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Dessert, Recipes, Seasonal

Plum Kakigori (Shaved Ice for Classy Adults)

Anticipating that average August temperatures would continue through the weekend, we prepared to break in the newest addition to the Hokuriku Kitchen – a kakigori (shaved ice) machine. Armed with this and a brand new book of syrup recipes, I was extremely excited to try my hand at making the most awesome shaved ice this town has ever seen.It should come as a surprise to no one that Hokuriku chose this weekend to get bizarrely cold and rainy, or that we didn’t care and went ahead with the plan anyway.

If I was going to make my own kakigori, I wanted to do it right, and start from the syrup. Perhaps the biggest challenge was assembling all the different kinds of sugar that the recipe called for – but I think the result was worth it. I had some overripe plums left over from making plum muffins (which were delicious, by the way), so I modified one of the other recipes to make this tart plum syrup. Because I’m not a classy grown-up, I ate mine with sweetened condensed milk, but I think a small scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be a delicious topping.

I still have lots of syrup left, so expect more kakigori recipes in the near future!

Kakigori with homemade plum sauce - classy, no?

Basic Syrup (makes about 1 liter)


  • 800 ml water
  • 330 g granulated sugar (グラニュー糖)
  • 160 g mizuame (水あめ – starch syrup)
  • 2 g kurozato (黒砂糖 – black sugar (similar to brown sugar, but darker and more powdery, with a flavor similar to molassas)
  • 60 g tensaitou (てんさい糖 – a coarse sugar made from sugar beets)
  • 0.4 g powdered gelatin
  • 0.7 g powdered kanten (寒天 – vegetable gelatin)


  1. Measure all ingredients in advance.
  2. In a large saucepan, add gelatin and kanten to water. Stir over high heat until powder has completely dissolved.
  3. Add mizuame, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add kurozato, and stir until dissolved. (Kurozato does not dissolve easily, so consider adding it in many small portions.
  5. Add tensaitou and stir to combine.
  6. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil. As soon as the liquid begins to boil, remove from heat.
  7. Add granulated sugar immediately, stirring to dissolve. When the mixture becomes clear, the sugar has completely dissolved.
  8. Once partially cooled, carefully transfer to storage containers. The syrup should keep some time in the refrigerator, but consider canning it if you want to have it on hand any time.

Plum Syrup


  • 5 ripe plums
  • 200 ml basic syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cassis liqueur


  1. Pit and quarter plums.
  2. Combine plums, syrup and liqueur in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until plums are very soft, 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Once mostly cooled, pour sauce into blender, and blend until smooth.
  5. Strain sauce through cheesecloth.
  6. Pour over shaved ice. Top with ice cream or sweetened condensed milk if desired.


3 thoughts on “Plum Kakigori (Shaved Ice for Classy Adults)

  1. Gorgeous color!

    Posted by Nancy | August 23, 2011, 6:35 pm
  2. Perfect for the non-stop rain (enough for you?). If you have a fireplace start a fire and sit back and relax. Looks delicious!

    Posted by sumdude11 | August 23, 2011, 10:12 pm


  1. Pingback: Cool Off with Kakigori! - September 4, 2013

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