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Shirokuma Polar Bear Shaved Ice Recipe

A variation of kakigori is called Shirokuma, or polar bear, so named for its white color that comes from the condensed milk poured over it. It is really a variation of anmitsu which features agar agar gelatin cubes, summer fruit and sweet sryup.

It is said to have originated in Kagoshima, the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture, a region in the southwestern tip of the Kyushu island of Japan.


shaved ice
sweetened condensed milk
agar agar cubes*
canned peaches or fruit cocktail, in heavy syrup
anko paste

In a bowl, place a generous amount of shaved ice. When toppings are pour on, the ice will melt and shrink so pack in the ice as densely as possible.

Spoon on agar agar cubes, canned fruit with some of the heavy syrup and then a dollop of anko paste. Pour sweetened condensed milk over all before serving.

*Agar Agar Cubes:

1 kanten (agar agar) stick
water to cover
2 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Soften the kanten stick in water for about one hour. Squeeze out water and break or cut into small pieces. In a pot, blend the sugar, lemon juice, water and kanten. Bring this to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook for about five minutes. Remove from heat and pour into an 8x8 baking pan. Cool. When firm, cut into small cubes.

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