when simmered.

You a konnyaku addict!? I didn't know that! Then you should taste home-made konnyaku the next time you come to Japan!

Sissi said...

I must see if I can find it somewhere.... Maybe I'll find some small konnyaku shops in Tokyo, just like there are tofu shops! Who knows??

9895039531 seeandoh said...

We call it Yam or "Chena" in our local language. Konnayaku is new for me. We cut it in cubes and dry it in sun to make wafers. Usually we fry it in butter or Ghee or just Oil as a snack for lunch with rice. We also add it in curry with Beef or Pork.

Hiroyuki said...

seeandoh: Maybe what you call yam is similar to our satoimo?

9895039531 seeandoh said...

I checked your link. It is Colocasia or 'Chembu' we call here. Yam is also called Elephant foot and is large in size and resembles an Elephant foot.