How to Use Kudzu
Kudzu has, for a long time, been used in a traditional Japanese pastry, a bun with a bean-jam filling. When sugar was a precious commodity and hard to get, kudzu was used to make it sweet. Today kudzu is used for various dishes besides Japanese sweets, especially to add sweetness and gluten to plain-flavored dishes. When kudzu is used for tempura (frying dishes), the ingredients become crispy. Kudzu is also used for soup, mousse, jelly, and steamed dishes, adding luster by heating or steaming for a while. By utilizing its jelly texture, the shape and flavor of kudzu dishes are maintained for a long time without being affected by slight temperature changes. The luster will keep for 2-3 days.
Kudzu kiri, noodle made from kudzu, can be eaten as noodles with black honey in a bowl of cold water or as ingredient for various seasonal dishes such as casserole dishes in winter and vinegar dishes for summer. Also kudzu kiri can be fried as a tempura ingredient. It has a distinctive transparency and firmness. To make Kudzu decoction, dissolve kudzu in 10 times as much water. Add a small amount of barley malt syrup or honey. Stir well with low heat until it turns transparent.